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  • Writer's pictureConejo Valley Botanic Garden

Activities for 24 Oct 2023

Tuesday saw several things going on including a tour of the garden by several members of the West Valley Garden Club. Steve Davis led the tour and was assisted by Monica Barton. In anticipation of the tour passing by the Native Section, Monica (until she had to peel away to assist Steve), Nancy Taylor Walker, Janet Wall, Beverly Kemmerling and I worked there for most of the morning clearing additional matilija poppies obscuring specimen shrubs, perennials, and young trees which will benefit from the additional light as well as being more visible from the path.

Below, Beverly captured me, Nancy, Steve’s back, and Janet meeting to review the work to be accomplished. Note the silk floss tree in the background which I’ll mention later.

As we headed down to the Native Section, we decided to dead head the numerous native penstemons between the Chilean Section and Lillian’s Meadow. Below, Janet, Beverly and Monica are deadheading and dispersing seed in the area.

We also collected a bag full of seeds,

which, at the end of the day Nancy, Janet (see below), and I spread in the open area at the top of the hill. We hope they’ll compete with the mustard in that area.

We actually spent most of the time cutting matilija poppies, deadheading hummingbird sage and clearing debris from inside cages. Below Janet is hard at work.

Finally, a comment about the silk floss tree. According to Wikipedia, this is a tropical and subtropical tree of South America which implies it likes a good supply of water. The specimen in the service area has adapted to our dry conditions by tapping the moisture from the nursery via a huge surface root that extends from the tree to the floor of the nursery. I love the bark (below)

which is covered with thorny protrusions that discourage animals (other than birds) from using the tree as a roost or for food. Annoyingly, it is now called Ceiba speciosa. Many of us remember it as Chorisia speciosa.

Just a word to let volunteers know that Steve Davis is training the escallonia shrubs surrounding the dumpster and porta potty into a screen, so please don’t trim those as he is doing this personally.

Enjoy the garden!


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