I shut the irrigation off around December 6th. December was cold as Southern California winters go, we got a couple showery December days, and the generous 3.3" of rain which fell the first week of January carried the garden all the way to today. Enough rain water in tubs, barrels, etc., collected from that generous storm to douse new plantings and the most arid spots in the garden all of January, but the garden got quite dry again this past few days. All rain tubs and barrels are empty again.
The early January rain stimulated Aloe blooms. Aloe marlothii continues to develop. I think it might have two candelabras, not just one. That would be a first.
At long last, rain is confidently predicted for tomorrow. Beloved kindly agreed to move the little Magnolia stellata, and move or remove Rosa 'Jude the Obscure', depending upon the state of Jude's root system. The day before a rain is the best time to transplant here.
Last year I moved the giant white squill, Drimia maritima. It didn't rain, and I thought I'd killed the bulbs. All three survived, thank goodness! Here's two of them:
Magnolia is now where the splendor of its starry flowers will be easily enjoyed from the dining room window, should it survive its transplant.
Can't see it? It's in the red circle.
You may have noticed by the photos that it started to drizzle as we worked. Rain is not predicted until tomorrow, but it started early. This is a good sign.
Above, Agave salmiana 'Medio Picta' got the Magnolia's old place. Jude sits exposed, to the left of the Agave.
'Jude' came out--it can sit in the rain tomorrow until I examine the roots further and consider whether or not it should be moved or discarded. It's 15 years old. The root system was big. Jude had grown some of his own roots, but there were also some Dr Huey rootstock roots thick as wrists. The new Maireana sedifolia gets 'Jude's spot.
Gratuitous Maireana sedifolia photo:
I also planted a few Gazanias, realizing afterwards that rabbits love eating them to the ground. I'll have to count on the local coyotes for control.
Beloved also kindly removed Rosa 'Just Joey', a beautiful rose, but never a healthy plant--it was extensively root-galled, so that was that. Also a 'Lady Emma Hamilton'--beautiful flower, good vigorously growing rose, terrible foliage. Horrific foliage. Another 'Lady Emma' remains, for now--one rose with egregious foliage is enough.
Roses removed, need something new here. Have always wanted a fountain here...
Another Monarch caterpillar. This one looks ready to cocoon. The Asclepias plant is a mess; I'm waiting for the caterpillar to finish so I can remove the plant. New seedlings are already emerging.
The puppies were alarmed and dismayed by the drizzle. They are anti-water dogs. Natasha won't even venture out onto wet concrete.
No! My feet might get clean! Not that!
"Let us back inside! Please! Now!"
You got it, pups. Much accomplished with Beloved's kind help, we--the plants and I--earnestly hope for rain tomorrow. The pups would gladly do without it, and Beloved is okay either way.
Fill 'er up!