Answers to silent questions

I was supposed to go up to the pea patch and water, but I was tired and just didn't feel like it. Instead I pored over my recent SiteMeter statistics, which is something I don't do very often. I should, because it's very entertaining to see what brings people to the blog. I have access the search engine search words for the last 4,000 whoreticulture visitors.

A lot of people come here looking for the same things.

For example, "thorny trees" or "trees with thorns" is very popular. It's all because I took this picture during my first visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden.


However, I didn't name the tree in that blog post. That's gotta be at least somewhat annoying. Let me remedy that now. It's Chorisia speciosa syn. Ceiba speciosa (Thank you Bob and Annie in the comments.)

A few people come looking for the "Ruth Bancroft Library", but to my knowledge there is no such thing. There is of course UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, but its name arises from the the Bancroft patriarch, Hubert Howe Bancroft, not his garden-loving granddaughter-in-law Ruth.

Search results on variations of "Echium cuttings" are popular whoreticulture pointers. Lord knows I've talked at length about Echium. (You must be sick of it.) I know I brag a fair amount about all the cuttings I take. But I've never taken an Echium cutting, nor have I ever discussed it. However, I can tell you on good authority that E. candicans syn. E. fastuosum can easily be propagated from fresh tip cuttings (not so sure about any other species). Strip off the lower leaves and put the stems in moist perlite or sand until they root. I'm told you don't even need to apply rooting hormone.

Perhaps you'll be surprised to hear that "flowers that smell like semen" is a popular pointer too. (Perhaps not?) It turns out I'm far from being the only place to go for information about that. Check it out, people.

I'm sure some of you, thinking about semen again, immediately recalled last winter's discussion in the comments about Geranium maderense. Annie in Austin made a funny joke (two, actually), and the County Clerk went shopping. Later, I seem to recall the whole thing triggered a minor existential crisis (Clerk's), but I don't now recall where that unfolded.

Lots and lots of people want to see pictures of Maytenus boaria. I've called out the Maytens Tree a few times in my bloggerly travels. This is the picture most seekers find, from this blog post.


I only vaguely remembered that post, and I forgot that it included that picture.

Instead, when I think about blogging the Maytens tree, the first thing that comes to mind is a visit I paid to the Blake Garden where someone incorporated the tree into an art installation.


You step under the skirt and dig the grooviness.


Today I regret not lingering longer under the skirt of the Maytens tree...

Some people come here looking for a "gay gardener". Of course, I am a gay gardener but I have to wonder. Is my gardening so gay you can Google it?

It's not because of this post about the Brokeback Mountain premier, it's not about Gay Merit Badges, it's a remark I shared last December about how only gay men buy Gunnera.


(That post also attracts numerous people looking for Aloe polyphylla.)

And lots of people come here wanting to learn where they can buy Gunnera. (Are they gay?)

People of the world, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered or questioning or whatever, you can buy Gunnera at the San Francisco Botanical Garden monthly plant sales. They usually offer it from February through May.

You can also buy restios there, which is another plant people apparently want to buy judging by SiteMeter statistics. And, as I've mentioned before, you can even buy restio seeds, and the liquid smoke you need to germinate them, from Seedhunt over there in my list of links.

Speaking of gay or straight or whatever, some people come here looking specifically for whoreticulture. But for that you have to choose. Do you want this blog, or this series of queer-themed podcasts from 2005? We are not related. But I'm sure the podcast is fabulous.

I get all kinds of dope fiends looking for information about growing pot. (Like I would know anything about that!) "Growing marijuana in bamboo" was an interesting search. Marijuana does not seem terribly ornamental to me. I guess you could cloak it in a bamboo grove, but then it probably wouldn't get enough sun. But I wouldn't know! Someone yesterday came for "marijuana pruning lessons". Pruning marijuana? Why would you prune marijuana? Well, whatever.

Someone came looking for "blue flowering hanging plants". They find Campanula muralis or C. portenschlagiana, viewed here during a long walk. (Merci Delphine for the ID.)


Or, maybe they had in mind Nolana paradoxa, a blue flowering plant sold for hanging baskets.


The verdict is in: Those flowers were nice for a month or so, but their season came to an end before the stems started to trail. Trailing was the whole point. I did some dead-heading but I don't have much hope for a new flush of bloom. Adios, Nolana paradoxa.

I love it when the plant seekers get all hyper-BOOLEAN, as in this recent example: "we sell" AND salvia AND "long island"

That just cracks me up because you think the last time that person had any computer training was in the late 1980s on a UNIX terminal or something. People, try going to yp.yahoo.com and looking for plant nurseries in your general area and calling them on the telephone to inquire! They're always answering inventory questions over the phone when I'm in line at Flowercraft. It works! It's gotta work better than devising an absurdly overdetermined computer search query that leads you to an irrelevant blogger on the other side of the country who doesn't know Long Island from Long Beach.

(It occurs to me they're probably looking for Salvia divinorum extract or powder or whatever. Every garden blogger's probably getting Salvia related hits for that. Too funny.)

Someone from China wanted to see pictures of Glen Canyon Park. I hope they didn't get their vacation plans confused when they saw my pictures of San Francisco's dank, weed-choked Glen Canyon Park...


Because it turns out there's 1.2 million acres of Glen Canyon Park in Arizona too. Who knew!

They come for comfrey compost tea, but I just send them along.

Another compost question I get: "sluggo in my compost pile?" I don't know why they come here, I've never taken a position on that. But since you ask, I don't see why not. Sluggo is just iron phosphate, and I don't think the worms care. Anyone disagree? (I can think of someone who I'm sure will disagree, but let's wait and see.)

Some random stuff to laugh at...

An AOL user wanted to know "what's it mean when a bird poops?" Ha!

"ceanothus fossils". That was probably Julie.

I'm the fifth search result for the string "Your order had been shipped" Hmm!


Christopher C. NC said...


JvA said...

I don't think I searched for "ceanothus fossils," though I do think that it was some ceanothus-related search that first led me here.

You get lots and lots of hits from me when I'm on my way to my own blog. Your blog is on my browser favorites list, but mine isn't, so I just go to yours, then click your right-column link to mine. (Plus, that way I get to see if you've updated lately.)

So just in case you were thinking that my blog is a popular one on your list, um, no -- that's just me clicking it.

chuck b. said...

Julie, you're too funny. No need to explain. Actually, I would be delighted if all my readers visited your blog too.

mmw said...

I haven't checked my logs in a while, but I know I get hits from people who want to smoke Leonotus leonuris. Relatedly, I was looking for something about Dautura the other day and I ended up here. Ouch!

Annie in Austin said...

I don't know how people get to my blog, Chuck, but I'm glad that I found yours!

I think the name of the tree with the conical spines is Ceiba pentandra, the Kapok Tree...there's a guy in Austin named Joe Montgomery who has managed to make one grow here - quite astonishing when we saw it on a garden tour.

Can I nominate a blue flower for hanging baskets? That little blue evolvolus found in the annual section of local nurseries does well for me.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Bob said...

Hello, just came across your blog from another and enjoying it. The tree is Chorisia speciosa. It grows in your area (sunset zone 17). I believe that should be your zone. There are varieties that are thornless. The common name is Floss Silk Tree.
I'm sure I'll be stopping back by :)
All the best, BOB of bobsgarden.com

chuck b. said...

Yes, that's it. I remember now because the genus name made me think of chorizo, and it's in Botanica. (I actually tried thumbing through Botanica last night looking for it. Heh!) Anyway, it's Chorisia speciosa syn. Ceiba speciosa, so Annie you were on target too. And you both beat the Ruth Bancroft Garden which has yet to reply.

Botanica says, "Growing rapidly to 50' or more with a spreading crown, this subtropical South American species is the one most commonly seen and is grown for its striking large flowers profusely scattered over the crown on bare or leafy branches from late summer to early winter.

I have a picture of that on the blog too. I'll make that a link later. Gotta run...

Bob, I am in Zone 17, but the Ruth Bancroft Garden is in Walnut Creek, which is Zone 15.

chuck b. said...

PS Annie, I'm EXTREMELY glad you found my blog, and of course your participation is always, always welcome. xoxo

Pam/Digging said...

Those Google searches are too funny! Your post had me chuckling and reading portions out loud to DH.

lisa said...

Hilarious! I've never set up a sitemeter, but I'm sure it would be interesting! Bet I get more than a few beer-related hits from my blog name. You're 5th for "Your order has been shipped"?! Now THAT is hilarious!