50.9 F
Scotts Valley
June 21, 2024

It’s the Law: When the rubber ruins the road

I suspect that the majority of houses in Santa Cruz County front a public road. For those homeowners, their headache consists of begging Public Works to fix the potholes that appear.

New Faces

- Serenity Grace Passmore was born to Walter and Sunny Passmore of Brookdale at 5:22 a.m. Aug. 29, 2012. She weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces at birth at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara.

The Mountain Gardener: Time to get back in the garden

I'll be the first to admit, it's hard to bundle yourself up to go out and work in the garden on a cold winter day. Bright sunshine sure helps, but still, it's not T-shirt weather yet.

Plain Talk about Food: Homemade cinnamon rolls

Winter’s cold and rainy days immediately bring on thoughts of my Aunt Esther’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

New Faces

• Madylin Ann Baumert was born at 8:26 a.m. Oct. 14, 2009, to Kathryn Allison (Montgomery) and Brian Nils Baumert of Ben Lomond. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center in Santa Cruz.

Fragrance in Your Garden

Last year I bought a dwarf butterfly bush and planted it in a pot near my entry. I’m not sure if it’s a Buzz Hot Raspberry or a Lo & Behold Pink Microchip but it’s in full bloom and will continue through fall if I keep it deadheaded. The swallowtail butterflies love it and the scent is so sweet and so strong I can smell it through an open window. In this time of hanging out more at the homestead it brings a smile to my face.  Fragrance in flowers is nature's ways of encouraging pollination. Just as it draws you to take a deeper whiff, it lures insects to blossoms hidden by leaves. Some flowers are fragrant only at night and attract night-flying pollinators like moths, while others are more fragrant during the day and attract insects like bees and butterflies. The fragrance itself comes from essential oils called attars that vaporize easily and infuse the air with their scents.  Aroma chemistry is complex and the smell of any flower comes from more than a single chemical compound. These molecules are present in different combinations in different plants, but often they are markedly similar which is why there are irises that smell like grapes and roses that smell like licorice. Our noses can detect those chemical compounds that have a major impact on the aroma. Often a particular molecule will make a large contribution.  Some roses, for instance, derive their scent from rose oxide and others from beta-damascenome or rose ketones. These molecules are detectable by our noses at very, very low concentrations. Carnations, violets, lilies, chrysanthemums, hyacinth- all have their own set of compounds that contribute to their scent.  It’s interesting also that as we become accustomed to the same smell our brain phases it out. A compound called ionones, found in violets and rose oil, can essentially short-circuit our sense of smell, binding to the receptors. This shut down is only temporary and the ionones can soon be detected again and registered as a new smell. Place sweet-smelling plants where you can enjoy them throughout the season. The potency of flower scents varies greatly, so consider the strength of a fragrance when deciding where to put a plant. Subtle fragrances such as sweet pea. lemon verbena, scented geranium and chocolate cosmos smell wonderful right outside the back door. Add stronger scents by your deck, pool, spa, dining area or gazebo. Stargazer lilies, jasmine, lilacs, daphne, citrus and peonies will make you want to stay awhile.  Several easy-to-grow shrubs have fragrant flowers as an added bonus. Mexican Orange (choisya ternata) blooms most of the year. Pittosporum eugenoides, tenuifolium and tobira all have tiny blossoms that smell like oranges. too.  The tiny flower cluster of Fragrant Olive (osmanthus fragrans) have a delicate apricot fragrance.  Other fragrant plants include California native Philadelphus lewisii (Wild Mock Orange).  Calycanthus occidentals (Spice Bush) is native to our Central and Northern California mountains. Their fragrant burgundy flowers smell like red wine. Ribes viburnifolium, carpenteria californica and rosa californica are mildly scented, too.  In spring there may be nothing quite as spectacular as a wisteria vine, loaded with fragrant purple, pink, blue or white flower clusters, covering an arbor or pergola. Pink jasmine is another vigorous vine with intensely fragrant flowers as is Evergreen Clematis.  I can't leave out the old fashion border carnation or dianthus. Their clove-scented flowers are born in profusion making them a nice addition to the mixed flower border and containers.  The list goes on and includes scented plants such as nemesia, wallflower, Japanese snowbell, hosta, coneflower, vitex, viburnum, nicotiana, phlox, rose, sweet pea, hyacinth, lilac, flowering crabapple, heliotrope, lavender, sweet alyssum, peony, moon flower, southern magnolia.  Be sure to include fragrant plants that release their scent in the evening, especially in the areas of the garden you most frequent after dark. Since the majority of night-scented blossoms have white flowers, these plants also light up the landscape at night. Angel’s Trumpet (brugmansia) is one such plant as is flowering tobacco and night blooming jessamine.  Plant vines for fragrance in your garden. Evergreen clematis (clematis armandii) bloom with showy white fragrant flowers clusters above dark green leaves in the spring. Clematis montana is another variety of clematis that’s covered with vanilla-scented pink flowers in spring also. Carolina jessamine's fragrant yellow flower clusters appear in masses from late winter into spring.  Ideally, when you've finished, your garden will smell as intriguing as an expensive perfume. The top note will be floral- jasmine, honeysuckle, rose. The middle register will be spicy, such as the vanilla of heliotrope or purple petunias or the clove of dianthus. Finally underneath, the tones that give perfumes their vigor, like artemisia, sage and santolina.   Not every inch of the garden needs to be fragrant but a waft or two of fragrance from the right plants can turn a garden from ordinary to enchanting.

Cabrillo College to Graduate 1,641 Students Today

 Cabrillo College today announces that it will honor its largest graduating class ever, in a first-ever, virtual graduation ceremony, to be held online on Friday, May 22nd at 4:00 p.m., from Cabrillo’s website at www.cabrillo.edu.

Datebook

- Submit Datebook items to [email protected] or drop off press releases or photos at 5215 Scotts Valley Drive, Ste. F, Scotts Valley 95066. Deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Entries are subject to editing, and publication is not guaranteed.

April in the Garden

Spring might have officially started mid-March but judging from the wonky weather it was hard to tell. We did experience a “Miracle March” complete with a pretty good dose of needed rainfall along with some very cold weather. You never know what to expect in March around here.

SOCIAL MEDIA

2,479FansLike
7FollowersFollow
762FollowersFollow
Omega Nu scholarships

Omega Nu Santa Cruz awards nearly $100K in scholarships

Omega Nu Santa Cruz awarded college and vocational scholarships to 31 students from Santa Cruz County high schools during a Scholarship Reception for the...