Showing posts from February, 2021

A visit to UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

  When January rolled around it occurred to me that I had not been more than 50 miles from my house since August. I typically make a weekend or more out of a road trip to Santa Cruz , but the post holiday Covid surge in California did not endear me to staying in a hotel-though I do long for a weekend away. I decided to just drive to the arboretum and come back the same day. Two hours down and back, on a Sunday morning, thereby avoiding the Silicon Valley weekday traffic. Cued up a bunch of gardening podcasts for the drive, packed my camera gear and a snack and off I went. Driving through the maze of freeways in the east and south bay early on Sunday is about as painless as that drive can be, and even the dreadful Highway 17 provided a pleasant country outing vibe. I felt liberated -it seemed as though I was on vacation, just for one day.    The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is 135 acres and has an open park like feeling and an outstanding collection of Aussie, New Zealand and South African p

It Doesn't Look Like Much..Yet.

  Just a few months ago this area along the north fence of my garden was so densely planted little soil was visible. The removal project was almost completely spontaneous-I spent no time pondering and worrying about shovel pruners remorse. It started when I decided to chuck my polyantha rose 'The Fairy' which had been in the ground for at least 20 years. The fairy was not a bad rose-a long bloom period well into fall, disease  free and compact-but I was ready to cycle in something new. Once the rose was gone  a new view opened up before me and I could see no justification to keep plants in this bed that I no longer loved. I just kept digging. Eupatorium Gateway, Sedum Autumn Joy, a reverted Phlox paniculata Nora Leigh, and Miscanthus Rigoletto. All gone. By the way, if you are contemplating digging up a Miscanthus, I recommend a Sawzall-after a few days of working on it off and on I finally had to break out the power tools.     Miscanthus Rigoletto was a beautiful thing, but by