Six on Saturday – Spots of Color – April 6, 2019

We’ve had some dry days. More rain predicted for this weekend so yesterday I got out to do some garden chores — cutting back the grasses and red twig dogwood. I managed to get the grass debris into bags with the husband’s help on Friday, but the dogwood cuttings are waiting to be picked up.

  1. The camellia is in bloom. The blossoms don’t last long, but by the time the show is over, other things are in bloom. I try to keep this one from getting too big. Anyone have suggestions for trimming camellias?

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2. The daffodils are open. Still lots of cleaning up to do in the beds but there is something to enjoy while I’m on my knees. I don’t know where the bulbs of the daffodils on the right came from but the clumps increase quickly and I now have them many places in the yard.

3. Clematis are leafing out and I think I see a bud on the Montana clematis on the right. The one on the left is Jackmani. I took a slip from one my father planted when I married and have brought it with me to every house (and husband) since.

4. Garden clean-up has begun. The ground has dried out enough that I was able to get the red twig dogwoods cut back. The bed still looks a mess because I haven’t raked it. Dead leaves sat in water all winter in that area. I’ll root some of the cuttings and plant more in this area. I was late getting the grasses but back but couldn’t get into the beds before now.

5. I need to plant new hyacinth bulbs next fall. The ones I have no longer produce many flowers, but they are a welcome surprise in the garden this time of year.

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6. I need suggestions about how to care for these yuccas. I see the one in the front could be divided. All I’ve done with the others is try to get out the dead leaves that are on the bottom. They all bloom. Thus far they have been afforded benign neglect.

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That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden as it comes alive after what seemed like a longer and certainly a wetter winter than usual.This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Spots of Color – April 6, 2019

  1. For the camellia, I never thought of trimming mine. It has grown so slowly from years to years that I preferred to let it go. But all the advice you will have will be good for mine later. Gorgeous flower though !

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      • Jim, I found the tag for that camellia. Not much help. It just says Camellia japonica ‘Tricolor Pink’ . The description is “pale pink with rose pink streaks. Medium semi-double flower form. Vigorous, compact, upright growth. Blooms mid-season.”

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  2. If you don’t already follow them I would check our Digging and Danger Gardening for advice on yuccas. They are both experts.

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  3. Glad to see you’ve dried out there Mala and your garden is showing lovely signs of new growth. I don’t prune my camellias either as they’re mostly too little but I’m glad you kicked off a thread and we all know Jim’s the go to man when the time comes.

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    • I will follow his suggestions in one of his blog posts. I clearly need to prune out the interior. If I let this one go unattended it would have reached the gutters in five years.

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    • Spent all day Saturday and Sunday cleaning up in the garden as it was finally dry enough to work. Pulling leaves out of the azaleas, raking the beds, cutting things back, etc. I lost 7 azalea plants this year. Has never happened before. Too wet for too long? We’ve had other cold winters. But the fluctuating temps this winter may have been a factor. My clematis are looking healthy, full of new growth.

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  4. 3. That is pretty sweet about the clematis. I still grow the rhubarb that my great grandfather gave me before I was in kindergarten. A pelargonium that I got a cutting of from a compost pile has been with me since I was in junior high school, and a second pelargonium has been with me since about 1992.
    1. When I grew camellias, I almost never pruned them. They left before they needed much. I only took cuttings from the stock plants, which was done when we needed cuttings, not when the stock plants needed pruning. Anyway, when we did do the bit of pruning, it was supposedly best to do so while they were blooming and simultaneously generating new growth! I had no problem with that on the farm, because no one saw the flowers anyway. Flowers were just a messy byproduct there. However, in landscape situation, I prune camellias ‘after’ bloom, even though I know it is not correct. I really do not see what difference a week or so will make. To me, it does not seem right to prune them when new growth is emerging anyway. I would prefer to prune earlier, but that would remove much of the bloom. Late pruning likewise eliminates some of the bloom for the following year. Therefore, although I know that I ‘should’ prune during bloom, I prefer to wait untill immediately afterward. I don’t like it, but it works best for me. Camellias should never be shorn, but cut back selectively, with the higher or obtrusive stems cut back to shorter laterals. I don’t mean to oversimplify it, but that is how it works. If there are no laterals, there is no point in leaving a stub. Stubs either do nothing, or become structural problems as plants grow.
    6. Are those two shoots of the yucca in front new? They are very easy to divide. I just grab them at the base and pull upward until they break away from the stolon that produced them. (Actually, they are stolons that break away from some sort of root.) I prefer to peel away or at least cut most of the lower leaves from shoots when they are divided. However, they do not need to be divided if there is enough space for them. Be careful when handling them because the filaments on the edges of the leaves can get into the skin like fiberglass, and become painful later. Grooming the deteriorating lower leaves can be quite a hassle while trying to avoid handling the foliage. As you likely know shoots that bloom die as new shoots develop around them.

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    • Thanks, Tony, for all the good advice. I had no idea about the filaments on the yucca. I’ll wait until the camellia is finished blooming to prune it. It is in a spot it must love because it would have reached the gutters in five years and I have a rancher. Have to keep things in scale.

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      • The most common giant yucca here lacks the filaments. A few species lack them. I just remember that Yucca filamentosa has rather bad ones, and Yucca flaccida is similar. I think that yours is one of those two species. You could investigate to see if they have filaments or not. I do not wear gloves to work with the (since I find gloves to be objectionable), so I grab the leaves very firmly, and do not let them slip through my hands!

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      • Thanks again, Tony. I do wear gloves when I work in the garden, but they are nitrile so I can feel my fingers on the weeds. The yuccas are on this weekend’s to-do list.

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      • I happen to be very fond of yuccas. For a while, I grew all but one of the known species of yucca (although only a few cultivars0. It is a species that really should be more popular in our chaparral climates that it is.

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