Monday, January 22, 2018

Protea Nitida

Commonly known as waboom (Afrikaans for wagon tree) and botanically known as Protea nitida or arborea. This is a South African shrub, native to the dry slopes of South Africa where it often attains a knotted picturesque habit, has both functional and ornamental uses. In Africa waboom was traditionally used to make ink and construct wheel-wheels.

However, this protea is also a lovely shrub or tree with large, ivory flowers and beautiful foliage. Waboom has long, oval leaves that are leathery and fully evergreen. They emerge opaque magenta but mature to a light bluish 'sea-green' or silver. Large, white flowers bloom mainly during the winter and early spring. Each blossom opens from a tidy bud to an impressive flower with creamy-white spike-like stamens. Once the flowers dry, beautiful pods remain to be enjoyed.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Designing with the Fallbrook Garden Club

“I must have flowers, always and always,” said Claude Monet.

We couldn’t agree with him more! But in January, for many gardeners it’s easier said than done. The garden is relatively sparse and those bare-root plants are just starting to get their feet wet. Attempting to create your own winter floral display can feel a bit like decorating Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

But that’s not to say the gardeners or ‘Monets’ among us are out of luck. On Saturday morning we teamed up with several members of the Fallbrook Garden Club (and a lot of protea), and created winter arrangements that would warm up any home or office.

Our guests toured the greenhouse, nursery and packing house, and learned about propagating and growing protea. We even shared tips about what’s currently blooming in our fields and how to arrange them in a handy ‘re-useable’ container… something they’ll use again when their gardens are back in bloom.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

In the Field: Lady Di

Lady Di has just recently entered the Protea scene here in California and has done so in royal fashion! Considered a hybrid queen, this flower is a blend of P. magnifica (queen) and P. compacta. Lady Di has a medium-to-large bloom with a soft, velvety-pink appearance, obviously more compacta influence and lacking the woolly beards of the magnifica. The long floral bracts are plush and tipped in delicate white fur, then shading to cream at the base. The central peaked dome is silvery-pink, providing for a subtle yet noble combination. Lady Di blooms winter through early spring.

When harvested and mixed with other protea, there’s no doubt Lady Di is majestic!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cal Poly Float Certified CA Grown

Before the Cal Poly Universities’ float made its debut down Colorado Boulevard, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, in partnership with the Buy California Marketing Agreement (BCMA), recognized the students and advisors in a special ceremony for sourcing exclusively California grown flowers and foliage. To earn this special certification, a float must be decorated with more than 85 percent of its flowers and greens from California, and ‘kudos’ to this year’s Cal Poly Float for being nearly 97 percent. This is the seventh year that the university has received this certification.

Named “Dreams Take Flight,” the float was designed to inspire the audience to join the young animals’ journey to take flight, in much the same way that Cal Poly students journey through college. The diversity of the animals represents the diversity of the Cal Poly Rose Float team. The team consists of students from both Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly, Pomona who travel over 200 miles to come together to design, build, and decorate a float.

This year not only was the Cal Poly Float Certified CA Grown, it was recognized with the Past President’s award for their innovative use of the floral – Congratulations Cal Poly Universities!