Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Folsom Garden Club ... Going Strong for over 67 Years!

One of the CA Natives shown at the FGC meeting, Heteromeles arbutifolia

I just finished off a series of spring garden club talks a couple of weeks ago with a presentation at  the Folsom Garden Club. It's a lively club. Lots of active members, goooooood snacks, a lending library ... and me! This club was started in 1934 and at my table was one of the original  members. I was there to talk about curb appeal in the 21st century. Had a slick PowerPoint presentation. But, in this learn-as-you-go-world, found the presentation fell a bit flat, due to the many windows letting light stream with no window coverings ... well, you can imagine. Luckily, they were good sports, and so was I (... it  helped that I had brought some great show and tell Ca natives, loaned for the occasion by Windmill Nursery in Carmichael.) Here's the info that would-a been seen on the screen if it could-a been seen:

Garrya elliptica “James Roof”
Coast Silktassle

Garrya elliptica

 I first spied this tree at the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park. It had these amazing drooping things that looked like they'd been macramed. Daisy Mah told me it was a Coast Silktassle and the decorative things were male catkins! Oh, my ...
  • Evergreen shrub to small tree with 10” yellowish male catkins in the spring
  • Best with moderate water and part shade until established
  • Can become drought tolerant, but do best with water every 2 weeks or on the edge of a garden. Generally not the choice of deer.
  • Grows multi-stemmed from base arching to 8 – 12’ tall and wide, or can be pruned to resemble a tree as in picture below.
(Suggestion: don't stand in parking lot taking pictures while ignoring the cars or you, too, may get a little surprise bump from a car backing out!)

Calliandra californica
Baja Fairy Duster

Calliandra californica
Isn't this the sweetest? Who would guess this could become a 4' tall, drought tolerant plant?
  • Open, architectural evergreen shrub grown for its gray foliage, wonderful red fairy duster flowers, and zigzag patterned stems.
  • Can become a rounded shrub to 4’ tall and wide in hot locations.
  • Zones 10 - 24
Calliandra californica
 (a nylon stocking catches fairy duster seed at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sunland, CA)

Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita B.O.P.’
Foothill Penstemon
Penstemon heterophyllus, Magarita B.O.P.
The color on this penstemon is truly lovely.
  • Evergreen, grows to 1.5 - 2’ x 2’
  • Garden tolerant and resistive to disease
  • No summer water, disease resistant, cold hardy, deer resistant.
  • Hummingbirds and butterflies
  • UCD All-Star

Escholtzia Californica ‘Mission Bells’

Escholtzia Californica
this is our regular CA poppy with Blue Pimpernell
  • Attracts birds, deer resistant, needs little water.
  • Self-seeds and flowers again, year after year, withstanding drought.
  • Full sun, thrives where warm and dry.
  • Grows 1’ tall

Heteromeles arbutifolia
Hollywood sign by Mr. Littlehand
Hollywood sign, a photo by Mr. Littlehand on Flickr.
  • 8’ evergreen shrub
  • Large dark green leaves, red berries in winter (food for birds)
  • Sun/light shade, most soils, drought tolerant
  • Hardy to 20 degrees
  • Hoo-ray for Hollywood! Why Hollywood? Because this native was there in abundance in the early naming days, It has berries. They called it, "Hollywood"! The rest is history.

Malacothamnus palmeri ‘Hanging Basket’
  • Evergreen shrub to 6’
  • Full sun, well-drained soil, hardy to 15 degrees, drought tolerant
  • Use on banks, in dry borders or for naturalizing.

Ribes speciosum
Fuchsia Flowering Gooseberry
    Ribes speciosum
    (picture courtesy of Windmill Nursery)
  • Bush Mallow from Monterey County with gray leaves and congested heads of pink flowers in summer.
  • 4’ nearly evergreen shrub, fuchsia-like flowers Jan. – May
  • Spiny stems and fruits with glossy green leaves
  • Morning sun, high shade, good drainage, tolerates clay
  • Hummingbird plant
Heterotheca villosa ‘San Bruno Mountain”
California Golden Aster

Heterotheca villosa
(picture courtesy of Windmill Nursery)
  • This low growing perennial of the aster family makes a dense mat of trailing stems.
  • Begins to bloom in the late spring, and if occasionally irrigated and sheared, will continue to the fall.
  • Sun or light shade, moderate to occasional water, cold hardy
  • Leave old flower seed heads for the birds

Heuchera ‘Canyon Delight’
Alum Root/Coral Bells
  • Non-invasive, “half- native” result from crossing CA mountain coral bells and the vivid red coral bells of Arizona.
  • Needs part shade here and moderately drought tolerant.
  • Lovely massed around native oaks.
  • Foot long sprays of flowers above a tight mound of green foliage
Salvia microphylla ‘Berzerkeley’
  • Clouds of deep rose pink flowers
  • Dense compact 2’ tall by 6’wide
  • Sun to mostly shade
  • Blooms spring to late fall
  • hummingbirds
The Folsom Garden Club just finished its annual spring tour. I've been invited for a private tour of two of these gardens, so I'll be posting more pictures from this great group soon. Stay tuned. And, if you have a hankering to hang out with other garden loving people, perhaps meet some new friends with whom you can swap seeds and go to gardening events with, consider joining a neighborhood club.

Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help!
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

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