Narrow hedged or espalied California natives

To espalier a plant is to train it into a plane of growth such as on a flat trellis or a wall.  This cultivation technique lends itself to privacy screens and other narrow spaces such as property line plantings adjacent to a walkway or driveway.  Frequently, the same purpose is served by narrow hedges, which tend not to need the support of a trellis or wall, so I'll try to summarize both in this blog post.  Fruit trees such as citrus, apples, pears, and quince (yum) are frequently espaliered with success and are a delight to see.  Depending upon your garden sensibilities, a fruit tree espalier might be just the thing.  I won't dwell further on those here.

California native discussion after the jump break.


About 5" of rain in the last week; 8.98" total this rainy season

There were two significant storms this week in my area and together they brought us just over 5" of rain. Today, Los Angeles was ringed with mountains covered in snow - a rare and beautiful view.
12/23/2019 3.29
12/24/2019 0.04
12/26/2019 1.69


TPF purchases

I just learned that you can get email receipts for current purchases from TPF and historical receipts (if you are a member) back to 2016 or so. However, my requested emails haven't shown up, so I'm still hand-entering my purchases.

These are from 11/23/2019. During that visit, I stumbled upon a bunch of 2" plants that were left over from propagation and they were clearing them out at 6 for $6. They weren't root bound, having not spent much time languishing on the nursery shelf, so I grabbed some manzanitas, Leptodactylon californicum (Prickly Phlox), and Datura which I planted out or potted on (manzanita). 

Calystegia macrostegia 1G 2 $18.00
Malva 'Black Heart' 1D 1 9.00 planted on slope
Sambucus nigra ssp caerulea 2" 1 $2.70 potted on, for now
Stipa coronata (Achnatherum coronatum) 4" 3 $16.20
Lepechinia fragrans 'El Tigre' 1G $9.00 Planted on slope
Adenostoma fasciculatum var. fasciculatum 1G 10.80 Planted in front of house to replace one that was shaded to death by an adjacent plant
Carex preagracillis (seed) 1 Oz $25.60
Papaver heterophyllum seed 2 $9.00 - The lovely Wind Poppy, which is a fire follower, so perhaps I will soak in
Wind Poppy seed 2 $12.60
Including the $6 six pack, tax, and my member discount I was out of there for $136.66. They aren't giving this native plant stuff away, that's for sure. Also for sure is that the smaller plants are super cost-effective compared to the larger.

3.81" of rain so far this year

The first rains have come and gone and we are off to a good start for the rainy season. It's raining more as I type this, so I'm happy for the garden.

Date RecordedAmount (in.)

Timber post supplier

I've had a hard time finding poles or landscape timbers longer than 8'.  I can easily get dimensional lumber that is more than 8' in length, but for certain garden construction projects it really improves the project aesthetics to have a more rustic or natural look.

For example, in England we observed that climbing roses were often trained up a solitary pole, a practice I subsequently learned was called pillaring. Yes, it's a verb.  The poles resembled branches or trunks of small trees, which added to the naturalistic effect.  The major big box stores (HD, Lowes) have landscape timbers (flats on two opposite sides, curved on the adjacent sides) and poles in 8' lengths.  Armstrong had stakes (~2-1/2" diameter pressure treated round lumber) in 8' and 10' length.  These were all deemed too short (about 1/3 of the above-ground height should be in-ground for stability) and too thin (a substantial look is desire, so maybe a minimum of 4" diameter was wanted).  Ganahl had a similar 8' (max) selection, but referred me to my new favorite garden supplier C & E Lumber (CElumber.com).  They _specialize_ in posts.  Who ever heard of that??!  I can't wait to visit.