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Globe Amaranth

Globe amaranth is a compact annual that typically grows 12-24” tall on upright branching stems. The true flowers are insignificant, tiny, white to yellow trumpets that are only visible close up. It is the bright magenta bracts arranged in globose, papery-textured, clover-like flowerheads that provide the real show in a long summer to frost bloom. Cultivars expand the range of …

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Oleander Aphids

Anyone who raises milkweed in an effort to attract Monarch butterflies is familiar with the soft-bodied, squishy orange insects that seemingly take over anything in the Asclepias family. Before we explore how to kill them, let’s take a look at the interesting life cycle of these ubiquitous, annoying insects, known as oleander aphids, milkweed aphids, or by their Latin name, …

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This Sunnyvale Garden – November 2016

November is the beginning of winter in our Sunnyvale garden. Summer and fall flowers are putting on their last show. The hummingbird loves the red tubular flowers of the Salvia elegans. Daylilies,  yarrow, marigolds, and mums brighten the darkening skies. The hibiscus loves the south-facing wall. Harvested Panache figs, pepino melons, pomegranates, spaghetti squash. Planted garlic, beets, carrots, kale, cabbage, …

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Violetto Artichoke Plant

From the north of Italy, the artichoke of aristocrats. This choke has small oval slightly elongated head 3 inches wide by 5 inches long. mouthwatering flavor. Fruit is more elongated than the green globe type. The edible thistle first appeared in Italy and Sicily as early as 200-300 B.C. It may be a descendant of C. cardunculus, the wild cardoon …

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Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea spp.) adds bright spots of color to the garden in summer and fall. My mother has always had the tall yellow yarrow in her Almaden Valley garden. It complemented the blue and white flowers of Mexican Sage. The flower heads are large, flat-topped umbels packed with tiny flowers. This hardy, drought-resistant perennial still thrives with poor soil and …

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Mums 2016

During the fall, the garden nurseries are full of mums of all varieties. I plant them in a variety of pots.

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Mexican Heather

Cuphea hyssopifolia, commonly called Mexican heather, is native from Mexico to Guatemala. It is a rounded, densely branched 1-2’ tall tropical sub-shrub. It produces quaint, small, trumpet-shaped flowers with six spreading lavender petals and green calyx tubes. Flowers appear singly in the leaf axils along stems crowded with lance-shaped glossy green leaves (to 3/4” long). Blooms profusely summer to frost. …

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Daylily

The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis. The word Hemerocallis is derived from two Greek words meaning “beauty” (callos) and “day” (hemera), referring to the fact that each flower lasts only one day. To make up for this, there are many flower buds on each daylily flower stalk, and many stalks in each clump of plants, so, the flowering period …

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Spaghetti Squash

In 2016 we tried growing Spaghetti squash in our Sunnyvale garden. Because we grow almost everything in containers, we got a bush variety (Tivoli) that does not sprawl all that much. Our container was wide but shallow. This resulted in fewer fruit. There is a long time till harvest. Spaghetti squash is a hard gourd, like pumpkin, so you cannot …

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Pineapple 2016

In March 2016, on a whim, I bought a pineapple plant for my Sunnyvale garden. I know. I transplanted it to a larger pot but made the mistake of a too shallow pot. It grew a little and eventually in July we harvested our pineapple. If I was thinking of serving drinks in it, I would only need a shot …

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