20 March 2014

New leaves and flowers Spring Forth 2014

The 2014 spring equinox arrives at 12:57 p.m..

Vernal equinox on March 20

International Day of Happiness

 Live Happy 

South Coastal South Carolina and North Coastal Georgia

Acer palmatum
Japanese Maples

Spring Snowflake and  Daffodils

Spring Snowflake
(Leucojum vernum)

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia)
Chinese magnolia

Chaenomeles japonica
Flowering Quince

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia)
unique spring flowers 

Loropetalum chinense
 the fringe flower

Magnolia × soulangeana
 (saucer magnolia)

16 March 2014

A dwarf Japanese Maple, perfect for bonsai

Acer palmatum 'Oto Hime' low-growing, cascading dome shaped tree, with delicate feathered foliage, and a tendency to grow ‘outwards’ rather than ‘upwards’. . .

Hime is the Japanese word for princess, it initially referred to any beautiful female and here indicates small.

"Otohime" Japanese Maple
from an air-layer

Otohime bursts into spring
with yellow-green leaves and
 narrow reddish edging and tips.

"Otohime" Japanese Maple
 very small palmate leaves

Kanjohakuhi- a process of developing roots by peeling the bark from a trunk.

"Otohime" Japanese Maple gets its name from the fabled Japanese Princess who reigned at the bottom of an ocean kingdom.


"Otohime" Japanese Maple Fall 2013 

Notice the contrast between the trunk
and the roots at the graft union

After Removal:


Airlayer in 2010

12 March 2014

Trachelospermum asiaticum

Variegated Asiatic Jasmine
Faux Jasmine - Trachelospermum asiaticum
Chirimen kazura

Red winter foliage

Despite its common name, Asiatic Jasmine
 is not  related to the true jasmines.

A dwarf star jasmine with small yellow and green variegated leaves evergreen small-growing vine with glossy leaves that are much smaller than those of the standard Trachelospermum asiaticum.

New growth is pinkish-bronze.

The plant has a tight, compact growth with ovate to elliptic leaves ranging from quite tiny to around 1/4 inch in length.

Has it really been 34 years?
from a cutting

If unpruned it will climb or crawl on the ground, but it can be pruned to make a miniature shrub. When treated this way it makes a nice bonsai. A popular bonsai subject in Japan but not seen very often in the US.

Usage: Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Rock Garden, Wall, Topiary , Bonsai , Espalier

Drought Tolerant
USDA Zone 7-10.

07 December 2013

collected seed today

Saturday December 07, 2013

Bald Cypress Cones were opening today and seed falling out!

Opening cones and seed 

Taxodium distichum

Bald Cypress
Feather Pine

Seed will be stored through the
winter in a bucket of water
then planted in a wet-muck seedbed

Seeds are produced annually and good seed production occurs about every 3 years. Seeds are dispersed more frequently by flood waters.  Under swamp conditions, the best seed germination generally takes place on a sphagnum moss or a wet-muck seedbed.  On better drained soils, Bald Cypress seed usually fail to germinate due to lack of surface water.  Soil saturated for 1 to 3 months after seed-fall is required for germination. Seedlings require light for good growth, thus control of competing vegetation is necessary. 

Green Bald cypress cone

 trees with cones

 Germination takes place on a wet-muck seedbed
Bald Cypress seed sprout

Bald Cypress Seedlings@ Six months
Taxodium distichum
Bald Cypress is a "deciduous conifer"- it has cones and sheds its needle-like foliage in the Autumn.

Other deciduous conifers are: 

Along the Altamaha River

Bald cypress and pond cypress are in the Taxodiaceae family. Bald cypress can be easily confused with pond cypress (Taxodium distichum var. nutans). Pond cypress has smaller, scale-like leaves pressed on the twigs. A twig of pressed pond cypress leaves resembles a pine needle pointing up or out from the stem. Bald cypress leaves are linear and feather-like  and the twigs hang down looking more pendulous than pond cypress twigs and leaves. Also, pond cypress tends to occur in still-water wetlands rather than flowing-water wetlands.

Bald cypress are found in  wetland habitats

Bald cypress is a wetland species that grows along rivers, streams, and creeks as well as in swamps with slow moving water.  It is a legendary tree of the Deep South known for its "knees," moss-draped crown, and buttressed trunk. Taxodium distichum  can live up to 600 years old.  Taxodium distichum is native to the coastal plains along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and north up through the Mississippi River Valley. The heartwood of old growth bald cypress is very resistant to rot.  This is not true with younger second growth trees. 

 Autumn 2013
Bald cypress with knees 

Bonsai in Autumn 2010
Bald cypress with knees 

Cypress knees are woody projections sent above the normal water level function is unknown Lowland or swamp-grown cypresses found in flooded or flood-prone areas tend to be buttressed and "kneed," as opposed to cypresses grown on higher ground which may grow with very little taper.

Old-growth bald cypress
 form a flattened crown.

Altamaha River

Bald Cypress tree is an excellent choice for someone who is just getting started with bonsai. Seeds and small trees are easily collected in this area, now is the time to find trees with cones and watch for them to turn brown so that the seed can be collected just before the cones open. The best digging time for cypress is from mid-­December to late February. Bald cypress bud back easily and will produce vigorous sprouts from the stumps. Taxodium distichum are frequently planted in groups in a single container, forming a Bonsai forest. Japanese term for growing a bonsai from seed is Misho.

Ron Martin bonsai forest Workshop

Bald Cypress 
bonsai prefer to
 live outdoors.

Bald Cypress are not true cypress. True cypress are in the Cupressus family and are not native to the southeastern United States.

Bald cypress
with roots submerged in water
and branches draped in
Spanish moss
Tillandsia usneoides

Pond Cypress
Taxodium distichum var. nutans

in still-water wetlands
SE Georgia


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