Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mount SAC Horticulture Department Tour

This months plant information class met at the Mount SAC horticulture department for a tour by production assistant Ruben Flores. Ruben showed us the new demonstration garden, the new turf demonstration garden and wiffle ball diamond, a production greenhouse devoted to Poinsettia production, and several interesting small garden areas that were chock full of lush plantings. 
The cactus and succulent demonstration garden; it was just planted the week before our tour. 
The new wiffle ball diamond; this was no easy project -the first batch of decomposed granite had to be replaced because it was contaminated with mud. 
We saw this pretty blue-flowered weed growing around the new ly constructed classrooms there. Solanum eleagnifolium is a member of the nightshade family that some consider a candidate as a water saving ornamental plant; problem is that it's also a weedy plant that is toxic to livestock. 
Our guide, Ruben Flores, started our tour in the houseplant greenhouse. 
A large production greenhouse devoted to growing Poinsettias. Their are bout 4800 of these growing in this greenhouse, if they were to sell these at retail for $10 a piece they would gross $48,000. 
Ruben shows us one of the hidden shade gardens. 
Hidden shade garden. 
The plants growing on the log in this greenhouse are orchids and ferns. 
Society garlic blooming in the hot summer sun. You can guess what this smelled like. 
A beautiful South African cycad. 
There was a large shade-cloth covered garden located in front of the horticulture department offices. Besides being a relaxing water feature the pond in the garden contained more than a few beautiful Koi.
Here's a diagram of the demonstration garden that's currently being installed at Mt. SAC. 
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