Spring Project 2016 Continues, New Plants

 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. 

Comments

  1. Sigue avanzando el proyecto, mis más sinceras felicitaciones

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  2. You've been busy! I look forward to continued reports on your Begonia luxurians growth. Such a magnificent plant.

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    1. I'm interested to see what will happen with the Begonia, too. No idea at this point.

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  3. That looks like quite a bit of work! I hope this weekend's lower temps help you make more progress... Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! Well, it's been a long time since I did anything in that area. So it was time, and it hasn't been too bad. Having flat places to stand makes a huge difference.

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  4. I like the way you've used the concrete blocks to create level spots on your project slope. As the wood tree rings I foolishly used as "temporary" support on the back slope are decaying after 5 years there, I think I'll follow your example - since we used the same kind of blocks to create our stairway, it'll look like it was planned.

    I laughed at the photo of the hummingbird on the tomato cage. I've got a number of cages in my back borders right now too (to protect new plants against raccoon intrusions) and have discovered that the hummers love sitting on them.

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    1. Those blocks I've used in multiple places and ways over the years. I never expected to get so much use out of them--they've turned out to be well worth the money and the effort it took to get them home. I remember going to Home Cheapo every day for weeks, buying six blocks at a time, which was what fit in the trunk of my old car. If only they were better looking, they'd be perfect.

      I'm using tomato cages for the Dahlias--the Dahlia foliage pretty much hides the cage by summer. Yes, they are prime perching spots. The Phoebes like them, too.

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  5. Dear Hoover you have been busy, those Ficus roots are so invasive and difficult to remove.
    Your new plants look lovely and the red Sprekelia and Salvias are spectacular. Your humming birds will have plenty of nectar.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. The roots have not been so bad to get out, it's just there are so many of them. Yes the local hummingbirds are quite spoiled with all the nectar available!

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  6. I visited the home of a gardener/collector years ago and we sat in his atrium near a large shallow pond--in it was plunked a gallon container of Victoria, blooming heartily. Appears it can be an aquatic plant, at least near bloom!

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    1. Interesting! I read that it likes pond-edges. I was thinking of putting something aquatic in my pond-shower (water flows back into the pond via a shower type thing running over a shelf for aeration). The shower actually had an impatiens volunteer growing in there last summer. Do you know what the plant was in? Regular garden soil or aquatic plant clay beads?

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  7. I envy all the energy you have. This is not a minor project. I love being able to follow your progress.

    At the RBG plant sale last week I saw an all-white Salvia leucantha. Just in case you're interested.

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    1. I don't have much energy after working out there all day! Tired now. Really enjoyed your post on the University garden, so beautiful.

      All-white S. leucantha, eh? Cool! Saw a pink-and-white one this morning.

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