Winter Project II

Clematis 'Bourbon' is always first with flowers:
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Excellent Project progress, believe it or not.  The Dianella is out, the Brugmansia stump is free and sitting.  I cheated:  my mow-blow guy offered to remove the Brug for a reasonable price.  Doing it myself would have been painful.  The five-gallon bucket is there for scale.  Big stump.  It would have taken me a week to dig that out.
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Leaving the stump a few days will let it dry out somewhat and will probably reduce its weight by half, making it a lot easier to move.  I'm sooo glad to pay my mow-blow guy instead of doing it myself. He was supposed to be here at 8 am yesterday, but at 11:30 was still a no-show, so I assumed he wasn't coming and we went out to Roger's.  However, when we got back at 1:30 the stump was free and the guys were already gone, so it could not have been too difficult.  I also had them remove a big Phormium 'Pink Stripe' nearby, though I was the one who cut it down short (while I was waiting for them to show up), making it easier to dig up.
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A variegated lace cap Hydrangea gets the Phormium's spot.  This Hydrangea has a natural vase or "V" growth habit, and gets quite tall (10-12' in this neighborhood), so it fit that spot very well.  The spot is nearly always in shade, so the variegation brightens the area but still contrasts with the rose foliage around it--provided it survives the move.  It was hot yesterday, around 80F, and will be hotter today.  I'll be hosing down the foliage every hour or so to keep it hydrated.  The Hydrangea is just leafing out, not the best time to move a plant, but...it's done.
Photobucket  It was a lovely Phormium, and it looked great in that spot, but it was always hitting me in the face when I walked by, and it was rapidly becoming too big, already swallowing the neighboring Acer palmatum 'Emperor I', there on the right inside its green wire Bunny Guard.

The Phormium did well, as did the Dianella and the Brugmansia.  I enjoyed them all for quite a few years.  If a plant thrives, is a gardener obligated to leave it in place forever?  If a plant malingers despite great effort, is a gardener obligated to keep trying?  On both counts, I've decided:  no.  

We had a coupon for Roger's that was about to expire, so we came home with a Poppy 'Drama Queen' and yet another Calocephalus brownii (I have spots for both!).  For $3.99, that poppy had better reseed.  I've never grown any Papaver...will it even grow here?  We'll see what happens.  Our coupon made it free, so if it fails, nothing is lost but hope and high expectations, two things gardeners learn, over time, to do without.   
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Boris and Natasha are loving that plastic grass.  Fearless Leader is loving that complete and total lack of mud.  
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Comments

  1. That Brugmansia stump is huge. It was definitely a good idea to have someone remove it for you. I agree with you entirely about not keeping plants forever. I've had a ceanothus that gave a lovely display for many years but it just became too leggy, so reluctantly I had it removed last year. Hope your Papaver thrives, and reseeds too.

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  2. Wouldn't it be sweet if every time you went to a favorite nursery to browse or buy plants, some difficult garden task was magically finished?

    Oh, that would be nice.

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  3. @Crystal it's criminal that Californians do not appreciate our native Ceonothus as much as gardeners in the UK. We need to learn some of your sophistication!

    @Alan, If you figure out how to make that happen, could you PLEASE let me know? :)

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  4. "...nothing is lost but hope and high expectations, two things gardeners learn, over time, to do without." Why should something so painfully true make me laugh? Your hydrangea is lovely and already looks like it was made for that spot.

    And even though my opinion doesn't count for anything, I'm glad you chose Boris and Natasha for names for that pair.

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  5. I grew Drama Queen last year. It looked just like the photos- surreal colors! I don't know how easy they are to transplant, but poppies are weeds when grown from seed.
    Renee

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