Two New Plants To Replace Cypress

Gratuitous plant beauty 

We got maybe .25" (6 mm) of rain Sunday; not much.  It does, however, work out to at least a couple thousand gallons of water.  It's good.
While I can't do much until my arm heals, I could pay a guy to dig out two of the three Cypress stumps, which happened Saturday.   

The guy dug some and then used an axe to hack the stump out in pieces, so he was done in a few hours instead of what it would have taken me to get them out in one piece:  several full days spread out over several weeks.
 The remaining stump can decay in place.  That stump can be seen at the very top middle of the next photo:
 Yes, the beautiful once-beautiful variegated Agave attenuata suffered considerable damage.  The brown spots are burns from chainsaw oil when the Cypress was removed and then the stump guy dropped chunks of stump on the Agave. Can't face thinking about that right now.  It is not so damaged it can't recover.

Replacements for cypresses: two Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths'.

Here's one of them:
And the other:
Fire favorable, beneficial to native pollinators and multiple species of native birds, of an appropriate size for the locations (estimate is 10-12' tall/wide), and low water needs.  One is already in the garden in another location, planted in 2016. 
Still a youngling, but a lovely one:
Growing slowly, but looking healthy.  Worth the wait.  I loved the cypresses, but this choice feels more right, better in multiple ways.

The Sunday rain was immediately succeeded by Monday roaring Santa Ana winds; what was cleansed, refreshed, and re-hydrated was dried out and dirty again within hours.  The wind continued into Tuesday.  Local news had the usual fallen-trees-crushing-cars stories (no injuries, hopefully).  I watched the neighbor's dead and dying Eucalyptus in the gusts.  It was interesting:  the dead tree doesn't move much; the whole thing rocks just a little.  The dying ones are still flexible, bending and swaying.  There is a power line just a few feet from all three.  Would a fire ignite if one of the Eucs fell into the line?  It's a reminder yet again that removing the Cypress was a wise, if unhappy, move.
Dead Euc indicated by arrow:
Photo is crooked.  My normally unused right hand is aching from use.  I got the tripod out so as to get better photos, but could not mount the camera on it with only one (aching) hand.  The real pain of the broken arm is being so unable to Do Stuff.  

This will pass, and the wind will ease.

Comments

  1. My heart hurts for that poor agave...

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  2. I'm glad to see that you hired help to take out the cypress stump, although it's too bad that you had to break an arm to bring you to your senses ;) I can imagine the difficulty trying to manage with your non-dominant arm since I've been trying to do more with mine to give the wrist on my dominant hand an opportunity to heal. Twenty-five years ago, following a bad bout with carpel tunnel, my husband taught himself to do a lot with his non-dominant hand (and he's still semi-ambidextrous) but I've concluded that my older and possibly less agile brain is harder to train!

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    1. Practice helped, but I practiced too much and made the spare hand sore.

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  3. Looking at the dying eucalyptus made me kind of nervous with power lines/wind and fire risk. Your new choices should be a better bet though will be hard to wait for them to achieve a significant size. Small silver lining, by the time your cast comes off you should be fully dexterous with both hands. Hang in there.

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    1. Lots of people around here plant trees, especially trash-palms, right next to the power poles to hide the poles, creating a real hazard. Baffling!

      Thanks, am hanging on!

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    2. We chose our house in the newer part of the suburb, where unsightly power lines are buried underground.

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    3. Our street is newer than the surrounding streets and our power lines are underground also. Not only aesthetically better, but safe in our wind events!

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  4. I am mostly left-handed, but grateful that my wrong (right) hand can even write, if it needs to. But the secateurs only cut with the wrong hand (leaving me with nicked left fingers!)

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    1. Do you have the Felco brand available in SA? They make a lefty secateurs, which is what I use. i've still managed to prune my fingers a few times anyway, clumsy me.

      There's a great digging/weeder tool from a different company, and I bought one only to discover it only works for right hands!

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  5. I am impressed that you can type such a long post with a non-dominant hand. I think this broken arm is a blessing if it meant you had someone dig out those stumps. What a job. I bet you are itching to get in there and plant those replacements. Try to take it easy on that sore hand.

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    1. Hunt-and-peck typing, very slow, but I can't do hardly anything anyway, so slow was okay. Arm feeling better today, but going back to doctor for a progress check, so they will likely mess with it and get it hurting again, ha! ha!

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  6. Austin Griffiths is a good replacement choice! I saw a couple of big ones yesterday, and they were completely covered in flowers. Nice! I hadn't realized that dead trees don't move in the wind, but of course that makes absolute sense. Glad you got a little rain, but those drying Santa Ana winds sound menacing...

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    1. 'Austin' is very elegant, looking forward to planting it. Those winds are about the worst weather condition we get--guess there has to be something bad.

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  7. Oh, those "Austin's" are pretty... Too bad I don't really have room for something that big. Glad your neighborhood made it through the winds ok - it was rather nuts here in the desert, although this weekend seems calmer!

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