Some Enchanted 'Evelyn'

 The last flower she gave me


I bought Austin rose 'Evelyn' when we were still living in our old house, around 1995, and potted her up to plant here when we moved in 1999.
'Evelyn' was the star when this garden was in its earliest years.  
 

No more.  'Evelyn' has been declining for several years.   I dug her out last weekend.  As suspected: a victim of crown gall.   
Oh, the gall of her!
 'Evelyn' was a big plant even in decline, so removal opened up a big space.  
I planted a Leucadendron 'Ebony' (red arrow), but there is still plenty of space left.  'Ebony' was purely an impulse buy because it was healthy and because the price was screaming good.  
Plenty of afternoon sun
Two choice, large-growing plants await a place in the ground--Grevillea 'Kings Fire' and Leucospermum 'Scarlet Ribbon'.  Fiery heat is predicted by Friday, so they need places in the ground to survive the summer.

I hesitated to put either one in 'Evelyn's old spot, because it's not a one hundred percent dawn-to-dusk full sun location.  It certainly gets what qualifies as "full sun":  at least six hours of direct sunlight.  The baby oak tree now more than 12' tall is casting morning shade, and will cast more every year as it grows.  What to do?  I walked around and around the garden with a shovel, thinking.  One of my rounds made me decide to get rid of a Salvia leucantha.  This opens up a considerable space for 'Scarlet Ribbons', there behind the Aloe:
While I was there, Proteana needed a clean up in preparation for fire season.  There were a lot of scraggly California poppy plants and Alyssum that needed to be removed.  All done, looking good:
 Erepsia pillansii there in the foreground, a Fynbos shrubby iceplant.  Cool flowers:
 Intense summer sun makes everything look bleached out.
Back around the garden a couple of times (the shovel was getting heavy), a solution came to mind:  move the new-this-year, 'Top Gun' rose to 'Evelyn's place, and give 'Top Gun's place to Grevillea 'Kings Fire'.
 The hotter, sunnier, more open spot to the plant that needs it, the shadier but still plenty sunny place to the rose that needs it.  Excellent. 
As the Grevillea grows, the little plants around it can be moved elsehwere. 
It must be funny to observe me garden, walking around and around the house with a shovel over one shoulder, talking to myself.  Good thing the street is pretty deserted most of the time.   While I walked around and around, I noticed a few of the Zinnias grown from seed are about to flower.  Wheee! 
Another interesting thing was noticing how our native shrub Heteromeles arbutifolia, common name Toyon,  has a remarkably similar growth habit when young to Leucadendrons.  
Toyon:
 Leucadendron 'Reverse Polarity', doing its periodic imitation of a stained glass window.  A very good imitation, by the way.  If only the Toyon did that, too.  That glowing color is mesmerizing.
I will miss 'Evelyn's exquisite flowers, but not her gangly growth, her vulnerability to every rose disease there is, and her lackadaisical attitude towards blooming.  Maybe I won't miss her that much.  

It would have been wise not to plant a rose in 'Evelyn's old place because of the crown gall, but, oh well.  'Top Gun' hasn't been impressive so far.  Nice flower, but only one of them.
Not quite as enchanting as 'Evelyn'
  
Now summer heat is hitting, so gardening is over until mid-September at the earliest.  Now watering season begins, keeping plants alive until the heat eases, with a minimal amount of water.    


Comments

  1. Quite a puzzle isn’t it, moving plants around and deciding where plants go. Ebony is a stunner!

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    1. Yes it's like a jigsaw puzzle where you don't know what the picture should look like!

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  2. I've played this plant moving game plenty often, so I know whereof you speak. I'm pretty sure my neighbors and any walkers who pass the house think I'm mad as a hatter when they hear me muttering to myself as I garden, sometimes walking to and fro with no tools whatsoever in my hands.

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    1. It's fun, though! It's nice to be Master Of The Universe even when the universe consists only of dirt and flowers. Especially when.

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  3. Who knew problem-solving can be aided by carrying a shovel over your shoulder! Something, maybe agave snout weevils, has damaged 4 of my 'Blue Boy' Yuccas. I've already pulled out the 2 most severely damaged plants and will probably yank the other 2 but the thought of leaving those good-sized holes through the long, hot summer bugs me so I may be wandering my own garden with a shovel soon.

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    1. The shovel kept me focused. Agave weevils, really? Scary!

      My Y. linearifolia died for no apparent reason--never did figure out why, and the other Yuccas in the garden are fine. A mystery that will remain unsolved. An Agave planted in Y. linearifolia's spot is healthy and growing.

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  4. Oh, sad. Requiem for Evelyn. I hate crown gall so much, and wonder if there's any way to avoid it altogether. Have had similar experiences here too, where roses that were champs suddenly start growing backwards, and then you see that horrible "black cauliflower" stuff around the base...

    On a random note - it's supposed to be 108 here tomorrow...thank you, No!!

    Love your blog, by the way. It brightens my week.

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    1. Yep, the Dreaded Black Cauliflower. I've lost a lot of roses to that--it's the only thing I've ever lost roses to, actually. I suspect a lot of them come pre-infected, because the soil here was subsoil under a thick layer of granite, and never ever gardened or farmed, so it was sterile. Have had good luck buying roses from Chamblee's in TX; or from Canadian growers; none of them have become infected and are growing strong after 10, 15, 18 years.

      Right, 108-110F tomorrow. Yeccch. No gardening for a while. Stay safe. That level of heat is dangerous.

      Thank you for the kind comment! It brightened my day!

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  5. You sound like me. I do the wandering/shovel thing with every plant I bring in. Buy first - plan later. That is my motto!

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    1. As long as you are also muttering to yourself, it's okay. ;^) "Saturday Morning Syndrome", a garden speaker calls it. "Oooh! Shiney! Must have!". It is the story of my garden!

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  6. Evelyn was an enchantress. I like that dark leaved plant you thought to put in her place. I giggled at the idea of your neighbors watching the crazy lady with shovel in hand walking around muttering to herself. They are just lucky it wasn't an ax. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I'm scared of axes! The neighbors are used to me and mention often that they enjoy watching the changes in my garden, but I don't think they witness the walking around muttering part. They mostly see the staring-and-looking-worried stuff.

      'Ebony' is a gorgeous plant, though lacks some vigor as the gorgeous often does. It gets crimson tips when it flowers. A stunner.

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  7. Sorry about your rose. We lost some to rose rosette at our old house...about 30. It was a magnificence hedge while it lasted.
    We've played musical chairs with plants too. Enjoy watering season, we are in the thick of that and weeding season.

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. RRD is bad--I've read about it, have not seen it here thankfully.

      Yes, watering season. Here not many weeds--too dry!

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  8. My Evelyn went bye-bye several years ago , along with the exquisite Abe Darby. Evelyn was awful from day one(flopping weak stems, flowers on the dirt) and the flowers from Abes' first flush were the beginning and the end of the enjoyment. I still miss Abe !

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    1. I miss Abe, too--but not the industrial level of rust he would develop. But ah! Those flowers!

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