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Autumn Foliage, Southern California Version

Leucadendron 'Ebony'  displaying Southern California's version of autumn foliage
It has finally cooled off enough to garden again here in Southern California.  I've been pulling out victims of two months of terrible heat--the Leucadendron in the above photo, as well as the Grevillea 'Royal Fanfare' which looked happy in spring but did not survive the heat.  Two choice plants.  Ouch. 
Some of the Pittosporums also suffered--one of the P. tenuifolium 'Wrinkled Blue's had several branches die.  I spent yesterday cutting them out. There, the center-left one.  Looks a bit better now.  There's still a few dead bits that need to come out.  
The four 'Tasman Ruffles' P. tenuifolium to the right look very bad, much worse than in the photo.  The long drought of 2011-2016 damaged them and they lost their health and beauty.  They should be lusciously dense, not scraggly.  Remove and replace with new copies?  Replace with something else?  Cut back hard, to…

Rain In May

Gardening Monday was surprised by unusual May rain.  We didn't get much--maybe .2"/5 mm--but it was most welcome.  I used the opportunity of moist, overcast weather to move some small plants.  Being moved on a bright sunny day is stressful for small plants. 

Leucanthemum from shade to sun
Volunteer Lotus hirstutus seedlings to surround a 'Blue Glow' Agave
 "X" marks moving the Scabiosa 'Fama' from mostly hidden obscurity...
 ...to visibility (arrow).  The circle indicates a Lobelia mowed short by a rabbit.  Grrr!!!
 I was under the false impression that the garden's Lobelia seedlings die of their own accord, but it appears rabbits eat them.  I protected several with nursery containers, bottoms removed, before they could be completely eaten.  Blankety blank rabbits!
 I put a flimsy corral of empty pots around this one, but perhaps the protection is inadequate and rabbit just hasn't gotten to it yet. 
At least I got to see the true-blue flowers:
 Agave removed...
Area cleaned up and planted with Leucospermum 'Red Sunset'...

 Cleared out the small succulents getting messy and overgrown in this area.  There was an irrigation leak in the corner at the far right. 
Repaired the irrigation leak and cleaned up succulent pieces for re-rooting.  
 The plan is to move some Sprekelia bulbs to the planter so the beautiful red flowers can be admired at eye level.  There are enough bulbs to leave some in this area as well. 
  More of the planter yet to do.  The tall plant, an Aloe hybrid, has grown to the point where it is time to give it a permanent location, before it gets too heavy to move. 
 In between all that, moments of standing under cover, watching rain fall softly down.  It was marvelously peaceful. 
Happy rained-on plants, refreshed.
Sweet onions almost ready.  Easiest vegetable ever.  Plant, ignore for five months, harvest.  Rabbits don't bother them.
  Happy rained-on Acer palmatum 'Emperor I'.  Planted in the middle of the long drought, I thought it would die.  It didn't. 
 Happy rained-on gardener
Spider with some repair work to do, though. 
Sunny again today.  As usual.  
Clematis 'Angelique'

 Do you garden on rainy days? 

Comments

  1. No. I plop myself down in a chair near a window or on the porch and, with great glee, watch the rain fall. Yippee! I don't have to water today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a brief respite from watering is a good thing!

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  2. I got soaked in the garden during the rain (we got 0.35/inch!) but most of my activity was related to collecting what came down the rainchain, using it to water areas under roof overhangs, and unclogging channels feeding the rain tanks so I could save every drop possible. I've also been tackling some smaller projects. And a mail order delivery from Annie's is due today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .35, awesome! I filled what buckets and tubs I had handy and used it all on the driest spots.

      Annie's order, whooo hooo! Fun. Maybe I'll go to the website and have a look. Would really like to go to a nursery, but...staying home.

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  3. We got the rain too. It was great, but not enough to collect much. Still I didn't have to water anything til today, and only newly planted and the Fuchsia containers. Angelique is very nice ! I am creating spots for 2 more Clems and having a hard time deciding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little is better than none. Glad you got some.

      Clems are great, even better for you with your more generous (most years) winter rains. Do you have 'Perle d'Azur'? Almost identical flower color as Geranium 'Rozanne'. Lovely lavender-blue... Enjoy choosing.

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  4. I have been known to get out and pull weeds when a soft rain is coming down. I usually stay inside and watch. We get a lot more rain than you do though. Right now the farmers around here are fuming because we are getting too much rain. It is keeping them from getting every field planted. It will soon dry up and get hot and steamy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hot and steamy--the weather of my nightmares!

      Slightly moist soil--that's my choice for weed-pulling conditions, too.

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  5. I love to garden in the rain if it is not a desert monsoon downpour. The best time to plant is a rainy dark day! In Phoenix we do not have many of them though. I have always wanted an Acer like yours. When I lived in RI it was possible but never got one. Now here in the Sonoran Desert they don’t work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got a good monsoonal season this past summer and some winter rain too this year didn't you? Desert spring must have been glorious!

      Some of the desert trees have a beautiful silhouette like an Acer...here Arctostaphylos is a good sub for Acer palmatum. I've planted some of those, as a better long-term small tree, in preparation for the (sigh) next drought.

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  6. We've been getting tons of rain this May, but it's not so unusual as it is where you are. If I really want to protect my plants from rabbits I surround them with chicken wire. Not so ornamental, but it works.

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    Replies
    1. Me, too. I have many circles of hardware cloth around plants, but avoid posting pictures of them. Blankety-blank rabbits! They strip off the lowest growth on the roses, and the precious new basal canes emerging. Grrr. The other early morning saw a coyote running down our street with something furry in its mouth, and was delighted.

      Delete

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