Gloom And (Rose) Doom

 Above, a Daylily that didn't make it into the Daylily post.
 
May Grey continues;  so does gardening.  Once it really heats up, (hopefully not until the first week in July), the only gardening activity becomes watering and sitting in the shade watching everything out in the sun shrivel.  Work must be done now, or a lot later--mid October. 

The area in the back gully that started out so nicely has deteriorated badly.  Not entirely my fault--a lot of the problem, besides the drought, are the tall trees overhanging the area from the neighbor's property, dropping lots of litter, large branches, and shading the 'Marjorie Channon' Pittosporum hedge. 

I'd put up an inexpensive pergola on paver blocks recycled from another area, as a temporary feature and sitting area.  The pergola is now falling apart--what to do?  A new, durable pergola?  
 There was a rose upon it,  a climbing 'Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria'.  A lovely, lovely rose, but it never thrived, despite steady water, fertilizer, encouragement.  As part of a start towards doing something about this area, I dug up the rose.  It could be moved if the root system looked healthy, or trashed.  Yep, yet another victim of crown gall.  Doomed.  Trash.
 There was also a Clematis 'Bourbon' growing with it--the Clematis was not diseased and therefore movable.  
It bloomed back in March:
 Digging revealed 'Bourbon' had actually formed multiple plants with multiple separate, or almost separate, root systems.  
And a whole new cluster of stems (those pale sticks in the center of the photo) preparing to emerge!
  After division, I planted part on the trellis that once supported a 'Sombreuil' rose, and the rest by the climbing 'Iceberg' rose that has a dreadful looking base I've been working to hide all spring.  Yes, it is better to move a Clematis when it is dormant--didn't get to it this past winter.  I put another Salvia 'Amistad' nearby that will also hide the base of the rose, when it grows, hopefully fast and soon.  
All of the work of digging out the rose and clematis had to be done with a paranoid attitude, because there was a California Whipsnake watching me from 'Windermere' rose.  
No, you can't see it, but it was in there, staring at me.   And no, I'm not going to get close enough to a snake for a photo. 
 While not venomous, Masticophis lateralis can deliver a nasty bite, and their favorite prey are the lizards I adore, the little bug-eating machines.  Please leave.  Please.  

Setting aside that mess for now,  a look at the Leucospermum ten weeks after it began to bloom.  The brilliant yellow flowers are now fading to a softer color.
 Some of the flowers were falling--rabbits biting them off?  A closer examination revealed they are simply falling off on their own.  New growth has suddenly sprouted, too--its the lighter green foliage here:
 Each cone has a few seeds.  Leucospermum means "white seed", and the seeds do have a whitish outer coat. 
 You know that moment in the garden when you are doing a tedious job, and you happen to look up and see a flash of beauty that interrupts everything else, that makes the tedium so worth it?   
Here's the blog post version, Lavender 'Provence':
And no Masticophis lateralis are staring. 

Comments

  1. Enjoying your blog. I love the look of the pergola even if it's not all new. Clematis bourbon are stunning...I used to have some but many things have disappeared from my gardens.

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    1. I like the rustic look also, but structural integrity is the problem. Plants disappear here, too--shopping opportunity! ;-)

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  2. Crown gall? I need to look that up because I have a Zephirine drouhin rose that just isn't performing well. I was thinking of removing it and would dearly love to put in another climber but I have read that you cannot replant where another has died. The leucospermum is gorgeous.

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    1. Crown/root gall is a big problem here. :( Lack of any winter chill sustains the bacterium's activity year round.

      You can replant by switching out soil. Replant issue is more of a problem in the UK/Europe than here.

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  3. That whole area around the Leucospermum looks great. I hope the snake leaves you and the lizards alone.

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    1. Thanks, looking at the photo I realized that the Agave ovatifolia has grown. It looks exactly the same, only bigger. It's trying to fool me!

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  4. I had a comment in mind but I was struck dumb once again by the sight of the Leucospermum. Mine is still a minute specimen but I remain hopeful of success this time.

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    1. I've done nothing for it besides planting it. It grew like a weed, all by itself. Best wishes for the same results!

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  5. I've never seen photos of leucospermum seeds before. THank you for showing us! Do you think yours are viable?

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    1. Well, I planted them, hoping they are! :)

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  6. when we built our arbor and pergola, a woodworker friend told us even with redwood, we'd have to stain or paint regularly to protect the cellular structure of the wood. It gets dry rot if not protected, especially on the tops of the pieces. We have to paint about every 4-6 years. Hubby screwed on the 2x2's so we could take them down and paint on sawhorses. We subsequently put up 70% shade cloth. We live inland about 5 miles from the Pismo Dunes, within the June fog zone. it's a pain to paint, but it has to be done.

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    1. We had a wooden pergola on our balcony, despite regular painting rot ensued, so I had it replaced with no-maintenance powder-coated aluminum, love it! If I replace the crumbling one, it will also be with aluminum. (Aluminum also fire-proof, important here.)

      I covered the top of my new gate with a copper sheet to protect it, because the old gate crumbled from the top down. Shade cloth does help, the sun's UV rays are destructive of both wood and paint.

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  7. The leucospermum doesn't exist here but what a cool plant! I'd spring for a new pergola, too.

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    1. The pergola was a neat place for a rest. The cost has to include getting permission and cutting down the neighbor's 40 foot weeds, though. So I hesitate.

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