Back in May of 2013, we headed over to the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) Annual Rose Days on the University of California, Davis, campus.
A cultivated yellow rose--Sparkle and Shine, related to the Julia Child Rose--caught our eye. Maybe it was because a honey bee was foraging on it. Maybe not.
Today, this floribunda rose is thriving like no other! Its enticing fragrance and bursts of blooms: stunning!
The lone honey bee didn't come with it, but the rose continues to attract bees. Of course, we all know that honey bees prefer such flowers as lavender, borage, bee balm, cosmos, zinnias, goldenrod, mallow and catmint, but don't tell that to the honey bees that frequent our Sparkle and Shine!
And now, it's that time again. CCUH, directed by Dave Fujino, and the UC Master Gardeners, directed by Missy Gable (former program manager of CCUH), are sponsoring their 10th Annual Rose Days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 6 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 7 at the Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road (off Hutchinson Road, west of the central campus). Admission is free.
CCUH says that the weekend will feature rose sales; bus tours to the nearby 8-acre, virus-tested rose fields on Saturday led by Foundation Plants Services; and booths staffed with Master Gardeners and Rosarians from the Woodland Library Rose Club, where they will answer your questions about roses, including how to plant, prune and maintain them. You can also ask them other horticulture-related questions.
This year there are 28 varieties to choose from: see the list on the FPS Rose Encyclopedia: http://fps.ucdavis.edu/roses/collection.cfm?roseday=y. You'll see photos and descriptions of such roses as Angel Face, Drop Dead Red, Ketchup & Mustard, Lemon Splash and All My Loving (perfect for Mother's Day)! New this year: sweet potato plants, according to new program manager Eileen Hollett. A free mini-rose, while supplies last, will be given to attendees.
You can also check out the CCUH website for further information:
Meanwhile, our yellow rose, true to its name, continues to Sparkle and Shine.
Oh, here comes another bee!
It's not "Rise and Shine!" any more.
It's "Sparkle and Shine."
"Sparkle and Shine," a yellow rose related to the Julia Child Rose, drew quite a bit of attention at the UC Davis event, "Roses: the "Eyeconic Weekend," sponsored May 4-5 by the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) at Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road, west of the central campus.
Participants loved it--and so did the honey bees. The bees--probably from the nearby Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility--beelined to that floribunda, but they also foraged on many other roses.
CCUH executive director Dave Fujino described the event as quite successful. The good news is that some of the roses are still available for sale. An online rose catalog depicts such roses as Yabba Dabba Doo, Big Momma, Tiddly Winks, Wild Blue Yonder, McCartney Rose, Passionate Kisses, and Oh My!
You can email Fujino at email@example.com with your rose request (and ascertain the availability) and then purchase the roses at the Foundation Plant Services site, corner of Hopkins and Straloch roads, from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 and Friday, May 10, Fujino said. (From west Hutchison Drive, take Hopkins Road and then Straloch Road. See map.)
Then it's gearing up for next year's rose days. The event (free admission) is always held the first weekend of May, right before Mother's Day. Guests look forward to touring eight acres of roses, learning rose care at informational/training sessions, and gracing their gardens with their choices.
The bees foraging on the roses are "free" but they won't go home with you because they already have a home!
If you love to watch pollinators at work in your garden--especially the honey bees and the bumble bees--first you have to provide the plants.
Promise yourself to plant pollinator plants periodically.
But which ones?
The UC Davis Arboretum staff gets asked that question a lot. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Arboretum has scheduled a Member Appreciation Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at its plant sales nursery on Garrod Drive.
Folks can become members on the spot, and the privileges are many. "Members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Botanical Society not only receive 10 percent off their plant sale purchases but they also receive an additional $10 of of their purchases at this sale," said Missy Gable, public engagement manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Arborteum prides itself on providing "the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants, including Arboretum All-Stars." Live music, free refreshments and children's activities are also planned that day.
Three more spring public plant sales are upcoming (folks can become members then, too):
- Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (clearance sale)
Here are some of the pollinator plants that will be available for sale:
- Salvia clevelandii, Cleveland sage
- Saponaria x lempergii ‘Max Frei’, hybrid soapwort
- Leucophyllum frutescens, cenizo
- Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Mozart’, Ed Carman’s rosemary
- Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, coronation gold yarrow
- Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’, little spire Russian Sage
- Dasylirion wheeleri, desert spoon
- Salvia chamaedryoides, Mexican blue sage
- Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’, azure bush germander
- Epilobium canum, California fuchsia
- Origanum ‘Betty Rollins’, Betty Rollins oregano
- Salvia microphylla, Graham’s sage
The plants above are among those showcased at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
And, have you heard about the UC Davis Arboretum Shovel Drive? At each of the plant sales, you can donate an old shovel, spade or trowel to the Arboretum for a campus/city sculpture project!
Just think, the garden tools you not longer need or want will be sculpted into something quite spectacular.
At first glance, we thought "Strawberry blossoms!"
Not strawberries, though.
The white-floral ground cover at the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park is Sutera cordata or bacopa, as identified by Missy Gable, program manager of the California Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of California, Davis.
As historians know, the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park was the site of the state capital back in 1853-1854. Then Sacramento claimed the title.
And bacopa? "I’ve used bacopa quite a bit in hanging baskets but have honestly never tried it in the landscape," Gable said. "It’s a pretty short lived perennial and in my experience dies at the first frost BUT it’s an awesome bloomer!"
That it is. We spotted the bacopa the first day of the year. It was a lukewarm 55 degrees in Benicia but the honey bees were out, out of their dark hives and into the sunlight to start gathering nectar and pollen for their colony.
Interestingly enough, both the honey bee and bacopa are natives of Africa. European colonists brought the honey bee to what is now the United States in 1622 (to the Jamestown colony, Va.)
Honey bees did not arrive in California until 1853 (the same year that Benicia claimed the state capital). California's first beekeeper, Christopher A. Shelton, established a 12-colony apiary just north of San Jose. According to the UC ANR book, Beekeeping in California, authored primarily by UC Davis bee scientists: "Of the 12, only one survived, but it cast three swarms that summer and by 1858 there were at least 150 colonies directly descended from the Shelton hive."
Bacopa could be another suitable plant for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a bee friendly garden that doubles as demonstration garden on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. Missy Gable plays a key role in making the garden as beautiful as it is.
Meanwhile it's Benicia, bees and bacopa! And awesome bloomer!
Honey bees aren't that much into roses. Wild roses, yes. Cultivated roses, not so much. Given a choice, they'll take the lavenders, mints and salvia (sage) over the roses any time.
Occasionally, however, we see honey bees foraging on roses in the UC Davis Arboretum's Storer Garden on Garrod Drive, or in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road.
Ah, roses! One of life's simple pleasures. And what would Mother's Day be without them?
Speaking of roses, this weekend on the UC Davis campus is all about roses. The California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH) and Foundation Plant Services are teaming to present their fifth annual Rose Day on Saturday, May 5 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Melissa "Missy" Gable, program manager of CCHU, says the May 5th event, themed "Your Sustainable Backyard: Roses," will include talks and demonstrations; a tour of the Storer Garden on Garrod Drive; a tour of the Foundation Plant Services' eight-acre rose field on Hopkins Road; and a tour of the All-American Rose Selection test garden on Hopkins Road. And it's all for $45. (See registration or contact Missy (Borel) Gable at email@example.com for more information.)
Workshop participants--as well as the general public--can not only smell the roses but buy them from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, May 5 at the Foundation Plant Services site at 454 Hopkins Road. Rose plants are $25 each, five or more for $22, and 10 or more for $18--cash and checks only.
Then on Sunday, May 6, the public rose sales will continue from noon to 5 p.m. at the Foundation Plant Services site. Think hybrid teas, grandifloras, climbers and landscape roses. "Four-inch Cinco de Mayo rose plants will be given out while supplies last," Gable said.
Sale proceeds will benefit horticulture education at UC Davis--a good cause.
And maybe, just maybe, you might see a few bees on the roses. You won't be charged extra!
(Directions: The Foundation Plant Services, 455 Hopkins Road, is located on the corner of Hopkins and Straloch, about a mile west of the UC Davis central campus. Take Hutchinson west of 113, turn right toward the new West Village apartments at the first traffic circle, then west again onto Hutchinson at the second traffic circle. Take a left on Hopkins at the second line of olive trees. Note: While you're in the area, you might want to stop by and see the half-acre Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a bee friendly demonstration garden located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, off Hopkins Road. It's open from dawn to dusk every day; admission is free.)