Blue Bamboo

Himalayacalamus hookerianus

We installed this a couple years ago and it’s filled out very nicely.

Cactus Fences Make Good Neighbors

The Desert Sun has a suggestion of what to do with all your spare cactus. Make a fence! They have good ideas for using some of the taller prickly pear species, or if you prefer the more modern look they recommend a few different column cactus that will work for fences. Like the Fencepost Cactus, of course.

One first-hand account from mission days explained the cactus fence solved the problem of little suitable timber in coastal Southern California. The cactus fence was devised as a substitute. They were started by cutting paddles from well established cactus that reach the height desired. They’re inserted into the ground in a tightly spaced row where they root and grow quickly if watered. Prickly pear fences were not only perfect for containing livestock; they effectively protected the homestead from hostiles. No living thing on this Earth will penetrate a dense prickly pear hedge.

The cleanest living fences are made of fence post cactus, Pachycereus marginatus. These minimally spined upright cactus stems are ramrod straight, making the most amazing green walls. The best example I’ve ever seen was at the ethnobotanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico where the fences are crisp and straight.

We use a giant cholla for fencing, both at the nursery and at home. Austrocylindropuntia subulata makes for a very good fence. Very spiny. Fast growing. Dangerous to try to breach. And pretty magenta flowers too. What more could you want?

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Cactus for Christmas

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Not Christmas Cactus, but Christmas lights on cactus. In Berkeley!

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And on the agaves too.

Cactus in Berkeley

opuntia stannage ave

Stannage Ave., Berkeley

This cactus is a Opuntia. Probably an Opuntia tuna-blanca which will get large orange flowers and large red edible cactus fruit. Tunas for everyone! Delicious.

Cactus Patch

Lise sends along a picture of her cactus garden in bloom. It’s hard to tell from the small photo, but it appears she has both Cereus peruvianus and Echinopsis pachanoi.

They both have the same giant white flowers, but the Cereus is a night bloomer, with the blooms only lasting the one night, and is pollinated by flies. Whereas the Echinopsis is a San Pedro cactus and the bees love those during the warm daylight hours.

California Native Flowers in Berkeley

Mimulus Georgie Orange

Mimulus “Georgie Tangerine” on 4th Street in Berkeley

I can’t actually confirm the ID of the cultivar, but I’m pretty sure. Embiggen the photo if you want to look a bit closer yourself and let me know what you think. Maybe it’s M. “Curious Orange”?

Cape Daisies for Spring! 

The range of Osteospermum colors is quite pleasant, and they’re hardy in Berkeley, growing year round and blooming from March through October! They’re opening up everywhere around town. These are on Ashby Ave. 

Crested Spurge

Rikki noticed that we have a crested Euphorbia characias right up the street from us.

Nice!

She’s been noticing strange plants like this ever since she started working at the Jungle.

Do you think we should ask the building owner’s if we can take a cutting and propagate it ourselves?

Cycad, Berkeley

cycad camelia street

Camelia Street, Berkeley

This lovely and giant and very old and large Cycad is the ever popular Sago Palm. Not a palm, did I mention its a Cycad? Cycas revoluta. But you knew that already, didn’t you.

Dwarf Butterfly Bush

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Buddleia davidii “Buzz Purple”
Dwarf Butterfly Bush
 
Asian Hybrid
Semi-Evergreen Perennial

Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Moderate
Size: 2 to 3ft.

Beautiful compact plant only 24″ tall in container. Stunning purple inflorescence. Great for patios and smaller gardens. Hardy to below 0F.

 

Everyone has a Question

dasylirion

I stopped by wanting to find out what this is.
From: Janice

 

Janice,

That is a Dasylirion wheeleri, and we do have a number of Dasylirions, including that one, in stock.

Peter

First Day of Summer, Fall Vegetables

OK, so with this crazy cold few months, it appears that today is the first official day of summer in Berkeley, and probably in the rest of the Bay Area too. Now it is true that summer will only be lasting about a week this year, so enjoy it while you can. Get a tan!

Gardening is good too, and you can get a tan while gardening if you garden topless.

We got our fall veggie starts in yesterday. Lots of delicious broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, butter lettuces and of course more herbs. Always with the herbs around these parts. Cilantro is very popular and you can keep planting it into October or so.

French Marigold

Our first marigolds of the year are called Bolaro.

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Remember to always plant marigolds with your organic vegetable garden. They attract beneficial insects, and bloom all summer long.

Garden Blogging

On top of tiny tomato plants growing through the cracks there are new giant bamboo shoots shooting up around the pond.

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