Flowers

Equisetum

Equisetum (horsetail, snake grass, scouring-rush, puzzlegrass) is the only living genus in Equisetaceae, a family of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. Native to North America. Equisetum hyemale is a vigorous evergreen perennial with a striking vertical habit with multiple bamboo-like dark green stems arranged in dense clumps. Each stem has vertical ridges and is jointed or …

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July in Our Sunnyvale Garden 2019

July’s garden is full of sunflowers, ripening vegetables and fruit. We were out of town for a few weeks so the garden was on its own — with some help from the extensive drip irrigation.

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Calla Lily

Calla lilies are easy to grow and add a classy look to perennial gardens, cutting gardens and container plantings. Their smooth, sword-like foliage stays neat and attractive all season long. Native to South Africa, Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors and their breathtaking chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a finger-like stalk (spadix). Calla lily flowers …

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June in our Sunnyvale garden 2019

June in our Sunnyvale garden is full of flowers, ripe fruit and ripening vegetables. For more of the story, see below the photo gallery. We have two Blenheim apricot trees. One is a volunteer from a discarded pit. It grows in a two-foot wide trench. It produces hundreds of fruit. Which is good because a couple dozen fruit every day …

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Dahlia

These colorful spiky flowers, native to Mexico, bloom from midsummer to first frost. Each flower has one head per stem. The flowers range in color and  size, from the giant 10-inch “dinnerplate” blooms to the 2-inch lollipop-style pompons.  We have grown dahlias in our Sunnyvale garden for over 20 years. If you are patient then you can treat the dahlia …

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Hollyhock

Alcea rosea, the common Hollyhock, originated in Asia and the area around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These stately beauties belong to the Mallow (Malvaceae) family, which includes 1500 different species. Hollyhocks are hardy between USDA zones 3 and 8 (Sunnyvale). How to Grow Hollyhocks Alcea rosea is variously described as a biennial (having a two-year life cycle), as an annual, …

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Passion Fruit ‘Nancy Garrison’

With spectacular flowers and tasty fruit, you gotta try growing this passion fruit. This variety is named after Nancy Garrison, a Master Gardener in Santa Clara County. The vine was found in front of an old farm house and handles the cooler winters of our region. Passion fruit is widely grown and valued throughout the tropics and subtropics. Most Passifloras …

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Clematis

A clematis vine climbing up a trellis or spilling flowers over a fence is great for making a curtain of color. Most clematis varieties thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11 (which is just fine for our Sunnyvale garden (zone 8a)). Proper soil preparation, ongoing maintenance, pest prevention and pruning properly provide the keys to …

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Armeria maritima ‘Ballerina Lilic’

New for 2019 in our Sunnyvale garden: Armeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’, commonly called thrift or sea pink, is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, purple flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks …

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Sedum clavatum

Sedum clavatum is an attractive succulent in the Pachysedum group that grows with stout creeping stems terminating in 4 inch wide rosettes of glaucus blue-green succulent leaves and has a compact inflorescence of many pink bell-shaped flowers in mid to late spring (April – May in Sunnyvale) to early summer that take a pink hue with age. The stems lose …

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