No one told me Daphnes were finicky. Just as well since I planted two over a decade ago. On at least three occasions landscapers and nurseryman applauded my success. What gardener doesn’t beam with pride at that? I sure do.
Then one died. Just like that. Did I mention they’re finicky?
I’m keeping my eye on the other one. The surviving Daphne is in bloom this week, the darling of the winter garden. Daphne Odora shines brightly with glossy leaves and deep pink to white flowers. The plant will remain in bloom through spring, when lots of other color joins in. Yippee!!!
Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin introduced soy beans and Kale to the US in his time. He wasn’t so much a gardener as a man interested in seed trade. His legacy includes inventing bifocals and the Franklin Stove, not to mention his role as one of the Founding Fathers of America. Happy birthday, Mr. Franklin . One of my favorite quotes:
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
This is an area where I have lots of room to grow. It’s also an interesting metaphor for the garden. Ask any plant, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Keep in the sunlight.
Summer Winds, a local nursery in the Almaden area of San Jose, burned to the ground late last night. I’m stunned. The cause is under investigation, but they think it was an accident. Summer Winds, formerly Woolworth Garden Center, has been there for 40 years.
Nurseries, I fear, are a dying breed. Many of the big box stores have garden centers, but it’s not the same as a nursery dedicated to all things plants. The Summer Winds gift shop was also a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed browsing there around the holidays. The nursery sold a wide selection of decorative pots, along with annuals, vegetables and garden fountains. In May of this year, I was shopping at Summer Winds when a hummingbird darted into the store. Oblivious to me and a handful of employees, she landed on a decorative arbor. She was busy building a nest right in the middle of the store! I couldn’t get my camera phone out fast enough to capture her flight, but I did take a picture of the nest.
Hummingbird Nest at Summer Winds Nursery, May 15, 2012
Summer is at an end, so I’m taking comfort in the fact that the nest would be empty by now. She may have reconsidered the location in the first place. With all that activity she probably decided to nest elsewhere.
The after-hours fire started around midnight with no reported injuries. Although the fire department was quickly on the scene, they took the unusual step of letting the fire burn itself out. Knowing the store was full of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, they wanted to avoid ground water contamination of nearby Guadalupe River.
It’s a sad day for gardeners in the Valley. I hope they rebuild.
Details of the fire in the Mercury News.
Yamagami’s Nursery, located in Cupertino California, has been around since 1948. In a town known for tech behemoth Apple, inc. the nursery is a delightful throw back to a simpler time. Taro Yamagami originally sold fruit from a stand on the same spot, gradually giving way to plants. It became a full-fledged nursery by the early 1950s and it remains today in its original location. If you ask any serious gardener in the Valley, chances are they’ve heard of and shopped at Yamagami’s.
Glazing Ball (I’m too clumsy to own one)
We actually left empty-handed on a recent trip, but not for lack of wanting. We were in search of beneficial insects and eventually resorted to the web since our request was somewhat obscure. They sell ladybugs, earthworms and Praying Mantis eggs but no Lacewings.
The nursery walkabout is always fun. It’s a spacious two acres, with interesting plants tucked in with gorgeous pots, garden ornaments and a help center. I always feels at home. When we were there in July they posted a sign alerting guests to the nesting bird in a nearby plant: “Shhh quiet please, bird nesting. This plant is temporarily not for sale.” I snapped a photo at a respectful distance. Even the neighboring birds feel at home.
Quiet Please, Bird Nesting
In addition to the nursery, Yamagami’s has a helpful website and a monthly newsletter covering soup to nuts issues around gardening. You can subscribe to their newsletter here.
If you’re planning a visit to Apple headquarters, be sure to visit the nursery as well.
In the meantime, here is a virtual tour of Apple, Inc. and a few more snapshots from Yamagami’s.
Yamagami’s Nursery Collage