dianepershing
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author needs help with flower and tree names and suggestions

Hi--

My name is Diane Pershing. I live in Southern California and I write novels (I've published 16 so far). In the book I am currently writing, a character is an expert on putting together gardens for her friends and family. I have one scene where she is visiting a nursery in Santa Barbara. The month is November. I need help with what kinds of plants, bulbs, ground covers, etc. she might choose to buy. I also need help with a few other moments in the book when she mentions plants.

Is anyone willing to be my "expert"? It won't take much time, but it needs to be pretty soon.

Thanks so much in advance. :D

Diane Pershing

Michigan2Iowa
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Hi Diane,

You've come to the right place; there are a lot of experts around here!

I'll put in my two cents, although there are many others with MUCH more expertise than myself.

I'm not sure about what plants are usually offered in California in November, but in the Midwest most of the bedding plants have been replaced by spring flowering bulbs that you would plant in the fall. Below is a very small list:

Narcissus (Daffodil/Jonquil)
Tulips (Tulipa sp.)
Crocus
Siberian Squill (Scilla Siberica)
Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa Lucilia)
Showy/Fancy Onion (Allium sp.)
Lilies (Lilium sp. including Oriental and Asiatic)
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)

A great resource for the characteristics of and care for bulbs is
https://www.dutchbulbs.com/gardenguide/
I will warn you it is a retail site, but the "Bulb Lady" provides good information.

You can see pictures of the various items I've listed here:
[url]https://stores.bulbmall.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryMain?catalogId=10073&storeId=10201&langId=-1[/url]
Again, its a retail site but it has wonderful pictures.

Also, what is your character's motivation? I know myself that the mood I'm in when I'm shopping for plants definitely effects my choices. I had experienced a traumatic event in my life and went out and bought all of the Madonna lilies I could find. There was something about those strong, blizzard-white blooms that spoke to my angst and pain, yet gave me hope for the future.

Hope this helps!
-Paul-

dianepershing
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thanks

Paul--

Thank you so much for replying! I'm new to going to online forums for help, so you've made my day....

Regards,
diane pershing

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Hi Diane,

While Santa Barbara is hardly my mileu (or writing either; who says milieu :?: :roll: :lol: ) I'd be willing to take a shot at it.
Scott
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Well, in November in FL (a semi-similar zone) to those plants, she may buy pansies if there is cooler weather in the winter expected, if she is willing to cover the plants from any possible frosts she might buy hibiscus, tibouchina, pentas (butterfly attractant - comes in red, white, fuschia pink, light pink, and there's a newer light purple variety).

Other plants for that area that I think wouldn't matter as to the time of year would be bouganvillea, azaleas, camellias, I'll bet Frangipani grow well there too... I'll think of more.

Oh - yellow trumpet flower, in the vine department.

dianepershing
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thanks!

thanks so much for all the flower names; I'll look them up and see if I can use them. I really appreciate it!

Diane Pershing

dianepershing
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author needing help

Thanks to all who replied about Santa Barbara flowers.

Here are some specifics I'd like answered, if at all possible.

1. an insect that will devastate a hedge. Name of insect, name of hedge.

2. Is there such a thing as an aphid-proof rose? Does it have a name?

3. two or three shrub names to be used as borders.

4. plants/flowers that need very low hydration. Not just cacti, but others.

5. do oak trees have drooping branches? If they don't, what kind of trees (again, Santa Barbara, zone 10) will thrive there?

6. name of a common house plant that might be given as a gift. Perhaps a flowering common house plant?

7. name of an old, gnraled tree with roots about the ground that can be used for seating?

All of these are for final details in my book. I will be glad to thank whoever helps, full name, in the book. Any takers?


In enormous gratitude, and in advance :D

Diane Pershing

dianepershing
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correction

AS a writer I should know better! :lol:

Correction to number seven: (7. name of an old, gnraled tree with roots about the ground that can be used for seating?)

It SHOULD read:
7. name of an old, GNARLED tree with roots ABOVE the ground that can be used for seating?

thanks again,
diane

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To my knowledge, there is no such thing as an aphid free rose. A rose's resistance to pests and diseases depends largely on their health. If the bush is a hardy, vigourous growing rose by nature, and is given proper watering and feeding, then it would likely not be as susceptible to aphids as one that was weaker.

I have, however, listed a few roses that fall into the category of hardy, vigourous, disease resistant and all appropriate for Zone 7 and higher (I think you need around Zone 10ish):

"Honor" - (aka JAColite, Michelle Torr) is a hybrid tea. It is pure white in color. It was bred by William Warriner in the US in 1980, with it's parentage being unknown.

"Heirloom" - (aka JACbloom) is also a hybrid tea. It is a mauve blend in color. It too was bred by William Warriner in the US, in 1972, and it's parentage is seedling X seedling.

"Miss All American Beauty" -(aka Maria Callas) is also a hybrid tea. It is an intense, light cerise in color. It was bred by breeder Meilland in France in 1965. It's parentage is Chrysler Imperial X Karl Herbst. There are 98 varieties in it's bloodline.

"Yankee Doodle" - (aka YanKOR) is a hybrid tea as well. It is a yellow blend in color. It was bred by W. Kordes and Sons in Germany in 1965. It's parentage is Colour Wonder X King's Ransom, and it has 133 varieties in it's bloodline.

The last one is not a hybrid tea, but a groundcover shrub rose, that is supposed to be particularly resistant to insects.
"Rosa NOAtrum" - (aka - Pink Flower Carpet) is obviously pink in color. It was bred by Werner Hoack in Berlin Germany in 1990. It's parentage is Immense X Amanda and it has 126 varieties in it's bloodline.

I'm not sure how much this helped you, as there truly isn't an aphid free rose, except one that is very well taken care of!! :lol:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Okay, here goes...

1. Privet is sometimes even called hedge. Japanese weevils are a common pest for this plant...

2. Val has covered that; the Flower Carpet is the best one in my mind for your purposes there...

3. If I lived in Zone 9 (he said gazing at the snow) I'd have Ceonothus 'Concha' cuz it's native, fragrant and that blue...then I'd want a yellow cuz yellow and blue play so nice so I'd get Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus' for the yellow foliage and MORE fragrance, Then I'd want a shiny red foliage for POW factor, so Nandina 'Firepower' would give me that, a different foliage look AND berries...

4. Drought tolerant (and blue to go with the Ceanothus 8) ) Centaurea montanaor mountain bachelor buttons, Bluebeard (Caryopteris, a sub-shrub; there is even a yellow foliaged form called 'Sunshine Blue' that is much better than the old 'Worcester Gold'). Some 'Elijah Blue' fescue and Lamb's ears down in front and that border is starting to look good. And it's ALL pretty drought tolerant ('cept for maybe the Philadelphus :roll: )

5. Weeping Willow is the only Zone 9 weeper I can think of, but it's a big one, and thirsty too...

6. Spider plants are often started off of one the gifter has had a while, but they seem to be falling out of favor. You can never go wrong with the African Violet as a gift; that'd be good...

7.Banyan (or Ficus religiosa) would work and it's also the tree the Buddha sat under...

8. Hey there is no 8! Hope this helps; please to mention the Helpful Gardener and our web address.

Scott

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grandpasrose
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Hey Scott - you and I thought of the same tree!
My suggestions for your gnarled tree:

Banyan (moraceae ficus benghalensis)
Hawaiian Banyan (ficus microcarpa) - This one I can vouch for in person because I sat on one.
Cottonwood (salicaceae populus fremontil) This one too I can vouch for in person because I sat one one.
White Oak ( fabaceae quercus alba)

Also Diane, if you ever do find out about an aphid free rose - be sure to let me know!!! :lol:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

dianepershing
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author needs help

Thanks for all the really informative replies. I'm collating them now with the manuscript pages that need help. If more is needed, I'll let you know. In the meantime, gee, you've all gotten me interesed in gardening! :D

Regards,
diane pershing

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Anything interesting going on in the garden, Diane? :wink:

Enquiring minds want to know...haven't read your stuff yet, but just looking at covers and titles... :shock: :oops: :wink:

:lol:

Scott

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