Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scale on Ginkgo, Keeping Peacocks Away from Seedbeds, Bright Red Japanese Wax Plant, Blooming Paperwhites, Dueling Plant Guys

Scale on Ginkgo Leaves

A landscape designer and consultant brought this one in; it's Ginkgo biloba leaves coated with scale. Any other time of year this would be met by an immediate call to Gevork Arkelian over at the Agriculture Commissioner's office but not now -Ginkgo is a deciduous tree and, like all other deciduous tree, is losing its leaves. Right before the leaves drop they're susceptible to all kinds of infestations, most of which are not a concern because soon they will be gasping their last as the leaf they are attached to falls to the ground and rots away. 
Possible Red scale on Ginkgo leaves. 

'Wildflowering' Display is Planted

The artist collaboration 'Wildflowering L.A.' consists of several sights around the city devoted to planted displays California native wildflowers.  Our contribution has been planted and if you go there you will notice our Peacock avoidance strategy -ribbons of bright reflective mylar tied to posts. This seems to be working pretty good for keeping peacocks away. The Canada geese are another story; they're kept at bay with a stylized coyote sculpture that is moved at least once a day. 
Wildflowering L.A. Display

Brilliant Color Change on Japanese Wax Tree 

The Japanese wax tree (Toxicodendron succedanea) is an unassuming small tree located in the Asian, North American section. It really shines in the fall when its leaves turn the most brilliant red of any tree in the Arboretum. Be carefull however, if the genus name of this plant sounds familiar it is; Toxicodendron is the genus name for poison oak and ivy, and yes, if you touch these beautiful leaves the next red thing you will be the itching, oozing rash where you were exposed to it. 
Japanese wax tree. 
Paperwhites in the Meadowbrook section. 

Garden Show Host Nick Federoff Taping Segments Here at the Arboretum

I was honored to meet PBS garden show host Nick Federoff when he was filming for his show here at the Arboretum. Nick's been a perennial garden show host starting back in 1988 when he started his now nationwide syndicated live question and answer show.
I show Nick Federoff what would happen if he ever strays on my turf again.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Pest on Fan Palm?

Small pest that is causing the leaves to be disfigured and coated with a white waxy layer can be seen in this photo.
Sometimes it gets exciting around here (at least for a plant pathologist-botanist like myself). A client brought a sample of a frond from his Mediterranean fan palm (Chamaerops humilis)with a pest that I have not seen before. A cursory search of the Internet turned up palm aphid, but this pest did not look like the adult form. I'm going to send these photos to the Ag. commissioners  office and find out what they know.


I've checked with palm expert Don Hodel at the Los Angeles Agricultural Extension offices and it turns out that the white substance is not from the aphid but from the palm. The pest in question may be a palm aphid, and is mostly harmless to the plant. 

Notice waxy coating and disfigured fronds.

Small pest -it could be a white fly, aphid or scale...or something else.

Another closeup of the waxy coating left by the pest and the pest itself (small spots on the leaves).
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Plant Information Class Today We Looked at Color, LED's, Fractals and More...

For those who attended Plant Information class today here's a list of the links I mentioned and some I didn't mention as well:

Feng Shui and Garden Design:

Feng shui garden design may be good way to design a relaxing garden:

6 Easy Steps to Feng Shui Garden Design
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Residential-Bagua-Map1.jpg (640×480)

...but just keep in mind the concept that we are prey and like to see what can sneak up on us and you've got a lot of what feng shui is about. 

New Outdoor LED Lighting and Gardens:

Outdoor lights have come a long way since the low powered 'Malibu Lights' of the past. Right now chinese factories are pumping out all kinds of outdoor LED lights, including spot lights, string lights, LED fluorescent lights etc. and their varied spectrums and energy saving properties now make outdoor lighting almost environmentally responsible (attention still has to be paid to observatory obsoleting light pollution and possible plant and algae growth considerations, but at least these don't rule out LED lights altogether, they just mean you have to pay attention to the wavelength of light coming from them -something that's easy to do with most LED's discrete wavelengths). Check out these links below to examples of LED's used in landscaping and companies offering LED outdoor lighting. 

Interior. Beautiful Minimalist Garden House Interior Design: Glowing Blue Colored Fences For Garden House ~ Ciiwa
led landscape lighting - Google Search
Lee Eunyeol’s Stunning LED Landscapes Light Up the Night Starry Night by Lee Eunyeol - Gallery Page 4 – Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
LED Light Bulbs, LED Lighting, LED T8 Fluorescent Tubes - LED Liquidators Inc.
CabLED 6 ft. Indoor/Outdoor LED Ribbon Light Starter Kit-S008K35HW-A0-A1 at The Home Depot
Outdoor Led Ribbon Lights, Outdoor Led Ribbon Lights Products, Outdoor Led Ribbon Lights Suppliers and Manufacturers at
Accent - LED Landscape Lighting

Fractal Garden Design:

Something that's not been used much in garden design but should be are fractal based designs. Check out the links below for some fractal gardening ideas, including Arthur C. Clarke's explanation of fractals and several pages showing fractal generated landscapes. 

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation | That's How The Light Gets In
Fractal Gardens Can Be Rolled and Arranged into Infinite Patterns | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
▶ Weird planet II - Amazing 3D fractal landscape - YouTube
Purity Ring - Lofticries - Fractal Landscape - YouTube
▶ Crazy Fractal Worlds - Terrain Rendering 3 - YouTube
Fractals in Nature - YouTube
Fractals - Hunting The Hidden Dimension [Full - Hd 720p] - YouTube
Deepest Mandelbrot Set Zoom Animation ever - a New Record! 10^275 (2.1E275 or 2^915) - YouTube
Arthur C Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity - YouTube
Imaginary Voyages Pt 7 Fractals and Soundscapes - YouTube
Imaginary Voyages Pt 4 Fractals and Soundscapes by Landscape Windscreen - YouTube
Deepest Mandelbrot Set Zoom Animation ever - a New Record! 10^275 (2.1E275 or 2^915) - YouTube

Color and Gardening:

The links below (especially the PBS video) are good primers on using color in the landscape. 

The Effect of Color (PBS Video)
Landscape Basics: Color Theory | CAES Publications | UGA
▶ The Garden Gurus - Psychology of Colour - YouTube
The Garden Gurus - Psychology of Colour - YouTube
Using Color in the Landscape

English vs. French Gardening:

Ever wonder why class-based Great Britain did not experience a class revolution like the French did? The answer might well be the type of garden design that became popular just after the French Revolution in England; the Parkland style -a style that incorporated the aristocracy's estate landscaping into that of the English countryside, thereby fostering a sense of stewardship rather than the feeling of ownership fostered by the 'outdoor room' style of French estate gardening in pre-revolution France. So... Lancelot 'Capability' Brown's Gardens:

▶ Sheffield Park Garden! USELESS TREES - YouTube
British Gardens: Stowe & Herstmonceux - YouTube

With that of the French emperor:

▶ Versailles, from gardens to Trianon palaces - YouTube

...which one would you feel more comfortable in (assuming you didn't own them).