Monday, September 3, 2012

Palm Springs and Palm Trees

So on Friday I received my most recent Amazon purchase, Palm Springs Style Gardening by Maureen Gilmer and liked it just as much as when I got it out of the library. It is wonderfully arranged, starting with an introduction to desert/southwestern gardening and how it differs from other climate zones.  Particularly, it addresses choosing plants that will survive the heat  and how to help them do it. Although San Diego is quite a bit more temperate than the high-desert, I do like that she focuses on drainage and soil conditions.  Putting a cactus or succulent into poorly draining potting soil is just asking for trouble.

She then moves on into the various classes of plants in each chapter, with one on Palm Trees, Succulents, the Cacti, Euphorbia, Grasses, etc.  Enough to get a good idea of what direction to go, but not overwhelming.  I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Palms and the distinctions between the Mexican and Californian Fan Palms and the pinnate leafed varieties.  I think we really lucked out in that the two specimens in our front yard are California Palms (although that does mean they may grow up to 60 feet tall!!) 

However, reading the book also made me realize that I really did need to do some trimming of our trees, as they have several quite heavy looking fruit-bearing branches and according to some, pruning of these branches will help devote more resources towards nice healthy fronds and deep root growth. So I got our recently purchased bypass loppers and the ladder and went up.  The one towards the front wasn't too bad, it's only 15 feet or so up, but the larger one, wow, I had the ladder nearly the whole way extended.

Of course, I forgot to take before pictures, but here's what the two palms looked like after.  And the yard waste that I now need to go get a new garbage can for! (for yard waste recycling they don't provide the containers and up till now we had been throwing the small amount of weeds we picked into the trash...*cringe*)


Xaparro said...
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Xaparro said...

Did you look at the other books published by Sunbelt Publications? They have a section on San Diego but not many more gardening books.

Be careful on the ladder. Do you have life insurance?... And I'm glad that you got a can for yard waste. Does this go to the place where you can buy mulch?

Xaparro said...

Here's another book for you, Juan: Reimagining the California Lawn. When we come next time, we'll have to hit the nurseries and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Juan Chaparro said...

No, I hadn't really looked at Sunbelt's other publications. Started to search for some of them on Amazon and got this review for the first listed book "Birds of San Diego County"...
"There are no pictures of the birds, which made the book somewhat useless for casual bird watching"
And the rest I couldn't even find listed. It's rather surprising that this book came out of the same publisher as it's pretty graphics intensive and seems well-put together.

Regarding the ladder, I was being extra cautious and had mandy help hold the ladder. I went on the roof for the taller one but only went for branches that were easy to reach.

The yard waste does go to the Greenery! Although unfortunately they don't take palm fronds. I hope they take the palm fruit branches, which are not nearly as tough.