One of the big surprises this year was the full blossoming of the Erysimum Bowles Mauve. Last year I described it as a plant that withstood the deer and rabbits, and provided a sparse blossom here and there on a lovely spiral shoot above a mound of green. This year I was amazed to find it blossoming entirely over it’s round, leafy green base. I was expecting a few shoots with flower, but I was amazed to discover a full display of lavender-colored blossoms!
This is a plant I will seek out again for this tough environment. There is an orange variety that may be worth the experiment. (The plant below the eyrisimum is a creeping rosemary.)
This is another attractive pine tree, the Pinus leucodermis. I have it placed in the front yard near the Weeping Pine. By now you have probably noticed how many evergreens I have planted. They can survive the heat and wind in this region (Zone 7). Generally the evergreens can also withstand browsing deer, but I fence many of them to protect from male bucks scraping their antlers on the tender limbs, ripping them from the tree trunk. Also, during the winter as food sources become scarce the deer attempt to nibble needles from limbs within their reach. The younger the tree, the more tender the needles and bark, and the more vulnerable.
My tree planting project includes 5 young Ponderosa Pines. This photo shows an Incense Cedar in the foreground and Ponderosa Pines in the background running along the top edge of the parking area at my home.
The Cedrus libani “Glauca Pendula” is another decorative tree that adds unique shape and interest to a landscape. I planted this one in the front yard where I can enjoy it’s unusual beauty from my living room.
Species Pinus Aristata may be so named because it is somewhat of an aristocrat among trees. Or, that is how I think of it because of the first 5 letters of the second term of it’s formal name. This is a slow-growing tree that develops a thick, gnarly trunk in it’s old age. In it’s youth it is interesting with its angular limb shapes.
I purchased a 4-ft Deodar Cedar for an area on the final switchback to the top of my property. This cedar grows quite large and needs an area where it can sprawl. It is known for its graceful limbs, with new growth that droops somewhat. I planted this tree in memory of Paramhansa Yoganada who had one at Mount Washington, Los Angeles area, as it reminded him of his home country, India.
The tree planting project began in November of 2014 with the help of Plant Oregon nursery in Talent, Oregon. They efficiently got me started with over 20 trees, mostly sequoias and ponderosa pines. Then I began adding additional trees as I could manage, interrupted by an illness I’ll discuss at the end of this post.
Plant Oregon returned last week to replace three Sequoias that didn’t make it through the first year; they also brought some additional trees I selected, mostly blue spruces.
Below I’m listing my inventory of trees along with their species names if I have located them. In a forthcoming entry I’ll begin including some specific information on the more interesting, decorative trees, along with photos.
First, those trees obtained from Plant Oregon:
- 17 Sequoias Sequoiadendron giganteum (most for purpose of windbreak)
- 5 Ponderosa Pines Pinus ponderosa (for beauty & windbreak)
- 1 Colorado Blue Spruce
- 1 Fat Albert Blue Spruce Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’
- 3 “Kaibab” Blue Spruce Picea pungens ‘Kaibab’
- 1 Bosnian Pine Pinus leucodermis
- 1 Bristlecone Pine Pinus aristata
- 4 Japanese Zelkova Zeklkova serrata
- 1 Weeping Cedar Cedrus libani ‘Glauca Pendula’
- 2 Incense Cedar Calocedrus decurrens
Additional trees I’ve planted:
- 1 Deodar Cedar Cedrus deodora
- 1 Dwarf Alberta Spruce Picea glauca
- 13 Arizona Cypress Cupressus arizonica (for purpose of windbreak)
- 1 Flowering Cherry ‘Little Twist’ Prunusincisa ‘CarltonLT’
- 2 Redwoods Sequoia sempervirens (potted from bare roots; will transplant in 1-2 years)
One year ago, April 2105, I lost some activity in the yard due to a serious illness that landed me in the hospital. Fortunately I had all the first group of trees fenced by then after a buck came through and scraped some of the tree limbs off about 8 trees. They are surviving well now. The fencing also seems to help protect the trees from strong winds. In a few years I’ll remove the fencing or re-size some of the fencing on the more vulnerable trees.
My illness was brought about by some rodent or ground squirrel building a nest in an air filter located in the console area of my car. I had been breathing some pathogen and had pulmonary/breathing difficulty which the doctor could not confirm even after I had a heart seizure and x-rays were taken, along with other cardio tests as well. It wasn’t until I got my car serviced that the nest was found in the car and the air circulation system cleaned with a disinfectant. Subsequently I found a botanical rodent repellent I keep in and around where I park my car. The item is called “Fresh Cab” and comes in small packets and deters these creatures. I also keep some of these botanical packets in my pantry and where I store grass & flower seeds.