Despite the heat (now thankfully easing) I've been working intensely on the slope project. I pulled out the desperate Nandina in the top planter cup, potting it up, giving it a deep soak, and placing it in the shade. Nandina are incredibly tough and it will recover easily with that treatment. I moved all the top cup blocks to remove a lot of ficus roots, then replaced the blocks. There is now a reasonable flat space at the very top of the slope where I can stand safely and trim back the neighbor's ficus trees to the property line. I'm adding another, smaller planting cup to the left and below the big one I built. Drippers added to the big planting cup; it's now ready for whatever I plant there--the Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths', probably, or the lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia).
I also pulled out the large clump of Salvia leucantha because I needed to work on the soil. Two sections of the Salvia got potted up, to be replanted later in the same area or nearby.
Here are a few of the small Ficus roots I pulled:
Here are the Salvias and the golden Duranta rooted sucker I potted up, soaked with water, and placed under the shade of the Myrtle to recover and grow. The hose is right there, if they are thirsty.
There were several chunks of the native granite in the project soil. It's not the most beautiful stone, but the chunks are useful: I moved them to the front slope, adding to a few already there. They are strategically arranged as stepping stones, flattest side up.
I tried to place them to mimic a ridge of stone becoming exposed by soil erosion, to attempt to create a natural, understated look. Each stone provide a safe flat place to step in case I need to weed or check an irrigation dripper.
Now, to new plants. My brain is still on Spring, so a few new plants made their way into the garden. Alstroemeria 'Inca Collection Husky' is a small, short Alstroemeria hybrid I placed near the red-leafed Acer palmatum 'Oshio Bene' because the rusty red color in the flower was a good match with the foliage of the Acer. My shoe in the photo for scale. Two surviving Lillies at top left out of seven or eight originals; probably their last year. Lillies don't live long here.
Impulse Big-Box buy Echeveria hybrid 'Misty Lavender'. Appears to me there is some E. 'Topsy Turvy' in the gene pool:
Old plant, but a new, much better spot. Originally planted behind the house where it got shaded out and now out front and back in sun, Sprekelia formosissima bloomed again after a hiatus of several years. Beautiful pure red flower.
Also a beautiful red, another impulse buy of an inexpensive seedling from a local garden center. Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria'. A plant I've always wanted to try, even though it's not a good choice for this climate. This spot is one of the very few places in the garden that stays consistently moist, so this moisture lover has a chance. It's already grown several inches from this photo taken a few days ago.
Begonia luxurians can get six feet tall in a growing season. This goes near the Acer palmatum where it can get the shade and moisture it needs. It, too, has already grown several inches.
Phygelius capensis 'Passionate Pink' there next to the wall, to grow large enough to hide that electric box. This area in front of the library window has become The Magenta Bed. Phygelius is yet another Hummingbird favorite. I like to keep those dynamic little birds well fed.
One bird was guarding several Salvias, Fuchias, and a towering Iochroma full of nectar-rich flowers in an overly dynamic manner.
Share, little guy! There's plenty for everyone.