What's Up In The Garden Second Half Of November: Rain!!!!!!!!!!

 Very appropriately, we got a little (.25"/6mm) rain early Thanksgiving morning.  What can a dry-climate gardener be more thankful for than rain?  It was wonderful.  Some additional rain may arrive this coming Thursday, oh please, oh please. 

Plants recently cut back are sprouting fresh new growth:

 I fixed a leaking irrigation valve all by myself.
Wrestling with what to do for one of the very dry places on the front slope--add another sprinkler, or a drip line?  I moved the existing sprinkler out from the wall, to keep the wall from getting wet.  It's better for the wall.   I prepped for a drip line, but another sprinkler facing up hill would probably be better.  It will be tricky to run a pipe down the slope without moving plants.  Thinking, thinking...
 Moved some Hemerocallis and TB Iris.  I think they will improve the look of this area next spring and summer.  The area in front of the roses needed some tall-ish vertical-ish accents between all the 'Rozanne' froth, and the iris fills a small blank spot between the two 'Ambridge Rose' in front of the wall.  The deciduous Agapanthus circled in black is on probation.  Next summer it must bloom, or else it comes out.  Five years is a fair amount of time for a perennial plant to bloom.   

The small Salvia where the white "x" was moved to a spot with more moisture.  It finally got going after struggling all summer.  Maybe one more fan or two of Hemerocallis can be added in the "x" spot;  Hemerocallis can take quite dry conditions after they finish blooming, though actually there is still a Hem flower or two or three out there.   
 Impulse buy of an Erica speciosa;  I admired this plant at the Santa Cruz Botanic Garden when we visited in October, so when I saw a one gallon at a local nursery a couple of weeks ago, I bought it.  E. speciosa may or may not be happy here.  This particular Erica wants some moisture, which this spot provides, and I planted it with some soil sulfur for soil acidity.  

The ivory pavers at lower right are part of the old bathroom counter recycled into the garden as stepping stones.  Better than into a landfill!  Construction and remodeling are significant generators of solid waste.  We're making an effort to recycle or reuse what we can to minimize what we throw out.   
 Removed one of the bloomed-out 'Blue Glow' Agaves.  It was tough work.  Four others also need to be removed, sigh.  If left after bloom for a year or two they dry up to almost nothing, but that means you have to look at a dried-up, blackened thing for a year or two.
 Because of the difficulty of removing an Agave from this sloping ground, I'm thinking to replace the 'Blue Glow's with some of the various Aloes waiting for places, reserving Agaves for flatter areas.   Exceptions for the ones that naturally tilt (marmorata, 'Blue Flame'), which are perfect on a slope.

First flower on Aloe rubroviolacea
 Flowers appearing on the thriving clump of Aloe vanbalenii
Aloe x tweediae has an impressive flower this year, its second time to bloom.  The plant is solitary so far, and at least 30" wide.

Aloe hardyi x cameronii has sent up several flower stalks.
 First tiny flower buds on Leucospermum 'Blanche Ito'.   I like how the leaves have pink tips. 

Our one inch of October rain woke up the Drimias
Nice public domain image of Drimia maritima, by the way:
Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thar she blows!  Agave marmorata's progress:
That marmorata will be a nightmare to remove, but in the meantime, glory, and nectar for hummers and pollinators.

That's what's up in the garden for the end of November.  The weather has been reasonably cool, and there's lots of construction noise in the house from the bathroom remodel, two powerful incentives to garden outdoors all day long, (quite aside from it being fun). 

The garden looks okay, if you look either from afar...
 ...or you look at the pretty details still to be found.  


  1. I'm dreading removal of the Agave desmettiana from the street side bed when they finish blooming - I can't imagine removing them from a sloped surface, but I guess I should have considered that when I planted several pups of those agaves on my west-side slope :( I'm glad you're keeping yourself out of the construction ruckus and I'm sure your garden appreciates all the attention. Fingers are crossed that the rain predicted for later this week really does materialize, especially as I spent a good hour this morning pulling rainwater from my tanks to water the dry spots in my garden.

    1. A couple of desmets bloomed here last year on the east slope and though I cut down the flowers stalk, I just left the rest. They've just about disappeared, dried up to almost nothing.

      I too spent time emptying all the water collected last Thursday into the dry spots, in anticipation of fresh stuff this Thursday. Probability we'll get some looks good.

  2. Our rain coming in tonight must be the storm that might move down to your area. Pretty sure I am done watering til May-hooray ! I have to admire your patience with the non-blooming Agapanthus- 2 years is about my limit.

    1. I'm hoping to be done watering at least until mid-December...we'll see. Clear out the smoke in your area, I hope.

      The Agapanthus is only taking up about 1 square foot, so am willing to wait a little longer. A very little longer.

  3. Yipee for some rain! I hope you get more. I have never messed with irrigation valves but I know it feels good to fix something and not have to call someone in to do it for you. I don't blame you for not wanting plants on the slope that you have to dig out. You do have some pretty details in the garden. My garden is all mush right now. Nothing pretty plant-wise until spring.

    1. Looks like from the news your region is getting/got some snow and quite a blizzard, Chicago with all the flights cancelled. Well now you have a good rest and can look at plant/seed catalogs and decide what to plant come spring. Here our work begins in earnest, here late fall/winter is the best time to garden.


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