Monthly Archives: April 2015

Himalayan Cloud Forest Garden: Update…Plant Pilfering

Hmmm.  Sadly, someone has decided that, once again, plants planted in public places are available for the taking.  I’ve been informed the a few Arisaema, among other perennials have disappeared after they began to bloom.  Having gardened myself for many years in the public sphere, it is aggrevating, and disturbing, how some people decide they can take plants, because, after all, they pay taxes.  I’ve actually had people tell this to me when they were confronted.  Others, I imagine see it simply as an opportunity to get ‘free’ plants.  The worst times have been when I’ve had plants pulled up that I find elsewhere, broken, dried and dead.  Once, I had a Fejoa sellowiana, now Acca, dragged across the lawn at Waterfront Park, they left a dirt trail, to where they tossed it into the Willamette over the seawall!  Several years back, I came back the next day to finish a planting and all of the Spiarea I had planted the day before was gone, more than 20 plants, so probably by a landscape company, and this was from a utility planting to shield a parking area.  Many public gardens, maybe most, around the world, are protected by fencing and locked gates after hours.  This adds more costs upfront and can often make regular maintenance more difficult for access reasons.  One alternative is to plant ‘unattractive’ plants that no one will want…, but what’s the point of that.  We can’t ‘nail’ every plant down, so in Parks we would just go back and do it again.  Don’t get me started on the just stupid vandalism of broken trees….

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Hiking in Phoenix’s South Mountain Preserve

A Saguaro along the Bajada Trail looking toward the Estrella Mountains in the distance to the west and Ma Ha Tauk Ridge above me to the right.

A Saguaro along the Bajada Trail looking toward the Estrella Mountains in the distance to the west and Ma Ha Tauk Range above me to the right.

(This will be one of several entries describing hikes, botanical gardens and arboretum I visited in southern Arizona this April, 2015.)

Today Julie has work to do (She’s on a buying trip and I tagged along!) so I’m going out, down to the Phoenix South Mountain Preserve to hike a loop on the Bajada (the incline at the base of a mountain formed by the erosion of the mountain) and Alta (or high) trails. The Preserve, at over 16,000 acres is the largest municipal park in the US (Portland’s Forest Park pales at 5,172 acres.) I began my hike going the ‘wrong’ way on the Max Delta Trail having incorrectly read the directions so I added an unnecessary mile by the time I figured it out. The Bajada Trail climbs only 40’ but it constantly wends its way around rocky barriers and down and back up washes filled with tumbled granites…. The hike and region lies within the Sonoran Desert Scrub region, Sonoran, because the majority of the plants are sub-tropical in origin and are associated with the plants of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental and Baja Region, not plants from the Rocky Mountain Plateau. The Salt River, that ‘flows’ south and west through Phoenix, is the northern boundary of this region, where the area becomes transitional as it gains elevation climbing to the Verde River and Mogollon Rim. Okay, too much. Continue reading