Garden News

Horticulturalist’s Report – July 2014
In April 2014, the Gardens received a special projects grant from the American Penstemon Society to fund our proposal to introduce Garden visitors to the beauty and range of form of Penstemons. The Dunsmuir High School senior class helped us prepare the bed for planting and on May 20, 2014, the bed was planted with 35 plants of 10 Penstemon species. More species will be added this fall. The genus Penstemon has the largest number of species of any flowering plant group in North America. Of the more than 250 species in this genus, 53 are native to California and 17 are native to Siskiyou County. Come watch our Penstemons grow as the seasons progress!

Horticulturalist’s Report – May 2014
The Gardens are full of color. Pink bleeding hearts, red, white and mixed rhododendron blooms and a wall of white Viburnum color. I’ve never seen the small Viburnum trees lining the edge of meadow give such a powerful display. We pruned them back last year and the timing must have been perfect because they’re just loaded with flowers. The Viburnum macrocephalum v. ‘Sterile’ or Chinese Snowball has 6 to 8-inch flower clusters of sterile and fertile flowers giving a lacecap effect.

Horticulturalist’s Report – March 2014
Signs of life are appearing all over the Gardens. As the days lengthen and temperatures warm up, flower buds are pushing, fern fiddleheads are emerging and some bulb flowers are beginning to show color. I’m calculating the number of plants to order for annual color in the Gardens. Which plants to use? What new varieties are showing up in the catalogs and horticulture magazines? Our volunteer planting day is Saturday, May 17th. Hope to see you then.

Horticulturalist’s Report – November 2013
The annuals and hostas have faded away. October’s riot of color has fallen to the ground and been cleaned up. Now the quiet time in the Gardens begins. No longer upstaged by foreground plants, the majestic forest trees – Doug Firs, Incense Cedars and Ponderosa Pines – take center stage now. They stand in silent vigil as we await the first winter snow.

Horticulturalist’s Report – October 2013
It’s a riot of color in the Gardens! This fall seems like one of the most colorful I can remember. Temperatures, moisture and day length resulted in the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. In the Glade Garden, the new ‘Forest Pansy’ and ‘Hearts of Gold’ eastern redbuds provide a beautiful display joined in by the practically electric Stewartia. Along the Meadow the Japanese maples show a wide variety of colors and leaf shapes, counterpointed by the red of dogwoods throughout the Gardens.

Horticulturalist’s Report – September 2013
Epilobium canum, California fuchsia, is blooming in the crevice rock garden.  Two varieties are currently showing off their blooms: the orange-red ‘Mattole Select’ and the soft pink ‘Solidarity Pink”.  Hummingbirds have been spotted drinking nectar from the tubular flowers growing in several locations among the rocks.

Epilobium canum was previously known as Zaushneria californica until taxonomists renamed it.  It is a perennial California native that is also found outside California, but is confined to western North America.

On October 12, 2013, the California Native Plant Society will be holding its fall native plant sale at the Shasta College farm and greenhouses in Redding.  The sale will be held from 8am to 2pm.  The plant list on their website shows that they will have Epilobium canum ‘Mattole Select’ for sale that day.

Horticulturalist’s Report – August 2013
Many of the “busy lizzie” impatiens we planted in May collapsed last week after the weather turned cooler. Especially hit hard were the impatiens that received heavy, overhead watering in the Stage and Kelly’s gardens. Turns out that a fungus affecting Impatiens walleriana has been spreading across the country. Downey Impatiens Mildew is epidemic in Florida and has been moving north and west. It’s spread by airborne spores. Unfortunately, the spores can live in the soil for many years.
Impatiens walleriana has been the “go to” annual color plant in the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens for many years. It thrives in shade and is easy to grow. However, this will be its last appearance in the Gardens for some years to come. Next year they’ll be replaced by New Guinea Impatiens, coleus, begonias or dusty miller; other plants that do well in shade and are resistant to the fungus.