Propagation - and Pot Pourri

I was tempted to title this blog "size does matter" but I thought that would be just a bit provocative.

Of course I meant the size of the pot. Both of the above are are Nasella lepida, foothill needlegrass, propagated at the same time. But the one on the left was planted from the seed flat directly into a gallon pot and the one on the right into a three-inch pot.

After potting the little guys on to the gallon pots a couple weeks ago, they have settled in and begun to green-up and grow. I was worried that they were permanently stunted.

I potted up all the three inch pots - my wonderful Mr Wood Rat trundled up load after load of soil for me - and they are mostly all doing well. The eriogonum giganteum is a bit iffy - I'll show that one later if it takes off.

Here's what the nasella lepida seedlings' wild mama looks like right now. (Well, could be their mama - I gathered seeds from various places on our property.) A bleached blond, seeds all spread to the wind.

The ones I planted directly in gallon pots have elegant silky seedheads now. But not ready for harvesting.

The native Zauschneria are proving also very easy to propagate.

Some penstemons we planted in pots, on the other hand, have not done as well as those planted directly in the ground.

In the "meadow" that I started earlier this year, after I weeded everything over a couple of fairly tedious days, there was nothing left but cudweed (which is a weedy but quite attractive native called Gnaphalium stramineum), and the penstemons - small but vibrant, and some now flowering (this photo was a couple weeks ago).

So - the meadow isn't exactly a roaring success in its first flush. The greyish stuff below is the cudweed.

Live and learn. Come Fall I'll put more in here and do more paths.

I look out on this area from where I sit here typing - and have been watching the coyote brush bush hosting in turn a lesser goldfinch, some wrens, and a cluster of bushtits - all very amusing! - Looks aren't everything, in a wildlife garden.

I also began edging and weeding on the chaparral slope - the next photo shows that area, which is to the left of the photo above, more or less.

You can see how steep the slopes are. I hope the zauschneria and nasella lepida will take hold, here, and other things TBD. Succulents are my latest thought. The scraggy things newly planted in the picture above are Lessingia filaginifolia, which if they fill in will be nice gray spreaders under the native manzanita, with little lavender daisy type flowers. I also, at random, really, planted beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) there last week. We'll see if the bunnies leave them alone. So far so good - but I did spray it with liquid fence too. I'm hoping the strawberries "take over" as people say they do.

I'm not planning very well, am I? I'm not very good at the aesthetic design side of things, it turns out. But I'm enjoying learning about propagation and hope to get better at it as time goes on.

Here are the very lovely seed pods of the fairy lanterns I showed pictures of a few posts ago. I gathered their seeds, which just dribble out of the bottom of these pods as they dry and open. Not sure if they'll grow from seed or not but I'll try.

Well, at the other end of Nature's propagation efforts (she said, valiantly trying to tie this post together with a theme) are the bees, of course. Here is a bee I caught last night while the soap plant blooms were open for business.

Finally, here is an odd shot a propos of nothing, taken at sunset a few days ago, of a little hummingbird resting. I'll call it - um, let's see. How about "bird on a wire."


Quite the nursery you and Mr. Wood Rat have going--congrats! Anything to promote Fairy Lanterns is a good thing. Fun to see it at the seed pod stage.
I happened on a roadside stand of Gnaphalium a couple months ago. I don't care if they're weedy if they can look like that, and I can see why you opted to keep them.

The notes on potting are really instructive. My first seed-grown nasellas went into the ground in the spring. Some took. Some sulked. All are brown now, hopefully just going through a bleach-blond moment and nothing more dire...
Anonymous said…
I'm interested to hear how the lessingia does and how you think it looks in the winter vs. the rest of the year. I've used this a few times recently, and although the written description says it spreads up to 9 ft., when I see it on native garden tours it seems to be planted within a foot or two of everything else. Of course, native gardeners are just as apt to fall victim to overplanting as gardeners everywhere, LOL!