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 The road to optimism is paved with gratitude.  Today is a holiday dedicated to gratitude. Gratitude for the garden, For simple pleasures, like just baking a loaf of bread,  For loved ones most of all! Happy Thanksgiving, with optimistic hope 2021 is much better than 2020.


 Though it is now summer, the garden still looks lovely.   Extreme summer heat has not yet arrived.
2. 'The Ambridge Rose'
 3. Dahlia 'Cafe Au Lait'

4. Unknown Rose
  5.  By the koi pond:
  6.  'Burgundy Iceberg' with Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty'
 7.  'Earth Angel'
Summer is not a good time to move plants, but the Gaura was bothering me.  When freshly in flower, against the dark background of the oak tree it looks fabulous.
 8. Not freshly in flower.  Time to cut it back again:
 However, it has multiple long periods of down time for so prominent a location.  Also, it is supposed to be a "dwarf".  Shoulder-high is not "dwarf".  I pulled it.  What to replace it with?  One candidate was the Erica speciosa languishing in too much shade.  The spot was very sunny before the Oak started shooting up and out.  Full shade was doing nothing good for the Erica. 
  10.  The Gaura's location is getting shady too. The oak is really growing.  This area, which I reworked and reworked last year, is still unsatisfactory.
 I was able to dig up the Erica without disturbing the root system.  I moved it to a very sunny location near the smaller of the two Aloe 'Hercules', on the other side of the driveway.

11. Hopefully it can survive a summer move: 
 Another potential candidate for the Gaura's spot was a portion of a Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty', the intent being its white variegation would provide the same sort of drama that the white Gaura flowers had, without the Gaura's multiple downtimes.  However the spot is somewhat small, so ultimately I moved a little Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' into the location. Cuphea is sub-tropical to tropical; here summer is its active growth period.
 The Gaura area is still too random.  I should pull the two Orlaya, which are last year's seedlings that overwintered without flowering.  One is flowering, one is not.   
 I did not see until prepping photos for this post there was a tiny insect at the bottom of the Orlaya flower.  It might be a hoverfly, which is a beneficial insect.  The adults eat pollen, but their larvae are insectavores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects.  The Orlaya can stay a while longer, then.
If the Hoverfly happens to lay some eggs on the roses, that would be a plus.  I've not seen a single aphid this year, but there will be plenty of Thrips. 
15. 'Moon Dance'
16.  Lots of new growth on the Leucadendrons 
 17.  Once Leucadendron new growth hardens up, the foliage becomes brightly colored for a period.  It glows like stained glass when the sun shines through it. 
Another plant needs moving.  The 'Snow Glow' Agave was overpowering an Echeveria, that might be 'Lola', or E. lilacina. 

 19. Move the Echerveria where?  This empty corner might do.  It's like a sentence without punctuation.
  I hope the Echeveria likes that spot, and survives.  Back when it was in a pot, it was a miserable little thing, though it managed to survive my poor care.  Gorgeous now after a year or more in the ground. 

 20. There you go:

A real survivor, Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' has just flowered in its new location at the base of the 'Climbing Iceberg' rose.  I moved it there last year.  It had been in two previous locations where it did not get enough water.  Try #3.

21. Happy it's happy!
22.  Happy too with the Seaside Buckwheat, Eriogonum latifolium, native to California but not this far south.  Planted a few months back, I thought to try it anyway with late afternoon shade.  It has so far survived.  Plenty of puffy flower heads for pollinators.  
Really, it is time to stop moving heat-sensitive plants until cooler weather returns in October.  Instead, I'll try placing reminders where they will do the most good. 
 24.  Right next to the plant: 
"This" is a suffering Geranium 'Rozanne'.  The blankety-blank rabbits have eaten it to the ground several times, and it has grown back several times, only to be eaten again. 
I put a hardware cloth hoop around it after taking the photo. 

26.  Adjacent, I accidentally moved a tiny piece of Japanese Anemone into this same area last year, when I raised a low spot with some soil taken from another bed. The Anemone is now thriving in two spots.  Oopsie.  So 'Rozanne' definitely needs a new spot. 
 27.  I impulse-bought a dark foliaged Dahlia last year in a 4" pot, and a few weeks ago, it came back!  Those little potted ones don't always. 
 28.  Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' with Glaucium flavum aurantiacum.  The Glaucium is supposedly a biennial but mine has survived for several years, probably because it for unknown reasons, it won't bloom.  Which is fine--I bought it for its curly-fuzzy silver foliage. 
 29.  A flower stem from one of the Brodiaea bulbs purchased this spring.  In our climate best planted in fall, but the bulb companies sell them for spring.  Anyway, they grew enough to hopefully survive and grow next winter, with more vigor. 
 One more fill of Aloes in the bins.  More room in the bins next Wednesday, for the piles of dried up spring growth laying here and there, waiting. 
30.  Still no room in the bins!
 Lastly, Pacific Slope Flycatcher update:  Lady F. has been steadily on the nest for the past two weeks, and it appears the eggs may be hatching.  Today she's back and forth, back and forth, poking around in the nest, possibly feeding the first chicks to emerge.  I will try to get chick-pics in a few days, but of course the priority is safety for the birds. 

31.  Can you spot her tail and beak?  
Let's all be wise, and survive.


  1. 'Moon Dance' is absolutely gorgeous! The extended period of "June Gloom" has been lovely too, although I note that the marine layer here seems to be lifting just a little earlier with every passing day. I hacked back my largest Gauras and pulled the rampant seedlings. I generally avoid planting this time of year but as Kirottu (my name for the gopher, Finnish for "damned one") created some blank spots and given that it's still on the cool side, I've done a little planting. Kirottu is slowly moving toward the back slope and I'd be fine with him there, and happier still if the coyote that met me at the back door earlier this week took him out. If neither of those things happen, I may accept a lethal alternative at last. In other news, another male peacock visited us this week...

    1. It's been a good rose. 'Easy Spirit' is looking like it might be even better, but you can't beat 'Iceberg'.

      Yes enjoying the "gloom"!!!!!!!

      Here very lucky we have a nesting pair of Cooper Hawks and Redtails nearby, so the rodent population has been controlled. There's still a couple of rabbits that need attention, though.

  2. Your Echevaria makes a dramatic corner, a lovely soft grey.

    1. yes, like the cherry on the sundae, or the olive in the martini!

  3. The Seaside Buckwheat is in full afternoon sun here and not happy -- I have a feeling the buckwheats don't take to being moved, even in optimal weather conditions, so mine will have to survive -- or not!

    1. much cooler where your are though. Mine wants water.

  4. So much happening in your garden. It looks great. I love that first picture of the roses in a clump. The Moon Dance is a gorgeous white too. Don't you just love it when something comes back like that dark leafed dahlia. I have learned to hate rabbits. We are between clutches right now so not so much munching in the garden going on. They ate the center out of a mangave this spring. It looks weird now. Grrrrrrrr

    1. Not happy with rabbits, no. If the center of the Mangave is damaged it may spout offsets, so you'll get new copies!

  5. Boy, these beautiful plants and, especially, your descriptions are sure helping me survive! The rose photos are special because I don’t grow them here in Phoenix with their high water needs in summer in the desert. Moon Dance is my favorite on this post. I don’t plant or move anything in my garden now—110º is just too hot!

    1. 110F, yikes. I did see AZ was getting some nasty weather...hang in there! Roses are tough in the desert--I don't see how it's possible to grow them in VOTS.

  6. I do love that Vermillionaire. Only managed to grab a couple this year as was unable to go to my favourite nursery until much later. Your roses are so fantastic. What is the name of the one in the first photo? Looking forward to seeing the results of nesting. We have lots of Canada Geese chicks roaming around right now. Very cute.

    1. Vermillionaire is great. (Hint: put a couple of fresh cuttings in a glass of water and wait a couple of weeks.)

      That first rose is 'The Endeavour'.

      Hope to get chick photos without disturbing them...wish me luck.

  7. Oh my goodness, you've been very busy. And it looks great! I really love your roses--especially the first one in this post, and 'Ambridge Rose' and 'Earth Angel.' The heat is hitting us here in the Midwest this week--high 80s for the next 10 days, at least. The warm weather plants are growing so fast! But it means I'm going to have to water much more often than I have been. Enjoy your lovely weather--I hope it lasts longer for you. :)

    1. Thanks! It's been fun to garden in this cool-ish weather, very lucky and grateful for it. 80's--that's too hot for me. Stay cool Sounds like you will be busy watering for a while.

  8. Lots of great color in your garden. You have steely determination to pull out that Gaura.


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