I Declare Fall Project 2015 Complete


 A few things left to do, but complete enough.  It's mulched.  I already moved the step stone marked by the black "x".  The step stone was helpful before all the Dymondia filled in, but is no longer needed in that spot.  The Dymondia is currently very, very happy.  It likes winter.  Unfortunately we've had temperatures in the upper 80s (29 C+) the past several days. 

  If it cools down before next December, I'll move as many of these roses as I can...
 ...to this area in front of the window.
Yes, it's very dry.  It's very, very, very dry here.  Oh El Nino, why has thou forsaken us? 
The area from which the roses will be removed will be planted with small succulents such as Echeverias.  It's isolated enough to prevent snail damage, has excellent drainage, afternoon shade, and being just below eye level, is a perfect height to admire small plants up close.

The new little Maireana sedifolia purchased from the Huntington is in the ground, replacing 'Jude the Obscure'.  I had a good long think about saving 'Jude', but decided against it--wise considering the drought roared back with a fury in this our statistically rainiest month of the year.
 One of the Grevillea 'Superb' is just opening its first flower.
 The normal behavior for Grevilleas in this garden seems to be:  1. sit and do nothing for several months;  2. produce one flower, 3. sit a couple more months, 4. start blooming like crazy.  'Superb' is at step 2.
 I got the step stone moved between photos.  That other empty place in the Dymondia once held a Chorizema 'Bush Flame'  purchased at a big box store that died about a week after planting.  Grrr.  The spot has been empty ever since.  
 I'm wondering if the two 'Ivory Curls' Agaves needs to be moved off the much hotter, drier front slope and planted in those empty spots above.  They look heat and dry-stressed where they are, both the little offset...
 ...as well as the much larger original, which though it has been in this spot at least a year now, is looking dry and stressed again.  It looked ecstatic after our early January 3"-of-rain miracle, but not anymore.  Thirsty again. 
Oh El Nino, why hast thou forsaken Agave 'Ivory Curls'? 
The Agaves would be happier in the slightly more moist location, and be less sun stressed because of the presence of the Dymondia, but because the Agave foliage color is so similar to the Dymondia, would the Agaves be lost?   Either a move, or their own personal irrigation dripper.  I hate seeing them stressed. 
Update:  moved the little Agave.  I think it feels better already.  I do.
Anyway, I declare Fall Project 2015 officially complete.

Comments

  1. I don't think the Agaves would be lost in the Dymondia. Why not give it a try? Wish you would get some rain...

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    1. I will give it a go, as soon as it cools down. Near 90F today. Thanks for the wish!

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  2. Congrats on the completion! And I agree with Alan...not lost. I think they would look lovely. You know I'm willing rain your way. Sadly it looks like I have no pull with Mother Nature.

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    1. Thanks! I have no pull at all with MN, that is for sure.

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  3. I think 'Ivory Curls' would look smashing surrounded by Dymondia. 'Superb' is quite the diva, not wanting to share the spotlight...and why should she when her aria is so powerful?

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    1. When you have been named 'Superb', naturally Divahood is tempting!

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  4. I love all your Dymondia. I'll pick up 10 flats tomorrow to replace what used to be the lawn in the back yard. I hope it will soon look as lush as yours. Our back yard only gets 3-4 hours of direct sun in the summer so it should be OK.

    As Alan said, I think the 'Ivory Curls' would look excellent mixed with the Dymondia.

    It's been dry here in Davis, too. No rain in the 7-day forecast. Possibly some showers the weekend after next. I haven't given up hope entirely yet.

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    1. Loosen the soil down at least 8", and avoid stepping on the plants as long as possible. Those thick roots need to get down into the soil. It's not a happy plant in a lot of shade. Looking forward to seeing how your project progresses.

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  5. So sorry about all your heat and dryness! . I put 3 small dymondia in this past spring, and hoped they'd make it through this winter: success! May I ask how many (approximately) are in your Fall Project bed? I want more but don't want to overbuy if they'll spread... I really like the way your dymondia "lawn" looks! Agree w/ Alan and Loree: give the agaves a try there.

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    1. I filled that area with pieces from another area. My experience was if the pieces are too small, they die, if too large--well, then you need a lot. A piece about 3" x 3" worked well. They spread fastest in soil that has been loosened down 8" or so. Loose soil I think is key, and they spread fastest in mild weather--shutting down in summer heat. Don't over water!

      Not a super rapid spreader. If you look at the second picture in this post:
      http://pieceofeden.blogspot.com/2011/06/lawn-removal-update.html

      you can see I didn't put in a lot of patches. It was quit filled in--I'm trying to remember how long it took. A year or two?

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    2. Thanks, Hoov - that's very helpful. I picked up five more 4" pots yesterday, and you've given me a good sense of what the spacing should be. And congrats again on project completion; looking back at that earlier post gave me a renewed respect for the amount of work you did and the positive results!

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    3. I'll be looking to see how yours performs. Is it hardy there? 25-30F?

      As Alan says, it's not work, its gardening!

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  6. A vote for moving the agaves into the empty spots. I think the similarity in tones is a feature, and their different shape/scale provides the contrast.

    Really looking forward to the succulent plantings along the wall once you move the roses. And putting best thoughts out there for rain in the next few weeks.

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    1. I hope to get the little one moved today--and see how it works. I hope we get some cool weather soon so I can move the roses--thanks for the thoughts of rain, it helps to keep up the hope!

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  7. It looks great! I had a similar experience with a Chorizema but mine was sold by a prominent OC garden center at significant cost - they don't seem to be as "easy" as the woman hawking the plant claimed they are. As for El Nino, he's being stricken from my holiday card list. The LA Times has had a couple of recent articles on the rain problem, one of which asserted that El Nino's very size is what's pushed its force northward. The silver lining in that theory was that it MAY drop rain on SoCal as it weakens in March or April.

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    1. I wondered if it was the way the plant was cultivated--too rapid and rich. I cannot believe it was something I did--the drainage in the spot is sharp, and the soil is light--I don't blame myself for that one.

      I did read that about how the El Nino needs to begin to weaken in order to prompt the Pineapple Express to arrive...so I keep hoping, hoping, hoping. We must!

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  8. A great job, well done dear Hoover! I do hope you get some rain very soon.
    Hugs
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thank you, Dianne. We continue to hope...hope also your summer is not too brutal.

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  9. How irritating that El Nino isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing! I was really hoping for some rain for CA. At least there's irrigation and all those succulents to work with. :)

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    1. We're still hoping, hoping, hoping...and enjoying succulent plants in the mean time!

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  10. Moving the little agave pup looks great. I've been thinking about using Dymondia as a ground cover, but I'm not sure they'd like our summer heat or cold winters. Yours looks great though.

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    1. Dymondia is said to be happiest in coastal zones. It would need more summer water than here probably. 25-30F, do you get colder than that?

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  11. Hoov, my Ivory Curls is potted but staged center bed off the pergola. Its tips darkened like yours when the nights got chilly -- which wasn't much. Low 40s here maybe? So this is one fussy agave, with very sensitive leaves. Hot reflected light would be an enemy too, so the dymondia would help buffer that. And your analysis of grevillea behavior is spot on!

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    1. When an Agave is that gorgeous, it has full rights to fussy. Good point about reflected light. We got down to a frigid 38F one night--those were the days. Last night's low was 77F! Yuck!

      'Moonlight' and 'Peaches and Cream' did exactly that, and 'Superb' and 'Fanfare' look to be doing same. What a nice thing: predictable plants.

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