2013-10-22

All things Oriental . . . A glimpse of Pan Pacific Design Elements

Zen Gardens

Japanese rock gardens have become known in the West as Zen gardens. The term was probably first used in 1935 by the American writer Loraine Kuck in her book “100 Gardens of Kyoto.” It has since also found its way into the Japanese language (“Zen Niwa being the name in Japanese).
The Zen garden has an impressive and lengthy history of use in Japan. The most famous is the dry garden, which is called a “Karesansui.” This word translates into “Dry Mountain and Water Garden” and to create the look, rocks and gravel are used representing the sea or ocean instead of water. It will be carefully raked to create the vision of waves on the 'waters' surface. The rocks themselves represent islands or rock formations jutting out from the water. The overall goal is to create a small-scale recreation of a view of a beautiful coastal scene.

This style of garden is created with balance of of both natural and man-made elements.
It is a place to go that takes away the stress of daily life, and lets you relax - enjoying peaceful contemplation.
One may rake and re-rake the sand and gravel into new patterns to simulate the changes that oceans go through. Likewise, our lives experience similar changes, meaning that the physical act of raking will become the vehicle of meditation and the careful consideration of the pattern one creates is based on ones feelings on that day. This simple and peaceful act of raking - helps one to focus.

  • It takes careful planning and design insight to create tranquility in a busy world. 
  • Without planning, a Zen garden can look contrived and out of balance. 
  • Consider whether or not this kind of garden will be in conflict within its surroundings?  

Because a Zen garden is based upon a simple style, and strong character, it may be best to separate it from the rest of the garden with a wall or fence. One of the primary differences between a Zen garden and other Oriental Style gardens is that Zen gardens do not have many if any living elements in them.  Although grass may sometimes be included, no other plant or flower species will be found in a classic Zen garden. This can be both unusual and exotically appealing to people with no past experience with the history and meaning of a Zen garden.

 

References

http://www.monrovia.com/design-inspiration/zen/ Ortho Books. Creating Japanese Gardens. The Scotts Company. 1989.
Sawano, Takashi. Creating Your Own Japanese Garden. Shufunotomo Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan. 1999.

2013-02-15

Good Ol' Gum Trees

 
Illyarrie - Eucalyptus erythrocorys
A Mallee from Western Australia. It is a small tree, 3-10m tall. The bark is smooth but can have a few rough patches where it persists on the trunk instead of being shed.

The Illyarrie is notable for its big flowers which can be 5 cm across or more. They are bright yellow, being covered by a bright-red cap (operculum) in bud - giving the epithet erythrocorys (red-helmet). The stamens are arranged in 4 bundles and the fruits are ribbed with a red top
 
 
Eucalyptus torquata
This tree's thin branches sometimes droop form the weight of its many coral red and yellow flowers and .5 inch long, grooved seed capsules. Foliage is light to golden green ranging from long and slim to round. Well placed as a grove for its exceptional flower display. The foliage of nearly all species has a strong pungent odor similar to menthol.

2013-01-30

Hybrid Tea Rose Compendium


Hybrid  Tea Roses

The hybrid tea is one of the most popular form of the modern rose after 1945. 
It is the classic, single-long stem cut flower.  It is a vase-shaped bush with upright stems; each topped with usually just one flower. The average hybrid tea repeats its bloom on each stem every 6 weeks and grows 4-5 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.  There are some varieties that don’t produce a superior flower until their second year.  There are some hybrid tea roses can produce multiple flowers per stem when growing vigorously.  These extra buds may be removed (when first noticed) for best flower quality (a technique called dis-budding).  A few varieties that require extensive dis-budding are noted in the list.  Some heavily petaled varieties tend to “ball” in early spring.  The bud enlarges but won’t open because the moisture from drizzle, mist or dew is making the petals stick together.  Removing “balled” buds encourages the next round of blooms.  This affect is more common near the coast, than inland areas.

Rose  Rating  Scale: 
Ratings are based on color, fragrance, form, lasting quality, disease resistance, and abundance of bloom. 
Roses are scored from 1 to 10; 10 being nearly perfect.
Roses with a rating of 8 or higher are a reflection of superior characteristics.  

Mildew is the single most commonly encountered problem, therefore resistance to it is an important attribute when selecting roses. 
Mildew is a fungus that looks like a thin white or gray coating on the surface of developing foliage, stems and buds.  Mildew can distort or even halt further growth. 
No rose is totally immune to fungus. Blackspot is another common problem with some roses.

Mildew Ratings - aka (MR)
MR=10, 9 have the strongest resistance.
MR=8, 7, 6 have good resistance, but may get some mildew as the ratings go lower.
MR=5, 4, 3 will get mildew if not treated. 
               
Descriptions are no substitute for a good photograph.  Be aware that rose colors do change during different weather conditions and that photos on the internet are generally more accurate than coloring shown in a printed catalog. 

Exhibition Roses have classic upward facing blooms with spirally arranged petals tightly wound with a high center, while the outer petals are wide open and slightly reflexed.  The stems are long and straight.  

Fragrance is normally strongest on a sunny day with little air movement and moderate temperatures.  Be aware that old noses don’t detect fragrances as well as younger noses.   Fragrance is difficult to quantify. 
         
Photos of each rose can be seen by viewing our supplier’s websites:







2013-01-28

Bare Root Roses



Bare root roses look nasty when they come from the nursery with their brown roots and dormant stem, but the rewards are many.
Step 1:
Find a spot for your Bare Root Rose that gets at least five hours of full sun and dig a hole approximately 20 inches wide and 16 inches deep.
Add 2 cups well composted material or potting soil, 1 cup sand and 2 oz rose care pelleted fertilizer - mix well, add 2 times the amount of on-site soil (where you just dug the hole) in a bucket. Mix together.
Form a mound of the mixture in the bottom of the hole.
Step 2:
Position the bare root rose on the soil mound.
In warmer climates, position the bare root rose so that the bud union is at or just above ground level.
In colder climates, position the bud union 1 to 2" below ground level.
Step 3:
Work the soil mixture around the bare roots to eliminate any air pockets.
Firm soil around the roots and add more soil until the hole is 3/4 full.



Step 4:
To help the plant settle in, fill the hole with water and let it soak in, then refill.
Trim canes ONLY if they are damaged or leggy, making angled cuts 1/4 inch above outward facing buds.

Step 5:
Create a 6-inch soil mound over the plant to protect canes from drying out.
When buds sprout - about two weeks - remove the mound.


The Central and Southern California Regions:


AHS Heat Zones
5 to 12

USDA Hardiness Zones
5 to 10

From the sunny beaches of California to the blistering deserts of the Southwest, this region is marked by nearly year-round sunshine and little rain. Roses bloom from April through December in the more temperate parts, while they take a rest during August and September in the great deserts, where searing temperatures vary little between day and night. There, roses have two seasons: spring and fall, with peak blooming in April and October. Ample irrigation is key. Soils may be alkaline or sand: it's important to amend with plenty of organic matter. The best roses are heat tolerant, and tend to bear darker leaves and bloom in more intensely saturated colors.

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