Even Bigger Chop

Impulse buy:  Trader Joe's Hellebore

Rose pruning:  progress, but not done yet. 
Before:
 After:
 The largest roses, like 'Golden Celebration' (above) and 'Bishops Castle' (below) take an entire day, though there is raking and miscellaneous other things to do as well...
...like digging out a 'Dr Huey' rootstock that sprouted adjacent to one of the 'Superb' Grevilleas
 Would that more beautiful roses had 'Dr. Huey's vigor!  This plant sprouted from a bit of root left behind, grew many good strong roots, shot up 12' canes, and had eight new basal canes ready to sprout. 
 Also some gopher activity, but it apparently went elsewhere, because there were no new mounds and the trap in the one mound caught nothing.  Vigilence required, however. 
 The bigger chop was finally biting the bullet and having the remaining three 'Swaines Golden' Italian Cypress removed.  It was painful to do it, as they were gorgeous, but fire danger/rodent magnet...felt like it was the rational thing to do, though that didn't overcome the sadness.  I loved them.  
Goodbye, my beauties


 They were getting really big, and were going to get bigger. 
 Ouch.
 Chop to the heart.  Feel like I failed them.  Can only plead ignorance.  They were not predicted to get as large as they did.  Thought they were not that much of a fire danger, and knew nothing about the rodent issue.  I do now.  

Missing
 Possible replacements (much smaller replacements) include Pittosporum 'Marjorie Channon', but have focused lately on adding more Arctostaphylos, possibly additional Actostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths' which grows to about 10-12' tall and wide but accepts pruning.  The one currently in the garden is doing very well, and had its first flowers this year. 
'Austin' in May 2016:
 
Beauty shots to soothe the spirit.  Don't make it bad.  Take a sad song and make it better.  

More of that golden winter sunrise light:
'The Ambridge Rose'
Aloe x 'Moonglow'
 Aloe ferox (white flowered version)

Don't make it bad.

Comments

  1. Taking time to mourn the loss of the Cypress before you move on is reasonable and healthy. I'm sure you'll find something you'll come to love to fill those spots. The TJ impulse purchase was just good sense. Now I'm wondering when I can manage a drive by to check my local store...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, buy a hellebore at Roger's for $29.99, or the same thing at TJ's for $9.99. Decisions, decisions!

      Stumps to dig now. Owwwch!

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  2. Oh my goodness, losing such handsome tall cypress is a sad thing. Couldn't make it any sadder. I hope you are cheered at the prospects of planting something new. To add gophers to your sadness ugh. Those varmints can do some damage. I hope they stay away. Aloes are trying to cheer you.

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    Replies
    1. They made such a great accent--need to find new (smaller!) great accents.

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  3. And yet, one day you won't notice the gap. But the other plants claiming their space. With the NEW treasures you have acquired space for. I would like to open up some spaces.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right! Was out this morning looking at the stumps, thinking: planting space!!!

      All I have to do is dig out the stumps. "All"?!?! Uh-oh!

      Delete
    2. Sorry for the loss of your trees. Digging out the stumps? UGH! How about a Sephora Secundiflora tree in their spot? Beautiful blue or purple sweet pea shaped flowers in the spring, drought tolerant, and beautiful. Great trait combo! Of course, I am just wishing I had the space to plant one myself.....

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    3. Ys, not looking forward to the stumps. I got two out last year, and it took quite a lot of time.

      I have seen Sephora Secondifolia when we visited Austin. They are lovely.

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  4. Oh dear, I feel your pain. But you're right - beauty will soothe your soul, and roses, aloes, hellebores, and manzanitas are excellent balm. I had no idea cypresses were a fire danger. Is it because of all the resin they contain?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, resin. They are not as serious a problem as Eucalypts, Palms, and Pines, which are the three most dangerous, but we live in a neighborhood full of, you guessed it, Eucs, Palm, and Pines...

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  5. So sad about the cypress but sounds like you made the right, but hard, decision. The beauty shot of your patio with the hanging succulent basket looks very inviting.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks--we will feel safer in the next Santa Ana wind event. The winter light here is magic, the summer's is so harsh!

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  6. I also struggle with taking trees out. Sadly I have become well practiced as our predecessor planted way too many with scant regard for how large his choices would become. So now it's a tree surgeon job every time. ££££.
    The hellebore is a beauty.

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    Replies
    1. I remember a couple of your tree removal posts! You have it much worse, though mine was self-inflicted. It is expensive here as well, but a good part of the price is the dumping fee rather than the actual labor. I wish I had the space to compost them.

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  7. It's always sad to have to remove plants that we have loved and nourished, but sometimes it is necessary. I love the Ambridge Rose. (It's just about rose pruning time here, too.) Trader Joe's hellebore is lovely. I don't have any hellebores in my garden but I plan to remedy that.

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    Replies
    1. I just started growing Hellebores the past few years--didn't think they grew in Coastal SoCal, but some of them do very well. Easy growers and easy-care plants, and quite attractive just when the roses are cut back. I'm enjoying Hellebores.

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  8. Have you gotten much of a a rodent (rat ad squirrel) infestation since removing your trees?

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    Replies
    1. It appears that the rat activity close to the house has ceased.

      Farther away from the house appears to be some still (eating of citrus), but less than last year. We luckily have significant owl and coyote presence, and the squirrel population seems to have dwindled significantly the past two years. I am going to set some traps under the citrus trees. In boxes with small access holes, as rats will go explore in boxes, but birds won't. Unfortunately across the street and next door are some bigger Bougainvilleas which harbor rats. You do what you can.

      Then there is the other issue: when the Santa Anas blow and the red flag fire warnings are announced, we'll feel a little safer without the cypress.

      Delete
  9. Nice close-ups of the Aloe, and love the color of the Hellebore. Sorry about the Cypresses, that must be very painful.

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