Garden Guide: 25

By Brenzel, Kathleen N. | Sunset, May 1998 | Go to article overview

Garden Guide: 25


Brenzel, Kathleen N., Sunset


29

TOP SEEDS. During the first half of the century, Southern California nurseries such as Bodger's Seeds became the world's leading producers of bulk flower seed. Among the new varieties they introduced: `American Beauty' aster, 'Early Klondyke Orange Flare' cosmos, dwarf marigolds, scarlet petunias. and 'Golden Gleam' nasturtium-winner of the first AllAmerica Selections Award, in 1931.

26 RELIABLE RAIN. Orton Englehardt, a farmer in Glendora, California, patented impact sprinklers in 1933 to improve irrigation of citrus and avocado groves. Later, he developed lawn sprinklers with Mary and Clem La Fetra, founders of Rain Bird Sprinkler Company.

27 "SOIL" IN A BAG. In 1957, the University of California at Los Angeles introduced UC mix-a lightweight blend of inorganic matter (fine sand and perlite) and organic materials (ground bark, peat moss, and redwood sawdust). It set the standard for potting mixes.

28 COMPOST COOK-OFF. Seattle Tilth, a nonprofit group that specializes in urban organic gardening, started the first citywide composting program (Seattle; 1989).

31 OUT OF THE ASHES. Postwar subdivisions that encroached on wild land began to burn in the 1960s, prompting new studies to identify flammable plants. Klaus Radtke, a wildland resource scientist, introduced the concept of landscaping against fire in the 1970s.

X-RATED GARDENING. Denver introduced the world to water conservation through xeriscaping (from xeros, meaning dry) with an X-Rated Garden Party in 1982.

33 SOD BUT TRUE. Gene Milstein unrolled Wildflower Carpets-sod sown exclusively with wildflowers-in Denver in 1983. You buy the sod, roll it out, water, and watch the flowers grow. For a supplier near you, call (800) 247-6945.

34 GOING TO POT. Growing plants in cans, a practice first used by Southern California growers, revolutionized the wholesale growing of plants in the 1930s. Boxed trees followed.

35

AIRBORNE BLOSSOMS.

The first shipment of California-grown cut flowers was sent by air from San Diego to the eastern United States in 1944.

36 ORE-GONERS. Northwest trees ruined by poor pruning led Seattleite Cass Turnbull to found PlantAmnesty in 1987. Its newsletter-"for people who don't beat around the bush"-now has readers all over. For pruning info, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to PlantAmnesty, 906 N.W 87th St., Seattle, WA 98117.

37

CHURCH YARDS. In the 1930s, legendary landscape architect Thomas Church and his contemporaries introduced "outdoor living"-the concept of living all over the lot. In 1951, Church designed the 7-acre, oakstudded garden at Sunset's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Its shrub border celebrates plant communities of the Pacific Coast.

38. INDOOR ANTICS. After seeing totem poles in Alaska in 1928, the West's largest grower of decorative indoor plants-Roy Wilcox of Montebello, California-devised the idea of training philodendrons on moss poles he called "totems." Wilcox also introduced the idea of combining several house plants in a single pot.

39 NATIVES COME HOME. Theodore Payne issued the first seed catalog for native plants in Southern California in 1906. Payne cultivated Matilija poppies and other beauties now grown the world over. For a catalog ($3.25), contact the Theodore Payne Foundation, 10459 Tuxford St., Sun Valley, CA 91352; (818) 768-1802.

40

HEAVENLY BASKETS. Herb Warren, city parks administrator in Victoria, British Columbia, hung baskets spilling with flowers from downtown lampposts to commemorate the city's 75th birthday in 1937. The idea was later copied in cities around the world.

41

ECKE'S ACRES. The poinsettia got its start as the world's favorite Christmas plant in 1906 when Paul Ecke discovered the Mexican native growing in the Hollywood Hills and began propagating and hybridizing it. Eventually, the Ecke family moved the nursery to Encinitas, California, where it continues as the world's leading grower of potted poinsettias. …

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