A Visit From Planta Claus!

Imagine someone dropping by to give you a bunch of beautiful plants!  
 The treasures include 'Mr. Ripple' and 'Jaws' Agaves, a Teucrium, x Graptoveria 'Opalina' (??)  Echeveria 'Opal Moon', and four Ballotas, which will join what I started calling The Dry Area.  The Dry Area began as a steeply sloped lawn of St. Augustine grass and a row of Prunus caroliniana.  The lawn and Prunus were removed and the slope somewhat flattened back in 2006, and it became a pathway through roses and daylilys, but the area was always too dry to make a satisfactory place for roses.  Last year I moved or removed almost all the roses and daylilys, leaving the area mostly fallow, except for a few Salvias, a Woolly Blue Curls...

 Leucadendron 'Ebony', 'Improved Meyer' Lemon, and a couple of Aloes.  
Leucadendron 'Pisa':
 The reseeding Nasturtiums, handy winter cheer for Southern California.  They will be toasty dead in a few weeks, but effortless  temporary beauty for now. 
 Leucadendron 'Little Bit', also quite cheerful:
 This winter, I added more Aloes and Aeoniums, more Leucadendrons, and now soon, the Teucrium and Ballotas. The Dry Area is already getting crowded.  

Thanks, kind and generous Planta Claus, aka A Growing Obsession.  

A couple of days of nasty heat, so gardening is again on hold.  I rescued a big bunch of roses for a vase, because they'd fry outside.
Can grow um.  Can't arrange um.  
 Plus a Freesia cluster, and a single Sweet Pea stem:

I was stuck in the house, sniffing rose/freesia/sweet pea perfume and meditating upon a garden forum post that went something like:  

I will plant a rose at the base of  a big mature tree that casts dark, dense shade.  The climate is arid high desert.  The soil is a mix of rocks and tree roots, and the rose will get no irrigation.  When will a rose in that situation become spectacular?

One's immediate gut response is:  "Never!"  or less kindly, "When h-ll freezes over."  Plants should be respected, I thought.  Why bother planting them if you are going to give them the exact conditions they need to fail?

 I did remember, though, a rose abandoned out back to deep shade and drought.  It had a terribly awkward growing habit,  I got it for nothing, and at the time I stuck it in a terrible location, there was no other place to put it.  
Less than ideal placement:
 Feeling acutely disrespectful and ungenerous, I braved the heat to cut back and move that poor rose, which had managed to bloom a little, despite terrible treatment.  It also got a deep soaking and a shade cloth cover, to protect it from the heat. 
Generosity of spirit breeds more of itself.  A pebble dropped into a pond causes ripples that radiate outwards.   

This month I managed to fulfill a promise to the Dahlias--I promised them real support this year, before they begin flopping everywhere, and at least made an effort.  How violet tomato cages will work as Dahlia supports--we'll see:
I also promised the tomato plants I'd protect them from rats and tie them properly--we'll see:
Formal rat-free zone:
  Planta--uh--Santa Claus is generosity symbolized as a pointy-eared guy in a red suit.
Holiday Hoover photo HolidayHooverDc2528.jpg
It can come in the form of a box of plants, too, or as a kind smile, or simply patience at a stop sign or in line at the grocery store.   
Are plants generous with their flowers?  
I'll be generous enough to chase this ball when you throw it.  You're welcome!

Comments

  1. Unexpected plant gifts are the best! Difficult to imagine it being too hot to garden right now...

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  2. Planta-Claus is indeed generous. I hope your new acquisitions make it through this horrible heat. The temperature has dropped to an almost tolerable 86F here and the humidity is rising despite the usual late afternoon wind so I'm hoping for a pleasant weekend outside and I hope you'll have the same.

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    1. At least it is a little cooler this morning. The new plants are safely in the shade until we get a few days of normal spring weather. A cool weekend wish back at you!

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  3. You wrote: Plants should be respected, I thought. Why bother planting them if you are going to give them the exact conditions they need to fail?

    This is what gardening is all about, isn't it? Respect for the plant? So often I read these days about saving the water, not the plant. Not most garden bloggers, fortunately, but those who like to tell us how to save the environment, again not the plant. You've built a much stronger rat excluder this year, did the one you made last year not work well? Alas, another Fried-day, spent in the house. Oh, my first sweet pea bloomed the same day as yours, can't deny the weather or day-length conditions here.

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    1. All living things need respect. Life moves so fast these days we forget that.

      The rat screen worked well last year--so this year I've tried to make it even better. I want home-grown tomatoes!!!! They are the only ones with any flavor.

      Another fried-day, you said it.

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  4. I guessed Denise was your Planta-Claus ..I feel so prescient !

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    Replies
    1. You are 1 smart lady, so no surprise there.

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  5. What special gifts Planta Claus left! That AGO (A Growing Obsession, not American Guild of Organists) is very kind and generous! (Much like that Hoover Boo person!) Happy new plants! Love the tomato cage idea for dahlia support! I'll be interested to see how your rat free zone works. Do keep us posted!

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    1. If the American Guild of Organists wants to drop some plants by, too, I wouldn't say no.

      I'm sure there will be a summer tomato saga. There always is.

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  6. Fellow plant lovers seems to be naturally generous :) and hot spells so early, I suppose that's not so unusual there.

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    1. Plant people are good people. Hot spells not unusual, but what is unusual is so many so often and so early.

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  7. Your flowers are too beautiful to need much arranging: a vase, some water and you're set.

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    1. Since that is all they are going to get--okay, then. :)

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  8. Well, I didn't leave empty-handed! Roses, aloes, cuttings of silvery leaved shrubs, fun with Natasha & Boris, and I got to tour your garden and sniff every rose. Win/win!

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  9. This post made me smile. I've been hoping that someday I will have a chance to visit your garden, and I already had the plant picked out that I was going to bring you: an Agave 'Mr Ripple'. Your garden would be the perfect home for it. Now Denise has beat me to the punch :-)

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome to visit any time you are in the area!

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    2. I'm hoping to do a solo trip to SoCal later in the year, as in me plus an empty car so I can buy plants :-).

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  10. Beautiful flowers and plants dear Hoover. Such a lovely gift of plants from your gardening friend, yes plant people are caring and generous. I have many plants in my garden given to me by friends and many of my plants have been shared with my friends.
    Gorgeous doggy pics and I hope you get some great tomatoes this year.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thank you Dianne. I hope your recovery is proceeding very well and that you are enjoying life!

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    2. Thank you dear Hoover, yes. I am recovering slowly and there is much in life to enjoy, especially this Autumn weather.
      xoxoxo ♡

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  11. The Woolly Blur Curls looks terrific! And I think the rose arrangement looks wonderful, too. Your roses are so nice, you could arrange them any way on earth and they'd still look beautiful!

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