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Thanks!

 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.

Aloes Awaken

 Aloe suprafoliata

Although some Aloes bloom during the summer, their starring role in the garden is autumn through mid spring.  Flower stems are appearing.

Aloe rubroviolacea

Aloe vanbalenii
Aloe x 'Moonglow'
One happy surprise:  an Aloe I grew from seed started in March of 2014(!) is finally going to flower.  The seed was from this Aloe capitata:

Seedling's first flower!

The seedling appears to be a hybrid.  I eagerly await the flower. 
Encasing the tomato kennel with hardware cloth is complete after tedious labor that took several days.  But come next summer, fully protected tomatoes!

I removed the old tomato plant, moved several Dahlias and dug/amended the soil for onions which will be planted in December and harvested in late spring.  Tomatoes will take the space for summer and early fall. 

A quick rare trip to the nearby garden center for soil amendment.  I went early.  There were just a couple of other customers and a couple of employees, everyone masked, and plenty of space for distancing.  Besides the amendment, a couple of plants came home, too.  

Grevillea 'Spirit of ANZAC' is a newish introduction.  This shrub gets 6-8' wide and 10' tall.  It will join Grevilleas 'Medusa', 'Peaches and Cream', 'Ned Kelly', and 'Robyn Gordon' in the Proteana garden.  Removing a failed Banksia, a gone-woody Leonotis (there are seedlings), and an interesting but massive Aloe seeding made room. 

 The Aloe had a beautiful flower but the plant was forming an enormous clump.  

Grevillea 'Spirit of ANZAC':

The other plant purchase was probably a mistake. It's a New Zealand alpine plant--Southern California is not its climate.  Oh well.  It was small and inexpensive.  If I don't kill it someone else in Southern California probably will.  Ozothamnus coralloides. 

Different birds in the urn bath lately--Western Bluebirds.  The Goldfinches are annoyed.  The House finches (on the right) jump right in with the Bluebirds (on the left):

Annoyed Goldfinch there on the right
It seems like the birds are in a relaxed and playful mood these days.  The intense focus and work of breeding season is gone.  It almost seemed like they were splashing each other for the fun of it. 
Elsewhere in the garden, berries ornament Myrtus communis...

...fantastical foliage color appears in November's soft sunrises...
...Aeoniums are awake again...
...as are bulbs like Freesias and "Dutch" Iris...
...wind-thrashed and heat-battered plants bloom anyway...
...winter bloomers begin anew...
...most everything in the garden, including the gardener, is happy that sunlight has gentled and the heat has eased. 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. It was a delight to see a whole group of them socializing. Lucky, yes!

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  2. Beautiful photos all! I'm saving that "November's soft sunrises" photo as my desktop background for awhile, it's so dreamy.

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    1. Snapped it at just the right moment. Happy you liked the pictures.

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  3. Love the three consecutive photos starting with the Myrtle and finishing with the Aeonium. Absolutely gorgeous. Always exciting when a new growing season starts. With my outdoor garden in bed it's time to devote some love to my houseplants.

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    1. Thanks! Happy you liked them.

      My house plants that are in the house suffer neglect, sad to say. I'd rather be outdoors.

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  4. That is by far the beefiest tomato cage I have ever seen. Wow! Gorgeous photos. I don't think I've ever seen a variegated myrtle before. It's stunning!

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    1. Ha, that's what it is, isn't it. A new name: The Literal Tomato Cage. LOL.

      The myrtle is almost 6' tall, grown from a 2" plant in a 4" pot. They are slow but need no irrigation here.

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  5. Your Aloes never cease to impress me. I so seldom get blooms that I don't even look for them but just yesterday I did notice, quite by accident, that both my small 'Safari Sunrise' plants have buds. Meanwhile, there's still no sign of blooms on my larger specimens. I can't recall ever seeing blue berries on my own Myrtus communis but I will be checking that tomorrow - the plant did flower well earlier this year. I'm very envious of the Western blue birds, which I can't say I've ever seen here. Re that Ozothamnus, I fell under its spell 3 years ago. I bought 3 plants, 2 of which died within a year. The third hung on until I finally pulled it sometime late last year. Even so, I came very close to picking up another one just this week, thinking maybe it'd survive in a pot, because it's just so interesting.

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    1. Takes some years for the big Aloes to flower. so surely they will flower eventually.

      Here the bees especially the bumbles are crowding the Myrtus when they are in flower--that must be what does it.

      This fall is the first sighting of Western Bluebirds in the garden--we've seen them at the nearby park for years. Guess they discovered the urn.

      Hah, funny about the Ozo. Not just me. Maybe I'll leave it in a pot, too. It's probably the heat waves that kill them off.

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  6. It is difficult to look at your pretty blooms and lovely plants and think winter. Ha...All of your putzing in the garden entertains me in this colder climate of mine. Gives me ideas and soothes the soul. Have great weekend.

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    1. Winter. When I was a little kid it was very confusing to see things on the TV at this time of year about leaves turning brilliant colors, heavy winter coats for sale, "snow on the way"...because here none of that ever happened.

      Have a great weekend, Lisa!

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  7. Wow. The birds, berries, and fantastical foliage are some amazing photos!
    The cooler and hopefully calmer weather can be felt in this post, and I hope it turns out to be an excellent winter for you. I can't wait to see the aloe blooms. There's one small pot here that usually flowers, and of course I love it, but yours are a whole different story!

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    1. Thank you! Happy you liked them. Lots of Aloe flowers (and photos) to come.

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  8. The berries on the Myrtus are fabulous. Half hardy here, which means I can probably/possibly get away with it against a south facing wall. I feel more zone pushing coming on.
    Love the action bird shots as well. Enjoy the cooler weather!

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    1. What I love about the Myrtus is the scent of the foliage, a wonderful herbal scent, less sharp than Rosemary, more savory than lavender. (Not that the plant isn't beautiful also.)

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  9. That was a very interesting tour around your garden HB. It must be an aloe lover’s paradise but so many other things to see as well. I particularly like the photo with the Leucadendron which has a lovely contrast of colours and light. Your tomato house is so impressive. Delicious tomatoes to look forward to when the time comes!

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    1. Delicious undamaged tomatoes! Something to look forward to next summer.

      Aloes grow so well here, and the nectar-feeding birds get plenty of nectar from them as well. Win-win!

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  10. It's so great to see all the activity in your garden. As always, you're a bit ahead of us.

    That Ozothamnus is dynamite. I would have bought it , too. I hope it'll make it.

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    1. The Ozo will be okay for the rainy season. It's next summer that will probably kill it off.

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