Friday, July 27, 2012

Pinus kwangtungensis

Pinus kwangtungensis in the Cascadia Garden October 2011

Pinus kwangtungensis at Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

Pinus kwangtungensis at Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

Pinus kwangtungensis at Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

Pinus kwangtungensis cones from the Cascadia Garden

Kwangtung Pine is a beautiful tree.  I'm completely enchanted by the specimen I got from Terra Nursery (in Redmond, WA) at a Northwest Horticultural Society plant sale in 2006.  It has been popular with tourists at the Cascadia Garden, always receiving positive comments.  The blue-green color is excellent.  Both new & old cones are attractive.  It has taken well to life in a large pot.  I was excited to recognize the tree at the Washington Park Arboretum, along the east side of the East Drive near the Pacific Rim Garden, in November of 2011.  It has a very fine, slender form.  I would certainly plant it, if there were enough space.  In fact, I'd plant a grove.  According to the South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, P. R. China: Pinus kwangtungensis is a vulnerable species in China. It has often been confused, and even united, with Pinus fenzeliana; however, the two species are not considered here to be conspecific. It is found on hills, slopes, mountain ridges, summits at 500-1600 meters in N Guangdong, SW Guangxi, S Guizhou, Hainan, S Hunan & Vietnam.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch

Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch July 2012
 
Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch July 2012

Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch July 2012

Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch July 2012

 
Pelican Tea Garden Collective P-Patch July 2012

The Pelican Tea Garden must be the funkiest P-Patch in Seattle.  It is set perpendicular to the alley that runs behind The Kingfish Cafe between 19th Avenue E & 20th Avenue E, & between E Roy Street & E Mercer Street on Capitol Hill.  The setting is steeped in century-old, brick, urban charm.  It is quiet, shaded & almost hidden.  Established in 2001, the garden covers just 1,000 square feet on land owned by the Seattle Department of Transportation.  There are no individual plots.  This is a collective garden, a place that gives socialism a good name.  Members of the collective agree to abide to the consensus method for major decisions & should not take individual action without working with the whole garden.  All active members have the opportunity to vote.  While much is voted upon, there are times when individuals must act & it is expected that actions will be made with the collective in mind.  This makes me think of the time, early in the 20th century, when people spoke of the 47 United States & the Soviet of Washington.  James Farley, Postmaster under FDR, said in 1936, 'There are 47 states in the Union, and the Soviet of Washington.'  He alluded to the leftist movements in the state, particularly in Seattle where labor movements occurred post WWI when unsatisfactory efforts were made to improve wages after war-time wage controls.  Click here to see more Seattle P-Patches.

Friday, July 13, 2012

June Garden Pictures

Erigeron glaucus 'Albus' June 2012

Erigeron glaucus June 2012  

Gaura lindheimeri June 2012

Penstemon x mexicali June 2012

Rosa glauca June 2012

Click here for more June Garden Photos.
Click here for June Bloom Times 2008-2011.

June 2012 in Seattle was cooler, with much more rain than normal.  The mean temperature was 58.3F/14.6C.  The normal mean temperature is 60.9F/16C.  Total precipitation was 2.96 inches.  Normal precipitation is 1.57 inches.  Many people complained about the weather.  The Seattle Times called it June-uary.  However, January 2012 saw 6.83 inches of rain.  Even normal January rainfall is 5.57 inches, nearly twice the amount we received in June 2012.  The normal mean temperature for January is 42F/5.5C.  My sympathy was limited.  June 2012 was more like May, which had 2.68 inches of rain.  Perennials grew larger than than ever.  Many shrubs & trees added an amazing amount of growth.  June 2012 was a month of abundance.  There was 1 day with heavy rain, 6 days with rain, 18 days with light rain, 12 days with fog, 1 day with haze, 21 cloudy days, 9 partly cloudy days & no fair days.  The highest temperature was 76F/24.4C, the lowest 43F/6.1C.  Consistently warm, dry & sunny weather does not usually arrive in Seattle until after the 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cork Oak in the Washington Park Arboretum

Quercus suber in the Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

 Quercus suber in the Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

 Quercus suber in the Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

Quercus suber in the Washington Park Arboretum November 2011

I don't often see Quercus suber in Seattle.  There is this tree in the Washington Park Arboretum, just east of the East Drive, not far north of the Pacific Rim Garden.  There is another Downtown on 2nd Avenue & others in the comma at the north end of Hunter Boulevard S near my home.   I think there are not enough specimens to determine whether Cork Oak is a good choice for Seattle.  But it would certainly be worth trying on a dry & sunny site.

This information from Wikipedia:
Quercus suber has a thick bark that protects it against fire. After a fire, many other tree species regenerate from seeds, or resprout from the base of the tree.  Cork Oak branches quickly resprout & recompose the tree canopy. Over time the cork layer of bark becomes quite thick.  It can be harvested every 9 to 12 years. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree. After cork is removed, a new layer regrows. The tree is cultivated in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria & Tunisia. Cork Oak forests cover approximately 25,000 square kilometers in those countries. In Portugal & Spain, Cork Oak forests are home to the Iberian Lynx, the most critically threatened feline in the world. Portugal accounts for half of the world cork harvest. Cork Oaks cannot legally be cut down in Portugal, except for the felling of old, unproductive trees, with special permission from the Ministry of Agriculture. Cork Oaks can live to 250 years. Cork harvesting is done entirely without machinery. It is harvested with small axes. This process requires training due to the skill required to harvest cork without harming the tree.