Thursday, July 5, 2018

Andy Easton Leaves Salinas

Salinas Sunset, an original hybrid by Andy Easton
One of the world's great orchid hybridizers has packed up his orchids and departed for Colombia, South America. Andy Easton once rented a considerable space in a greenhouse on Zabala Road, south of Salinas. His time in Salinas was fruitful with the creation of several sensational cymbidium orchids.

The greenhouse was sold a few years ago and he was forced to move out quickly. His hybridizing efforts got a bit more complicated working from several different locations. Nevertheless, he prevailed and this move has gone smoothly - so far.

His wife, Patricia, is a native of Colombia so this move makes sense in many ways.

Here is a video I made using the photographs I took when I first visited the greenhouse in 2010.

View Andy Easton's Orchids by following this link.

cybidium, orchids, andy_easton, easton, salinas, truskot, cybidiums,
Cymbidium hybridizer Andy Easton in his former Salinas greenhouse, Sept. 2010

Saturday, June 23, 2018

America is back!

America, large flowered climber, 1976

One of the lesser traumas gardeners face when planting bare root roses isn't their fault. A mix up back at the processing plant often results in one rose getting put into another rose's package.

When its time for the wrapping and labeling, the flowers, of course, are long since gone. The leaves were stripped off in the field and the canes shortened for easier and more uniform packaging. When reduced to bare root status, many of the canes look the same. They are all grafted onto the same rootstock so examining its roots offers no help.

Inevitably, the true identity of a rose is lost and the bush ends up being mislabeled. Processing plants handle roses in a scale of thousands at a time.

In my case, after years of resisting any new roses in my garden and risking the chance that the bargain bin bare root rose might be infected with rose mosaic virus, I took the plunge this past January and bought Handel.

It was a variety I grew during my first year or two in Salinas and holds the distinction of being the only rose out of the 250 plus varieties I grew that fell victim to a gopher!

My residential neighborhood is gopher free but one maverick critter moved into a neighboring yard when that house was unoccupied and ill-kept for several months.

Handel had provided quick growth up the side of my potting shed and a bountiful supply of white trimmed in bright pink blooms. Suddenly, one day it didn't look so good. The next day it was dead. Panic set in.

None of my roses are planted in wire cages. I bought and used a box trap and caught the gopher within six hours. No further gopher incident has occurred.

So it was with some enthusiasm that I bought Handel this past winter and selected a good and vacant part of the back fence as an ideal spot. It leafed out and stayed pretty much the same size for two months. Then it began sending up long canes and those canes then sported huge sprays of flowers.

The plant seemed to be happy with its location and grew plentiful dark green leaves. The flower clusters grew larger and longer.

When the first flowers opened -- they were orange. The plant was definitely not Handel.

The orange flowers looked familiar though. In fact, I have seen this same rose bush growing in many yards in Salinas. It definitely likes it here. Then, I realized what I was growing -- America!

America sporting its first cluster of blooms
In honor of the Bicentennial in 1976, the great rose hybridizer of the last half of the 20th century Bill Warriner introduced a rose called America. Vigorous and healthy with good flower form and color, America was an easy-to-grow, medium sized climber. (How a salmon pink rose got associated with a red-white-and-blue holiday is a mystery. But, it clearly captured many patriotic souls who bought it, planted it and forgot its name.)

Incidents such as this happen occur regularly in home gardens with many people calling one rose something that it isn't.

I recognized America because I'd also once grew it. It's demise in my yard had more to do with its vigor and the inappropriate place where I'd planted it. I didn't know it was going to get so long and lanky so I dug it out and gave it away.

It's no matter that Handel never made a return engagement. America is back.

climbing rose, America, Bill Warriner, truskot
Planted in February, America will climb to the top of this seven-foot fence producing large clusters of flowers as it goes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Walking Tour of My Yard

Tahitian Sunset in the Morning

If you weren't able to attend last month's open garden. Here's a quick tour of my yard when many of the roses were at their peak.

Welcome to my Garden

Monday, June 11, 2018

Getting a good re-bloom from hybrid tea roses

Double Delight at the Monterey Bay Rose Society Display Garden

With the first flush of roses nearly over, it's time to do something about getting good blooms for the rest of the season.

Although there are many different varieties and species of roses, most people want their hybrid teas to produce flowers throughout the summer and fall. By their nature, all hybrid tea roses are repeat bloomers. It's in their genes and it isn't hard to get them to flower.

Remember, however, that some hybrid teas also have generosity of bloom in their genetic make-up and others are stingier.
Gemini with a side bud that should be removed

1. Water your roses regularly. No growth can happen without water.

2. Feed your roses a little something every other week during the season. I alternate organic and chemical, always making sure that the roses are hydrated well before I add the fertilizer.

3. Include organic fertilizers and amendments every month. This is especially important if your water comes from wells. During its percolation from rainwater to groundwater its pH level has likely become slightly to significantly alkaline. Organic material in the soil will counteract the alkalinity and allow your rose to absorb more nutrients. Roses love slightly acidic soil at 6.5 pH.

4. Dead-head your hybrid teas as soon as the flowers start to drop petals. That means cut the stem to an outward facing bud eye. Do not allow the rose to develop hips. In many cases, by the time the rose bloom drops petals, the rose has already started to send some growth nutrients to a lower bud eye. Look for a place where a new cane has already started to develop.

5. With the added nutrients, many varieties of hybrid tea produce side buds accompanying each larger bud at the top of a cane. To keep blooms at their best and to increase the blooming cycle, it's important to pull off the side buds early. It seems counter-intuitive but it actually does give you many more perfectly formed flowers. The side buds often cause the terminal bud to be lopsided and the side buds are never as beautiful or as large as the main one. Waiting for the lesser blooms to open just steals time from the plant producing first-class flowers.

With the above five steps followed, the duration from attractive bud to a fully opened rose dropping petals averages around ten days depending on outside temperature, sunshine and variety. Then, in another five to six weeks, you'll have more flowers on that part of the bush. The older and larger the hybrid tea, the more likely it will always been in bloom during the growing period.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Plants in the Truskot Garden

West Side of Back Yard

Open Garden: Visitors Welcome
Sunday, May 27, Noon to 5 p.m.
350 Chaparral Street, Salinas

Westerland, a Kordes climbing floribunda

List of Roses

Rose Variety Rose Class Year Location
Alba Semi-plena Alba 1867 Back-Fence
American Honor Hybrid Tea 1993 Back-House
Apricot Twist Miniature 1993 Back-Center
Baronne Prevost Hybrid Perpetual 1842 Front-Yard
Black Prince Hybrid Perpetual 1866 Back-West
Blue Girl Hybrid Tea 1964 Pot
Blush Damask Damask 1000 Walk-Side
Bubble Bath Hybrid Musk 1980 Back-Fence
Cecile Brunner, Cl Polyantha 1894 Back-Shed
Charles de Mills Gallica 1840 Back-Fence
Chic-a-dee Miniature 1990 Back-Center
Children's Hope Miniature 2016 Pot
China Doll Polyantha 1946 Back-Fence
Chrysler Imperial  Hybrid Tea 1952 Pot
Crepuscule Noisette 1904 Walk-Side
Dublin Bay Large Flowered Climber 1975 Back-West
Ellen Wilmott Hybrid Tea 1936 Back-West
Escapade Floribunda 1967 Front-Walk
Gemini hybrid tea 1999 Pot
Gizmo Miniature 1998 Back-Center
Gloire des Rosomanes China 1825 Back-West
Handel Large Flowered Climber 1960 Back-Fence
Henri Martin Moss 1863 Back-Fence
Iceberg Floribunda 1958 Pot
Irresistable Miniature 1990 Back-Fence
Isfahan Damask 1832 Back-Shed
Jeanne d'Arc Noisette 1848 Far-Side
Joseph's Coat Large Flowered Climber 1969 Walk-Side
Kathleen Ferrier Floribunda 1952 Front-Yard
Lavender Lassie Hybrid Musk 1960 Front-Yard
Little Artist Miniature 1982 Front-Yard
Madame Alfred Carriere Noisette 1879 Back-House
Margaret Merrill Floribunda 1977 Pot
Maria Callas Hybrid Tea 1968 Back-West
Marie Pavié Polyantha 1888 Far-Side
Matangi Floribunda 1978 Back-West
Mme. Legras de St. Germain Alba 1846 Back-West
Natchez Miniature 1994 Back-House
Nur Mahal Hybrid Musk 1923 Walk-Side
Oldtimer Hybrid Tea 1969 Back-Center
Peace Hybrid Tea 1935 Pot
Perle d'Or Polyantha 1884 Back-Center
Phyllis Bide Polyantha 1924 Back-Shed
Picasso Floribunda 1971 Back-West
Popcorn Miniature 1973 Back-Fence
Portland from Glendora Portland 1882 Back-West
Radiant Perfume Grandiflora 2002 Pot
Rosa californica Species 1878 Back-Shed
Rosa woodsii   Species 0 Pot
Rosa woodsii fendleri Species 1888 Back-Fence
Russelliana Hybrid Multiflora 1824 Walk-Side
Sacred Heart Hybrid Tea 2002 pot
Sally Holmes Hybrid Musk 1976 Front-Yard
Secret Hybrid Tea 1992 Back-West
Sombreuil Tea 1880 Back-Center
Stanwell Perpetual Hybrid Pimpinellifolia 1838 Back-West
Tahitian Sunset Hybrid Tea 2006 Back-House
The Dark Lady Austin 1991 Pot
Therese Bugnet Hybrid Rugosa 1950 Far-Side
Tiffany Hybrid Tea 1954 Far-Side
Tootie Miniature 2003 Pot
Zigeunerknabe Bourbon 1909 Walk-Side

Agave victoriae-reginae

Partial List of Succulents and Other Plants

Adromischus cristatus 'Key Lime Pie'
Adromischus marianae
Aeonium 'Kiwi'
Agave attenuata
Agave guiengola 'Crème Brulee'
Agave parryi
Agave pendunculifera
Agave victoriae-reginae
Aloe aristata
Aloe iriorum
Aloe labworava
Aloe 'pink blush'
Aloe wanalensis
Artemisia absinthum 'Powis Castle'
Astrophytum myriostigma 'Bishop's Cap'
Astrophytum ornatum
Beaucarnea recuvata
Billbergia nutens 'Queen's Tears'
Crassula ovata 'Jade Plant'
Cycad revoluta 'Sago Palm
Echeveria agavoides
Echeveria 'Blue Prince'
Echeveria 'Dolores Taylor'
Echeveria elegans
Echeveria imbricata
Echeveria nodulosa
Echeveria 'violet queen'
Echinocactus grusonli
Echinopsis chamaecereus
Echinopsis subdenudatum
Ferrocactus latispinus 'Devil's Tongue'
Gasteria 'Ox Tongue'
Hydrangea macrophyla 'Lace Cap'
Hydrangea macrophyla 'Lace Cap'
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi 
Kalanchoe luciae
Kalanchoe pumila 'Frosty Pink'
Laurus nobilis
Pachypodium succulentum x. bispinosum
Portulaca 'Elephant Bush'
Sedum spectabile
Sempervivens arachnoideum
Trachycarpus fortunei 'Windmill Palm'
Velthemia bracteata
Viburnum davidii

Epiphytic cactus

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Open Garden, 350 Chaparral Street, Salinas

Ellen Willmott, hybrid tea, 1935
Visit my garden on Sunday, May 27, noon to 5 p.m. Gardening public welcome. All parking is on the street. Enter the back yard through the side gate.

I haven't opened my garden for viewing in 7 years and hope that this opportunity will bring many visitors. Several of the roses have been in the garden since 1993 and are showing at their very best this season.

It's an eclectic selection which includes hybrid teas, floribundas, miniatures, shrubs and climbers. I have a good sampling of damask, alba, hybrid perpetuals, polyanthas, species and noisettes as well. I also have an array of succulents and other garden plants which should be of interest.

Baronne Prévost, hybrid perpetual, 1841 -Winner, Best Old Garden Rose at the 2018 Monterey Bay Rose Society show.
The rose pictured above was one of a dozen roses clusters that bush produced. The fragrance is awesome.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Annual Rose Show is this Saturday

Judges from Central California review all the blooms at a Rose Show
Join rose lovers from around the Monterey Bay at Alladin's Nursery and Gift Shop 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, for the 2018 Monterey Bay Rose Society's Annual Rose Show. The show features some of the best flowers grown by experienced professionals and passionate novices. Samples of the many forms of America's National Flower will be on display to delight the senses - except maybe touch. Watch out for the thorns.
Perfect Moment, a past Queen of Show

Got a rose you'd like identified? Bring a sample to the show and one of the consulting rosarians will do his or her best in telling you what it is.

In addition to the roses, Alladin's offers music, wine tasting, and delicious food from the grill.

Dazzling display of rose sprays
 Alladin's Nursery is one of the oldest, independently owned and operated garden centers along the Central Coast with hundreds of plants and garden items for sale. It's approaching its 100th birthday and is located at 2905 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville.

Exotic and unusual flowers are always on display
Exit Highway One on Green Valley Road. Drive to Freedom Blvd and turn left. Continue to Alladin's Nursery. Got questions? Call them at 831-724-7517.

More photos from past rose shows:
Northern California Nevada Hawaii judeges: Linda Burk, Jolene Adams, Barbara Gordon and clerk Karl Dosht

Much more information on the Monterey Bay Rose Society home page.