Sunday, February 5, 2017

Winter Project 2017 Continued

Saturday morning was so beautifully mild--the air was cool but not cold, the sun was warm but not hot, the air was moist but not humid, the light soft but not gloomy.
 'Comtesse de Provence' on tall leafless stems--I've delayed weeks to prune this rose because several large flower buds were developing.  Worth the wait? 
 I was feeling very tired from the shrub removal this week and was going to take the day off gardening, but it felt so good to be outside.

Planted the Phylica near 'Peaches and Cream' Grevillea--their pale yellows match. 
 Hoisted the stumps over the wall (carefully!), fixed the broken irrigation pipe, put the soil back where it belonged, got some of the rat's nest removed.  I thought removing the nest gradually would give any residents a chance to leave unobserved.  We'd all be scared by a confrontation.
 
Now, I'm considering removing the Leucadendron linifolium at the extreme left, to the left of the dormant Lagerstroemia.  Another wonderful plant I've really enjoyed, yet I can live without it in that highly visible spot.  
 The newly empty space measured out at 10' (3 m) deep and 16' (4.8 m) wide.   A space at least 2' wide adjacent to the wall gives me access to the top of the slope.  Enough space remains for a happy 'Wilsons Wonder' Leucadendron, an Agave or Aloe or two or three, but at the same time leaving breathing room between the Leucadendron and the two trees--'Hercules' and the Lagerstroemia. 
 Showier Leucospermum 'Tango' would get Leucodendron linifolium's spot. 
 While thinking and measuring, I remembered to check the Monarch chrysalis.  It was due to open. 
The chrysalis starts out this green color:
 After x number of days, "x" being determined by weather conditions, location, and time of year, the chrysalis changes color, darkening, becoming more blue and slightly translucent. Note the two white dots towards the bottom of the chrysalis:
I hoped to see the butterfly emerge, but focusing on the project, I was too late!
 Not too late to see the butterfly, though.  I was just in time to find it nearby, waiting for its wings to strengthen.  Compare the pair of white dots on the chrysalis above with the white dots on the butterfly's head:
It was warm and sunny enough for the butterfly's wings to harden off successfully.  
 Good luck on your journey, gorgeous!  It flew off, floating on a mild breeze on a mild day.
 A long day of effort in the garden yields all sorts of magic. 

24 comments:

  1. How lucky are we to work in places where such magic happens.

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    1. If more people figure that out, they may start gardening!

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  2. I can't wait to see this progress. It looks great already. That is wonderful news about the butterfly.

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    1. The difficult part is almost done--soon the fun bit (planting new plants) begins.

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  3. How exciting! Both that new space you have to work with as well as spotting the beautiful butterfly before it took off.

    So if you do remove the Leucadendron linifolium do you already have a list of possible replacements?

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    1. Leucospermum 'Tango' probably gets the spot. Alternate would be moving Leucospermum 'High Gold'. Iffy moving a Leucospermum, but it has not been there long...

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  4. Digging stuff out is not fun, but what a a sense of accomplishment when it's done ! I so approve of how you opened up the view to 'Hercules', a fantastic focal point . I have a few things to dig out too, but the level of soil saturation at this point makes it impossible. I could use about two weeks of no rain.

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    1. We could use about two weeks of rain here.

      Yes, a, great sense of accomplishment, a couple of aspirin, and a hot bath.

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  5. How long has the 'Hercules' tree aloe been planted? I think one of the first images I saved from your blog featured it, with the foliage much closer to the ground.

    That is a lovely planting space; happy shopping / propagating!

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    1. Planted that in January of '12, so 5 years in the ground. It sat in a 1 gallon pot for 2 years before I planted it.

      Already did the shopping--that's the easy, fast part, ha ha!

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  6. It's great to have a blank space like that to plant up. Thanks for sharing your great shots of the beautiful Monarch.

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    1. It will be fun and hopefully I get it right.

      Glad you liked the butterfly photos. It was exciting to see the butterfly was successful.

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  7. How wonderful to have all that "new" space! You were so right to remove the Calothamnus - I don't think I really appreciated 'Hercules" until I saw him with all that space around him. I'm glad you got a chance to see the Monarch before she flew off and pleased at well that you snapped a photo to share. More rain due tomorrow!

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    1. I was stunned to see how dramatic Herc looks with space around him. Statement plant.

      Crossing all fingers and toes in hope for rain. (Makes it hard to type.)

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  8. What a magical ending! It gives me hope on all kinds of levels.

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    1. Me, too. The beauty of the butterfly truly is magic.

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  9. Excited about all your new space! And good call to leave a little bit for access. LOVED seeing the butterfly shots - how exciting!!!

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    1. Access to be able to weed, cut flowers, spot-water, admire up close, check for problems--who would think that would be helpful? Us!

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  10. Such perfect conditions, when they happen are a treasure to remember indeed! Love the magical conclusion to it too :)

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    1. It was a great day, as a day in the garden can so often be.

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  11. When reading "Hoisted the stumps over the wall..." I thought "take that neighbors!" but then realized it was your own wall. :)

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    1. I didn't want the neighbors to have to look at those things. A little wall hides a fair amount of mess.

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  12. Your "day off" turned into a pretty demanding work day. The rain must me better than a power drink. The young chrysalis is as beautiful as its resident...could be mistaken for a piece of jewelry.

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    1. Winter is our time to garden. Winter is a huge motivator because all too soon it will be hot again and impossible to garden comfortably for hours at a time.

      Yes the Monarch chrysalis has that little band of black studded with gold dots--amazing thing!

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