The Oldest Plants In The Garden
We moved here in 1999. The garden was professionally hardscaped and landscaped in late 1999 - early 2000. There are few plants left from that; I either didn't like the landscaper's choices, or the plants died.
Among the few of the landscaper's survivors are a 'Fuerte' Avocado tree. "Yum!" is my first comment on that. This area was and still is growing Avocados commercially. Avocados want sharp drainage but at the same time moist soil, a challenge in our light silty loam, but the uphill neighbors water their lawn so generously I think the Avocado is benefiting from that, though their roots are not aggressive. The only problem is grabbing the wonderful fruit before rodents do. We rarely buy avocados now, because the flavor of home-grown renders a store bought fruit unappealing.
The other surviving tree is a Valencia orange. This area was also a commercial citrus growing region. The oranges are beyond wonderful, and like avocados we relish our own fruit and rarely buy any. Where's the tree? Just barely visible, as the slope plants caught my eye...
...there's the tree. Citrus are beautiful as well as delicious. The scent of orange blossoms in spring is pure heaven.
The day the landscaping crew left in early 2000 I was so happy, because they were here working for months. There was a lot to do because the property was bare soil. It was great to have the property to ourselves, finally. That happy day I went out to a big box store and bought some cheap bulbs. There are a few survivors still in the garden. I've been pulling out hybrid Gladiolas for years, but one or two always manage to elude me.
The Tritelia laxa (Broadiea laxa) 'Queen Fabiola' are also still here. This native California bulb I will plant more of this fall. Marvelous plant, lives on rainfall alone, survived 5 years of drought without much rain...multipled without being a pest...in a poor location...cannot say anything bad at all about it.
'Iceberg', on the other hand, despite still growing off the same three stems(!!!!!!!!!) it had 20 years ago(!!!!!!!!!!!) glories on.
'Iceberg' is at the extreme upper
The one remaining non-tree from the original landscaping project is this violet Bougainvillea. There were originally several planted. One survived. I learned that a well-established Bougie can be cut to the ground every few years to control size. Since they bloom only on new growth, there is no reason to keep old growth unless you want nesting habitat for rats. Avocado-eating rats. Grrr!
Cut to the ground back in November. All refreshed!
I was hog-wild for a whole lot of roses in the spring of 2000, buying and planting well over one hundred varieties. Over the years, crown gall and our long drought, plus removing under performers and trying new cultivars, has lessened their number, but I still love them and still grow many. Lately I have decided multiples of a great rose are more satisfying than one of a whole lot of different ones.
'Rose Rhapsody' has remained excellent for 16 years.
There is also a different kind of "old plant" in the garden--the plants of childhood memories. Mom and Granny loved Hydrangeas and Fuchsias, and this somewhat shady, somewhat moisture-retaining area has been good for both. These plants are from the early '00s:
The stuff of memory belongs in a garden. This is not the same plant, but it is the first plant I ever grew, being given it by a gardening neighbor when I was five. A good plant for a little child: Graptopetalum paraguayense. I believe the neighbor used the common name, "Ghost Plant". I like it as much as I did when I was five.
New plants belong in a garden, too. Renewal and memory, balanced. The newest plant here is Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie':