- Author: Toni Greer
Saturday, December 5th from 1:00-4:00 is our UC Master Gardeners Annual Wreath Workshop to be held at St. Mary's Church Parish Hall, 350 Stinson, Vacaville.
During this fun event we will also have our Marketplace with handcrafted items, most of which were crafted by Master Gardeners. The proceeds from this go toward UC Master Gardener program-Solano County.
Perhaps it's a gift you are looking for or a holiday adornment---we've got them!! Remember, this will be taking place while you are making your beautiful wreaths. The marketplace will only accept check or cash for your purchases. I say purchases, because last year several shoppers kept finding that perfect treasure over and over throughout the afternoon.
Remember, this event is for attendees of the Master Gardener Wreath Workshop and Master Gardeners too!! We also like to shop!
Come join us for a wonderful afternoon—food included. If you have questions or would like to sign up to attend, please contact Jennifer Baumbach at (707)389-0645 or email@example.com. Cost for the workshop is $50.00 per person.
Space is limited. Please remember this marketplace is cash or check only for your treasures.
We have such a wide variety of fun goodies. Hope to see you there!!
- Author: Jenni Dodini
Steve and I recently took a trip south to San Luis Obispo. While there, we decided to go over to Hearst Castle since our last visit was easily 20 years ago. Those of you who have been there know what I mean when I say that the place is AMAZING!!! For those who haven't, I highly recommend the trip. Anyway, as amazing as the "castle" is, the grounds are equally amazing. The hydrangeas were blooming all over the place and everywhere one looked, the grounds were well groomed. While I was checking out the Neptune Pool, I noticed a vine/hedge of bleeding heart. It was beautiful. I was jealous as I have killed a couple over the years. A blog idea was born.
Imagine my surprise when I went into my Western Garden Book and could not find it AT ALL! Off to the internet then. I clicked into garden.org, Wikipedia, and gardeningknowhow.com for information. What I found was that I had failed because Fairfield is just not the proper place for success. At least, not where I was trying to grow them.
The bleeding heart pictured below is Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formerly known as Dicentra spectabilis. It is of the order Ranunculalis, and a member of the poppy family, Papaveraceae. It is native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan. It is classified as a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial. It thrives in moist woodland gardens along with ferns and other shade lovers. It likes light to medium shade and well drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The flowers are delicate and heart shaped with a seed pod that emerges below. They bloom in the spring - yellow, pink, red, and white - and may re-bloom throughout the summer in cooler climates. They will need consistent watering in climates that receive less that 1 inch of rain per week. Depending on variety, they can grow 6 inches to 2 feet in height. They may die back and go dormant during the heat of summer and then regrow from the roots. After the first killing frost of winter, they can be trimmed back to 1 inch above the soil. They will regrow from the roots in the spring. They grow in compact clumps for many years and do not need dividing. The roots are brittle and easily damaged. The seed pods must be sown while fresh. They like sustained release plant food worked into the soil every 2 months during the growing season and rich compost applied in the spring with a 2 inch layer of mulch over it. Aphids, snails, and slugs like to feed on the leaves. Of note, some people may experience skin irritation due to the isoquinoline like alkaloids the plant contains.
While clicking on the picture of the white flowered bleeding heart, I found that it is an entirely different plant. It is a Clerodendrum thomsoniae, AKA glory blower or tropical bleeding heart. It is NOT related to the Lamprocapnos. It is a native of western Africa and grows well in zones 9 and above. It needs to be protected though as it is damaged in temperatures below 45 degrees. It also likes light shade. It is a subtropical vine that produces tendrils that can be trained onto a trellis or let to spread out along the ground. The flowers are white with red seed pods, and the foliage is a shiny green. It also likes well drained soil which is consistently moist and sustained release feeding during the blooming season. They tolerate light pruning of wayward vines during the growing season and can be pruned back in winter before the spring growth emerges. It is susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. Spraying with insecticidal soap every 7 to 10 days will eliminate them. By the way, I did find this one in the Sunset Western Garden Book.
After all this, I think if I might try again, I will go with the Clerodendrum and start in a shady place, in a large pot, or in the ground in well amended soil.
- Author: Jennifer Baumbach
There is still time to sign up for our Wreath Workshop! Come and learn how to make a wreath from scratch with the UC Master Gardeners to assist you. We provide the greens, wire frame, paddle wire, natural decorations, bow, and refreshments for $50.00. The holiday cheer is free. Attached is a flyer for more information.
The MGs work hard on the days leading up to the event. See below. Also, the wreaths made are all unique and beautiful. So come and join us. Space is limited so contact me today at 707-784-1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Mike Gunther
Think of Veterans
Sharing Thanksgiving moments
- Author: Susan P Croissant
Elephant's Ears, Heartleaf (Bergenia cordifolia, Bergenia crassifolia).
Bergenias, named for the 18th Century German botanist Karl August von Bergen, have been in American and British gardens for at least two centuries. An under-appreciated species, it is a good choice for someone who doesn't know much about gardening. Hardy, reliable, easy care, rewarding results, attractive year round. Almost impossible to kill.
An attractive ground cover, spread by fibrous above-ground sideways stalks. Dark-green, glossy, slick, smooth, round/heart-shaped leaves have a cabbage-like leathery appearance. Sometimes called Pigsqueak (rub leaves for squeaky-clean sound). Most varieties have bell-shaped flowers, compact clusters atop 12-inch burgundy stems. From pale/rosy/deep pink to ruby red, magenta, dark purple. Each flower spike lasts only a few weeks, but the blooming period can be prolonged by regularly removing the spent spikes.
One of winter's most adaptable evergreen perennials. An interesting contrast to other winter plants as cooler weather sees enriching tones in leaf coloring--maroon, crimson, bronze, magenta, beet red, ruddy (red/reddish). This color sometimes lasts until April. Only on occasion do March-May blooms occur together with the winter-maroon leaves.
Siberian Bergenia varieties such as B. cordifolia (Saxifraga), B. crassifolia (Siberian Tea) and their hybrids have the greatest tendency to maroon in colder temperatures. With warm winters, they may stay green year round. B. cordifolia flowers March-May, magenta-pink, short stems. 'Winter Glut' rosy-pink. 'Abendglocken' (Evening Bells) has striking dark lilac-pink on tall stalks. B. crassifolia blooms early December or February-early March, magenta-pink. B. purpurascens (Purple Pigsqueak), mostly in the Midwest/East, produces red-purple leaves in fall/winter, deep-pink/magenta-purple/ red flowers in spring. B. emeiensis is strikingly different. Cliff-dwelling (WA state). Five-petalled white blooms, more daisy-like than the usual hanging-bells, mid-late spring. Not as cold-hardy, it is sometimes offered as a house plant or as a garden variety where summers are too hot for most Bergenias.
Bergenias tolerate drought but prefer moist soil. Suitable for light (sandy), medium (loamy), even clay (heavy) soil. Soil pH neutral, alkaline or acid. Full, semi- or no shade. Full shade produces lighter green, floppier leaves and longer necks trying to reach the sun. Semi-shade retains an attractive appearance that can become extremely green and lush if kept damp. With a little sun, the red effect heightens in bronzy red-leaf varieties. With no shade at all, it may suffer. Full sun, high summer heat and insufficient water burns leaves, plant remains shorter and rusty-looking around the edges. Nonetheless, apt to survive and continue spreading. Mulch lightly and water more in summer. Compost early winter. Nip off old foliage turned brown.
In selecting Bergenia, start with a few adult plants. Youngsters take time to get well-rooted and begin spreading. Choose root-bound in gallon-size pots. Plant in autumn or spring (after blooming) near a shrub, boulder or fence for wind protection, preferably north/northeast side of garden for afternoon shade. Or in a mixed container. After 3-4 years, it may become overcrowded and flower production may decline. Divide in spring after bloom. Deer resistant. Watch for snails, slugs, and weevils.