Showing posts from May, 2012

Succulent Housekeeping

The majority of succulents here live in pots- those that are planted out in the garden are sedums and semperviviums , both of which tolerate the winter nightime temps in the 20's and seem to get along with frequent rain,  wet soil and occasional standing water. The containers are arranged under a poor-mans pergola affair sporting a mature Rosa banksia lutea which, in spite of her gargantuan size requireing draconian pruning twice a year, is treasured for the nicely dappled shade on the west exposure of the house.  There are lots of flowers on Lady Banks, and those flowers have many little tiny petals. The petals fade and fall and come to rest in the myriad crevices furnished by Agaves, Echeverias and Senecios among others. This starts to look pretty crappy along about April. Sticking my hand into Agave 'Blue Glow' to pick out banksia  debris is downright hazardous-I get enough wounds during rose pruning season. So, once Lady Banks has exhausted herself I perform the annual

A New Kid Makes Good

 Ordered in late March and planted in April , 'Symphytum 'Axminister Gold' has already made a statement in the mid spring garden. Though the blooms are not the main attraction here , they are an appreciated bonus. How clever I am to have had the presence of mind to buy two of them. If there are any left (doubtful) when I pay an in-person visit to Digging Dog for the first ever Garden Conservancy Mendocino County Open Garden Day next weekend , I will surely buy another one.  Seen here with with Achellia 'Moonshine' , Phygelius Croftway Purple Prince' and yet to bloom Trachelium .

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, The Merry Month of May 2012

So many blooms this month, which ones to share ? May is a splendid month in the garden; the freshness of spring still prevails, frost is a distant memory, the empty spaces fill in. Our hostess Carol is rightly smitten with May Dreams . Be sure to visit and see the blooms of our fellow gardeners across the globe.  Erigeron hangs with green Santolina.  Penstemon pseudospectabilis..strict warnings relative to over watering accompanied the instructions here, and the common name 'desert beardtongue' sealed the deal. I  put it in a large clay pot with a couple of trailing Sedums and a Dudleya caespitosa. The presence of the succulents should deter me from the temptations of watering. Oooo-la-la the flowers of this Penstemon cobaea  are pure drama. The fabulous Sombreuil. How I love the extreme cuteness of this grass, Briza media. ...and  Stipa gigantea , a grass I feared would be too big, but  instead has a neat mound of foliage and tall see-through bl

Yellow Roses

 Roses take up a sizable chunk of real estate. They were the first plant I collected and hours were spent  pouring through catalogs, lurking on internet Rose forums, making lists of those I had and those I wanted. Now I am deleting. There is still a want list, but it is small, and a new rose is only installed when an old one is removed. Today I dug up Austins 'Mary Rose', after many years of service she was about to become Dr Huey.  The yellow roses have become the majority. I am partial to them, and few yellows have been shown the door to the compost bin. Buff Beauty.  The excellent Molineaux, ridiculously prolific, not a black spot in sight. Golden Celebration. Toulouse Lautrec. Black spot and vegetative centers are tolerated in view of the sunny color and the recurved form.

Missions and Oceans

 While on the coast last week, I scheduled my days lazily; puttering around Carmel in the morning before the tourists descend (since I live in an tourist area I always feel that I am a honorary local in other similar towns) and heading out with the camera and the addresses of all the nearby garden centers loaded in the GPS in the afternoon.  My first stop this day was Mission San Carlos Borromeo Carmelo , aka Mission Carmel, which I had not visited since the 80's. I arrived simultaneously with a bus full of school kids, and since I am famously child-phobic, I hit the road for Big Sur. Luckily, by the time I rounded back to Carmel the small fry were long gone.  Father Serra was a revered personage back in my days as a Catholic Kid. Since then his reputation has soured , muddied with accusations of abuse of the native population, ranging from simple paternalism to slavery. Father Serras grave site is here in the basilica at Mission Carmel. I stood before it , but took no photos.