Sunday, January 26, 2014

Showing and Sharing the Wonderful World of Proteaceae

This week I had the privilege to show and share a little of my passion for Proteaceae with over 200 members of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla.  The focus of their January meeting was Horticulture and Dr. Peter Sacks, MD, a dear friend & former owner of Zorro Protea Farm, and I were invited to do a presentation on "The Wonderful World o f Proteaceae".

The Village Garden Club was founded in 1974 by a small group of women with fresh ideas and lots of enthusiasm.  Now,39 years later they have a strong membership of 425, each contributing and sharing their own unique talents.  Their club is one of the most dynamic in the Palomar District in California, providing an outstanding schedule of programs, field trips, workshops and other activities throughout the year.

Our presentation began with Dr. Sacks discussing the history of Proteaceae from the days of Gondwanaland to its introduction to California soil in the early 70's.  He also talked about the unique and interesting variations between the South African and Australian genera, as well as the differences between a protea cultivar and a hybrid.

As the California Protea Farmer, my presentation covered the growing aspects of Proteaceae from the soil requirements, to watering, fertilizing and pruning as well as how they can be incorporated into home gardens or planted in pots.  I also shared pictures of protea arrangements, bouquets and of course a wreath!

The podium was graced with an amazing display of our morning's protea harvest.

A protea wreath was predominantly displayed on stage and was later auctioned off to the highest bidder to raise funds for the Garden Club's community projects.

Dozens of gorgeous protea bouquets and plants were on hand for the members to enjoy and take home.

This event was all about Showing & Sharing the Joy of Horticulture and our Passion for growing Proteaceae.

Many thanks to Gleneva Belice, the Village Garden Club of La Jolla's 1st Vice President, for making Proteaceae the club's passion for the month!

The Village Garden Club of La Jolla's theme for 2013-2014:

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wattle: A Burst of Winter Sunshine

It's not uncommon during these first few weeks of January to see beautiful fluffy yellow balls hanging or intertwine in the branches and leaves of the Wattle Trees or as we call them - Acacia.  These small flowers bloom in clusters that almost look like they're one flower and can range from pale, creamy yellow to bright yellow.  Like little bursts of winter sunshine, Wattle has its own sweet scent that varies from one variety to the next and some, like the Golden Wattle, have been used to make perfume.

Did you know that these fluffy yellow flowers have a special meaning and sentiment to many Australians?  During World War I it was a common practice to place a sprig of Wattle inside letters to soldiers to remind them of home.  Today, Golden Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia, and Wattle Day is celebrated on September 1st.

As a cut flower, it's best to choose a bunch that has only about one third of its flowers open and lots of fresh green foliage.  Wattle mixed with colorful winter Leucadendron like Inca Gold and Tricolor will certainly add a spark of winter sunshine to any spot in your home or office.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Serruria - From Nearly Extinct to Our First Harvest

Serruria is one of the most delicately beautiful flowers of the Proteaceae family and has achieved something of a connoisseur status among designers, partly because of its relative rarity in cultivation and because of its soft color, unique look and wonderful texture.

Did you know Serruria Florida was extinct for nearly 100 years in the wild in South Africa until an accidental fire germinated seeds in the Fransch Hoek Mountains?  Fortunately, conservation efforts in the 1960's and 70's saved it and now this beautiful flower is being grown and harvested in many parts of the world.

This week we added Rainbow to the list of places Serruria is now being cutivated!  We've waited for this moment for many years - searching for the plants and cuttings, learning to understand and manage their tender nature and locating the perfect spot to plant them.  As you can see the wait was definitely worth it, we harvested many beautiful stems of California Grown Serruria and it was certainly a cause for Celebration!

In the years ahead, we plan to increase our production of Serruria and hopefully make Rainbow home to a few more varieties of this delightful genus from South Africa's Cape.

Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Just as a new bloom spreads fragrance and freshness around....
May the new year add a new beauty and freshness into your life!

From all of us here at Resendiz Brothers
we wish you all the very best in 2014!