• Garden Report – February 2013

    Garden Report –  February 2013


    Note: After some welcomed wet weather, oxalis has been showing off its brillant yellow blooms as well as Bird of Paradise and ornamental pear trees. The good news is that spring is about a month away.



    What is Blooming Now:  Narcissus 



    Narcissus is a genus of mainly hardy, mostly spring-flowering, bulbous perennials in the Amaryllis family, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. Various common names including daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some of the genus. They are native to meadows and woods in Europe, North Africa and West Asia, with a center of distribution in the Western Mediterranean. The number of distinct species varies widely depending on how they are classified, with the disparity due to similarity between species and hybridization between species. The number of defined species ranges from 26 to more than 60, depending on the authority. Species and hybrids are widely used in gardens and landscapes.



    Bonus: I purchase my bulbs in bulk from Bill the Bulb Barron.  If you are interested in a bulk purchase, please contact him at billthebulbbaron@aol.com, www.billthebulbbaron.com; (831) 236-8397, William R.P. Welch, 1031 Cayuga Street. Santa Cruz. CA 95062.  



    Tree of the Month: Pyrus calleryana, Callery pear


    The Callery pear is the Santa Barbara street tree on East Guetierrez Street between Milpas Street and Salinas Street. That is Sycamore Canyon, Eucalyptus Hill, and Montecito Peak in the background. 



    In much of North America, cultivars of P. calleryana are so widely planted as ornamental trees that they have become a ubiquity in many urban and suburban communities. It is tolerant of a variety of soil types, drainage levels, and soil acidity. Its crown shape varies from ovate to elliptical. The symmetry of several cultivars lends to their use in somewhat formal settings, such as city streets, shopping centers, office parks, and industrial parks. Its dense clusters of white blossoms are conspicuous in early spring along the boulevards of many eastern United States towns. At the latitude of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the trees often remain green until mid-November, and in warm autumns, the colors are often a brilliant end to the fall color season, although in a cold year they may get frozen off before coloring. In the South, Callery pears tend to be among the more reliable coloring trees.

    Several cultivars of Callery pear are offered commercially, including ‘Aristocrat’, ‘Autumn Blaze’, ‘Bradford’ (the commonly planted Bradford pear), ‘Capital’, ‘Cleveland Select’, ‘New Bradford’, ‘Redspire’, and ‘Whitehouse’.


    Containers: Begonia and greens



    Begonias paired with a container can be a very pleasing addition to the landscape or patio. With around 1,500 species, Begonia is the sixth largest angiosperm genus.  The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs, and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous. The plants are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant; the male contains numerous stamens, and the female has a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. In most species, the fruit is a winged capsule containing numerous minute seeds, although baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are often large and variously marked or variegated, are usually asymmetric (unequal-sided).



    What is Buggin You?:  Scale on the Meyer lemon tree


    Yes, we are battling scale on one of the lemon trees so we packed up and drove to Yosemite to enjoy the view and bracing winter air. It was cold and beautiful…




    At the End of the Day: Go for a Walk on the Beach



    Summerland Beach at low tide during one of those beautiful Santa Barbara sunsets with the dogs in the lead. 



    Santa Barbara Weather Report by NOAA – 7 Day Forecast:


    This site, NOAA.gov, is a top priority for accurate weather reports and forecasts. Tune in a get up to date to adjust your irrigation system. 



    Waste Watchers: Recycle Kitchen Compost Bins and Systems


    Containment is the answer to dealing with what can be a smelly, buggy mess when you save food scraps in your kitchen for your compost project. Take a look at some options available at:


    Nature Mill

    Williams Sanoma

    Blanco Salon 




    Garden Tips:


        –    Start designing and planning your spring garden now

        –    Clean and sharpen your tools

        –    Control mosquitoes with fish delivered by Vector Control of Santa Barbara or 

              with “Mosquito Dunks” in small water features – available in liquid or granules

        –    Start an herb and vegetable garden  

        –    Always clean shears and clippers with a bleach solution to avoid spreading disease

        –    Lawn mowers spread grasses and weeds from lawn to lawn

        –    Set gopher traps and tell the ground squirrels to go home! 

        –    Conserve water by installing a thick layer of mulch and water in the morning      

        –    Replace your lawn with less water demanding plants

        –    Check landscape lighting timers to adjust for shorter daylight hours

        –    Snail bait by Sluggo is pet friendly and will biodegrade   



     Real Estate Services by Santa Barbara Brokers



    In addition to buyer and seller responsibilities, we have the unique ability to manage all aspects of your property to include your landscape. If you are looking for property to buy, we can help. If you want to sell your property, we can help.


     Charles Swegles, CPM 

     735 State Street Suite 613

     Santa Barbara, CA 93101





    As always, if you have any garden questions, please send me an e-mail.

    Jennifer Voss





    Credit given to Wikipedia for various content                                                                                 


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