The Big January Chop

Long days in cool, sunny weather cutting back roses...

 ...and cutting back other plants, like Clematis...
 ...Tagetes...
 ...the fig tree...
...various miscellaneous branches...
...Salvias...
...and cleaning up/replanting some blue fescue, out of summer dormancy and at its best here in winter and spring.
 Removing, planting, moving.  A Leonotus seedling of the original plant relocated to where the unexciting Phlomis had been:
 The new 'Pink King' Protea replaced the never-satisfactory Tecoma 'Sparky'.  I discovered the Tecoma had a badly diseased root system--considerable surprise that the disease appeared to be crown/root gall.  Some 93 different plant families are vulnerable to this disease, so...now I know.  Sigh.  Hopefully the Protea does better.
 Straightened up and staked Protea 'Sylvia' which has grown considerably.  Over 2 meters tall. 
Spending all day out there means more than work-work.  Long moments spent admiring, noticing, puzzling, enjoying.  
Roses not yet pruned, still flowering





 The long suffering 'Meyer' lemon is finally, finally, finally looking good.  I hammered the poor thing with chelated iron/N fertilizer and extra rainwater, and it responded big time, with lots of new healthy foliage, fruits(!), and more flowers:
Before starting work each morning, looking out the living room window there's now a view of Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' glowing warm in early morning light.  The effect unfortunately doesn't come across in the photo...
 ...but it looks like this, like a bunch of golden tulips: 
The Senecio ragusina looks like silver velvet.
 The baby oak's trunk is visible when the tree is backlit.  I bought a small Platycerium fern I plan to tie onto the trunk when the weather warms up a bit.  The fern and the oak can grow together hopefully for many years to come. 
Last year or the year before, out of exasperation I planted one of the seedling Leucospermums here.  It was about 8" tall, a single stem, and hadn't grown at all, not an inch, for a year or more.  Of course, since there is not sufficient room here for a monster shrub, it quickly decided to become a monster shrub.  It has flower buds forming, however.  
 The bigger of the two Aloe 'Hercules' has an impressive trunk.  There's my worst-squished finger.  The others were better after a week or two, but that middle one is still pretty sensitive.  Anyway, hugging the 'Hercules' trunk, I can still touch fingers, but by next winter, maybe its girth will surpass my embrace. 
Planted in the ground here about a year ago, Aloe capitata v quartzicola 'Yellow Hoodie' finally looks settled in.  Worth the wait--what a pretty thing it is.  No flower stem--but it doesn't need one.  
Two heavy doses of chelated iron/N brought out a few flowers on the miserable Grevillea 'Kings Fire', but the plant unfortunately still looks miserable.  I'll give it a little more time...
Happier plants, happier gardener--the two Lomandra 'Plantinum Beauty' look quite good on either side of this path.  So far, a very, very satisfactory plant.  
 The section of the garden known as Proteana looks great.  Plants look healthy and happy.  'Pink King' joins 'Pink Ice', 'Sylvia' and 'Brenda' in this area.  Leucospermum 'Flame Giant' also here and doing well.  I gave everything extra collected rainwater.  Not that much blooming, the color being provided mostly by Aloe thraskii and Aloe hybrid hardyi x cameronii(?), but the black Aeoniums and touches of color in the Grevilleas ('Ned Kelly', 'Robyn Gordon', 'Peaches and Cream') are enough of an accent. 
 The Kalanchoe beharensis flower stem in the background adds pizzazz, too at those moments in the day when the stem is in sun and the area behind it in deep shade.   
 Up on the slope where the Valencia orange trees are, Agaves washed clean by our 7" of rain so far this winter (crossing fingers for more) look good, too. 
 Very first flowers from the baby Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths'.  Sweet!
 Also sweet, pruning snacks--home-grown clementines (Citrus × clementina).  I'm not sure which cultivar.  This is the tree's third year for a good crop, but it is the first year of the fruit being really flavorful. 
 A delightful snack, picked from the tree and enjoyed while walking around, working in the garden in winter. 

Comments

  1. It is beginning to look like spring at your house. Oh, to be able to pick oranges and lemons would be fun.

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    1. The citrus is really wonderful--though the PNW has berries and apples!

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  2. So many pretty views as you were out there all day! Those red aloes really jumped out!

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    1. Yes, really enjoying those brilliant Aloe flowers (the hummingbirds are, too.)

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  3. Sounds like an idyllic way to spend the day. Am jealous of your citrus trees. When I was a child we would visit my grandparents in Florida. Our hotel was beside an orange grove (long gone unfortunately). Still remember the taste of a fresh picked orange. Heaven.

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    1. A wonderful day it was. The oranges really are heaven, though the perfume of their flowers in the spring might be even better. We're lucky to be spoiled where oranges are concerned--only the home-grown will do.

      Happy memories of Florida visits--they must have been fun.

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  4. Your finger - ouch! I'm glad 'Wilson's wonder' has realized its potential for you. While I envy your glorious roses, I'm not at all envious of the work that goes into pruning them. I have just a paltry 14 and they're now all taken care of; however I've been pruning so much else that the bone at my wrist below my thumb is protruding. I think that means I need to take a break - or maybe see my doctor - but I still have pruning to do!

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    1. Not as big/splendid as your 'Wilson', but quite satisfactory.

      I look around and daydream and enjoy the hummers buzzing around while pruning, so it doesn't seem much like work.

      Take care of your thumb! Yikes. Sounds as bad as my fingers.

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  5. You have a lot going on in your garden despite it being winter. Love those roses.
    Your poor finger. I am glad you can get some work done despite your sore fingers.
    My lemon tree has a few blooms on it. It is exciting. I hope they end up becoming lemons. My poor tree struggles with poor light and it can't be outside all year.

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    1. Our winter is everyone else's spring--the most work intensive time of year. Maybe add a LED grow light for your little lemon tree? They use a lot less electricity but can still give the plant some extra light. I really don't know a lot about growing indoors, though, because it is just easier to grow everything outside. Citrus do need quite a lot of fertilizer.

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  6. Beautiful roses! My garden is so bare at the moment.

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  7. Oh wow - homegrown clementines.... how heavenly! Your poor finger... hope it heals soon. Tried imagining an aloe trunk of a huggable size, but coming up short. I can grab the trunk of the one in my window with one hand - lol! I got to do a little ..."admiring, noticing, puzzling, enjoying... myself today, but only a little. Hope to do more of that soon.

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    1. I hope you are able to get out to the garden very soon. Maybe all the rain should shift down here for a while. Win-win?

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  8. Our big chop is usually in March. You remind me of how the oranges we bought at an LA farmers' market tasted like no oranges I'd ever had before.

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    1. It's like home-grown tomatoes vs. the crunchy ones at the store that they treat with gas to make them turn red. No comparison!

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