Trailing Jade – Senecio jacobsenii

Trailing Jade – Senecio jacobsenii – I am growing a few of these and love them! They are pretty tough and grow in a variety of situations. Of course, the more stressed they are, the more color they will have, plus this variety tends to bloom prolifically when it’s growing under tougher conditions.

 

Oh, rats!

Oh, rats!

Oh, rats!  I mean that literally.  The rats are out of control in my yard.  This is different than the occasional sighting. I don’t mind the periodic rodent issue, but they have crossed a line. They are eating my succulents!  The rats have crossed over from cute to not so cute.  It’s me against them!

In the picture at the right, the top pot was a beautiful lush plant that hung down to the pot at the bottom.  You can see the purple pieces laying in the bottom pot. 🙁
This is now an unattractive graptoveria.  This plant has been stripped of most of its succulent leaves.
Although I haven’t actually seen it in action, I can just see the rats sitting on top of this pot and reaching down as far as their little paws can reach to pick the leaves of this sedum.
This crassula was so pretty and covered the pot before it became an entree for the rats.  ….sigh….

I want to look on the bright side and say that I have the opportunity to buy some more plants but I can’t even be enthusiastic about replacing anything if it will just suffer the same fate.  Stay tuned…..

Jacaranda

Jacaranda

What else could I feature this week but the beautiful Jacaranda tree aka Jacaranda mimosifolia.  I’m always amazed when I hear complaints about this tree being so messy but there’s a trade-off, and this one is definitely worth the hassle of sticky flowers.

Jacaranda trees grow well in USDA Zones 9-11. They prefer enriched sandy, well-drained soils but are tolerant of most soil types. This tree will tolerate some shade, but prefers bright, sunny conditions for a more productive bloom. Once the tree is established it is fairly drought-tolerant.  Jacaranda trees are native to Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas. We have Kate Sessions to thank for these beautiful trees.  She is credited with introducing them to San Diego.

There is something magical about a carpet of purple/lavender flowers freshly fallen.  I also love coming back to Coronado and seeing the faint spots of purple color visible when you come over the bridge from San Diego.

Here are some info links:

San Diego Zoo
San Diego Botanic Garden
University of California Cooperative Extension
Missouri Botanical Garden

Chompers

Chompers

Okay, I had a beautiful basil plant growing, until this morning.  Something chomped it to nubs.  I don’t think it is caterpillars but I’m not sure what could have done damage that quickly.  Yikes!

I cut the whole plant way down, just about the bud nodes on each branch.  Time will tell if it will come back but I’m hopeful!

Succulent Bonsai

Succulent Bonsai

I have been having fun with my succulent bonsai trees.  This one is coming along nicely.  It’s a Crassula Ovata commonly known as a jade plant.  The variety pictured here is ‘Ogre Ears’ or ‘Shrek’s Ears’ which I think is a perfect description of the leaves. This variety seems to be much more tolerant and trainable than the more common crassula argentea.

I am having fun with this project.  It takes a bit of patience but there’s a lot of room for error if you make a regrettable branch cut.  I am starting to pinch the ends of the crassula argentea variety because they tend to get a bit leggy and I’ve had a number of branches falling off.  I’m hoping the pinching will promote more bushiness and hopefully smaller leaves.  Time will tell.

To give you some scale, the oval pot measures about 3 x 4  inches across and about 3 inches high.  

I was looking at the tree and it seemed a bit “crowded” was time for a trim.  The branch I’m holding is the one I decided to cut back.  

I only removed one branch but I think the tree looks much more balanced.  

Wild Fruit Before Domestication

Wild Fruit Before Domestication

Wild fruit before domestication look very different than we would recognize today.  I thought this video was very interesting!

Fibonacci Numbers

Fibonacci Numbers

I am not much of a math person, but the first time I learned about Fibonacci numbers, it opened up a whole new perspective on numbers and how it is all connected to nature.  This video is a beautiful demonstration of Nature in Numbers.   Happy Easter!

San Diego Climate Zones

San Diego County has six major climate zones which is important to know when you are planting.  The San Diego County Water Authority breaks down the different zones to help guide you in your planting choices to manage your water resources efficiently and grow plants that are suited well to your environment. WIthin these climate ranges are microclimates, more specific to conditions of a particular location.  A good example of this might be living in a valley or on a hillside where wind and sun might be variables dramatic enough to create different growing environments with a a climate zone.

San Diego’s Six CIMIS Climate Zones