On the ladder today the gardener of the house admitted that Lady Banks (Rosa Banksiae lutea) may be nearing the end of her tenure here; at least 60 percent of her will be gone by November - her fate beyond that dependent on the ability to keep her under control for one more year. She begins to undermine the very structure that supports her , and shade she casts in summer is welcome indoors, but not helpful to the garden to her north. Removal would be bittersweet-there is nothing quite like her in early spring, the soft yellow in profusion all along every cane and drooping over the patio. And what would replace her ? Must be deciduous, must have clean foliage, must have flower , must not take over the entire house. Is there such a thing ? Can Lady Banks be molded into submission ?
A sure sign of the fall into winter journey is the appearance of fog inland from the coast. Not to be confused with the marine layer , this fog lays low to the ground and somehow diffuses sounds into a muffled quiet. This morning I was surprised to see the fog; It was summer just a few days ago.
..and the temperature says it's summer. This happens in September, summertime's grasping the cliff ridge by it's fingernails before plunging into the gorge. But mornings are cool, the sun slants and hits the gardens in a pleasing way, and everything of substance that is done is forward looking- now we start to think about next year- the mistakes of this year are still right there in our face. I continue to dig up,move or discard green-kids that don't pull their weight. Some will be given away. Things will cool off, frost will come, and then the rain (we hope) and we will go inside and write plans on paper , preparing for Spring.
Shorter days and colder nights raise the level of tolerance for the high temps in September. At least this year. Evenings are beautiful and golden , frost is (one hopes) another 4 to 6 weeks off, and the only beast is the mildew.
I start to think about winter color now, Iceland Poppies, Pansies, Snaps-- and even kale ..the experiment with kale last year was wonderful-but only briefly . Aphids seem to colonize the stuff, and the damn snails think they are Hostas. I will try again, with preventative measures.
This inauguaral event seemed like a magnet for the Northern California gardening cognoscenti ; conversations overheard included snippets of garden writer conversations, chat of Garden Rant, Saxon Holt with his own table and the food was better than that of the the SF show. (Not a stretch). It would be neccesary to attend most of the lectures to keep one occupied all day, and I opted out- the venue for lectures was substantially smaller than it needed to be. Further, the vendors were all quality-nothing schlocky to be found, however many of them were given booths that only one or two people could access at a time.This gardener would have absolutely bought plants had the logistics been better. The display gardens were wonderful, edgy, hip and thought provoking..they were in fact living art ,not really gardens at all.
Great hopes for the potential of this show in the future, particularly if the speaker line up and the plant vendors there are any indication of credibility .
Friday is a personal favorite; the lift-off for the gardening week. No overtly muscular tasks are performed, only the business that can be achieved while strolling. This may include watering , removal of the spent flower or wizened leaf, the slight shifting of a container location , and tuna-treats for Doobie.