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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…

Fall Cutback

 Above:  Summer was the wrong time to move the 'Davids Choice' Abutilon, so I cut back the Hydrangeas covering it up, enabling it to survive.  It rewarded me with a flower

The smoke has cleared. The temperatures have fallen.  Cutting and clearing summer growth for autumn fire safety commenced. 

Unlike me, the Zephyranthes candida apparently enjoyed the heat.  

The number of flowers open at any one moment tripled.  Was it the heat, or the extra irrigation? 
During the long miserable heat, this view out the front window was a nice if momentary distraction from the misery of staying indoors. 

Staying indoors feels like this: 

Photos of overflowing green-waste bins are not all that interesting, so that's all I have for this post.   

A new word:  doomscrolling:  "the act of endlessly scrolling down various news sites and social networks reading bad news."  

So, for mental health I've drastically cut back the internet lately.  Because there's just too much bad news to read, and reading it really, really hurts. 

  Put down the internet when you start to feel bad.  Just put it down.

After a terrible ordeal, surely there will be fresh, new growth.
Best wishes!


  1. I feel your pain. I don't watch news on TV except for local but national news seems unavoidable every time I go online. I am trying to cut out Facebook and stick to Instagram. Can 2020 get any worse? Your garden looks great, as always, and what a nice view!

    1. I fear 2020 can get a lot worse... but I continue to hope it gets better!

  2. Hah! I was just sitting here playing solitaire before I clicked over here thinking that perhaps these times, as well as being a test of how much people are willing to put up with before they come to their senses, are also a test of how long I can stay grounded and secure without flying off into the universe. Thanks for reminding that I do have some control. Still hoping for the best...

    1. Hoping for the best, me too. Being optimistic really does help.

  3. I love your view out that window! Our weather and air also improved and I did a bit of cleanup yesterday myself, although it only pointed out how much more there is to tackle. I have a vague desire to tear out all sorts of things this year and start over but I'm trying to decide how much of that is a good idea as opposed to an outlet for anger and frustration. The loss of RBG this past week hit me like a battering ram.

    Is Boris still stuck with a cone?

    1. Changing up the garden is a healthy outlet. Maybe the healthiest.

      Kick in the gut, yes. Kick in the gut.

      Natasha. No, it's off, and her hurt spot is all healed up. :)

    2. I agree with your 3 statements:
      Going out and enjoying our little corner of the world that we shape is such a tonic for the misery everywhere else. RBG certainly was a very sad loss for us all in this crazy world. She was such a fighter for all, but particularly women.
      I also wondered about Natasha's cone. Happy to hear she is all healed!

  4. Definitely too much doom and gloom about these days. Beautiful Fall days are too precious to miss. Still much to do and appreciate before winter weather arrives. Here's too appreciating the positives.

    1. Here's to optimism. It helps. Hoping for some beautiful fall weather--we're still waiting for summer to leave!

  5. I agree with your feeling about staying indoors. This fall is feeling like this overall. You abutilon is a pretty color. Your view out the window is gorgeous despite the awful air.

    1. I would sleep outdoors in summer if we had a screened-in porch. Love being outside!

      The air is much better--at the moment. We're all hoping it doesn't turn orange again.


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