Fall and winter are the best planting times here. I'm working to finish before spring officially arrives.
Emptied this ridiculous planter by the patio.
The one who is responsible for this bed said a planter would "soften the area". Nice in concept, failure in reality. I had Clivia there and they were okay, but a sane person can only look at Clivia for so long and remain sane. Ditto for Aspidistra and Sanseveria.
This is a better spot:
I moved the Clivia to the back gully where they can be glanced at every once in a while, which is the right amount of attention for Clivia.
The view from the garbage cans:
A variegated boxwood moved from a sunnier drier area to this shadier one. It will be happier. The newly planted impulse-buy Camellia is pushing out new foliage. The Fuchsia is growing. The green Acer is leafed out again. The rose is blooming. All is well.
Rose 'Altissimo' got a hard pruning this year and it's happier.
The two roses I moved a few weeks ago have not died:
Ditto for the impulse buy Penstemon. This is a first: the first time a Penstemon hasn't died less than an hour after purchase. It's also doubled in size since planting. Yay! Maybe I'll get an actual flower this time.
An impulse buy? Is it an impulse buy if you've wanted it for a long, long time, and have an empty spot waiting for it? I've long hankered for ' Cafe au Lait' Dahlia since I first saw it several years ago. Finally was able to get some tubers before they were sold out. Time to open and inspect. Is there such a thing as a tuber stamp?
A dead Acer palmatum removed, an Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn' planted to replace it. I read Abutilon need sun; the tag said part sun to shade; we had one at one time and it always drooped when the sun shown upon it, so here it went into morning sun, afternoon shade. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, the empty spot is no longer empty.
The 'Climbing Iceberg' rose I planted on the east-facing balcony struggled last year despite regular water and fertilizer. Excessive reflected heat from the stucco walls and tile. Being named 'Iceberg' didn't help--the canes were sun burnt. Pulled out of the pot, it proved to have a enormous rootball, impressive for a rose.
'Secret Garden Musk Climber', while a fine rose, never did work on the archway in back, due to its habit of growing exactly where I didn't want it, so 'Iceberg' gets the spot.
Despite the move and me shaking the potting mix out of that enormous rootball so I could fit it into the planting hole, 'Iceberg' seemed unbothered. A flower opened without wilting. Amazing.
Thrive, baby, thrive. Note sun burnt canes.
A favorite view from the reflected-heat balcony. The fish are big! All but one are at least 2' (60 cm) long
An impulse buy, sort of. Hakea salicifolia 'Gold Medal'.
I thought it would work on the slope to the left and behind the golden Duranta.
"X" always marks the spot:
Or in place of the two boxwood that struggled in full sun this past summer. It would be more work to move the boxwood, but the Hakea would be a great screen to hide the neighbor's storage room...
"Dutch" Iris opened. Must not miss the beauty all around, even when gardening...
What did pretty well on the heat-blasted balcony were the two Chamaerops humilis var. argentea palms. I moved them to the covered, shadier portion of the balcony, where they will do even better.
The lesson learned is: only certain plants can handle fierce reflected heat. Maybe a bougainvillea would work up there...I've got one I could move...