Above, arrow indicates irrigation awaiting repair
A "stump speech" is
"a speech repeatedly delivered by a politician during their campaign for election or re-election to public office."
That is the definition for politicians. For this gardener, "stump speech" usually means considerable profanity prompted by digging out a stump. I try to get creative about it, but generally stick to four-letter terms--the classics.
Whenever I dig something out, irrigation pipes gets broken, soil goes where it is not wanted, such as inside my shoes or up my nose, a rock slashes my shin, a thorn stabs my thumb, and the mow-blow guy who does the house across the street shows up unscheduled to run his blower and mower full blast, drowning out the mockingbird's aria, if not my speech. Not to mention, I'm killing plants, in this case the beautiful Leucophyllums I should have cut back regularly and frequently, but didn't.
Mission accomplished, in the end. Several digging sessions over several days. I also removed the offsets despoiling the beauty of the larger Agave titanota 'White Ice'. Removal was not overly difficult.
A. titanota 'White Ice' is not as solitary as hoped-for, though the plain species, less beautiful, has remained (thank you!) solitary.
The one on the far right has behaved theirself:
Besides offset removal, I repaired the broken irrigation, and stair-stepped the area a little bit. Flat, slight slope. Flat, slight slope. The flats for my feet, the slight slopes for plants.
A. titanota 'White Ice' on the left. Lines indicate "steps":
Why did I not dig some stair steps long, long ago? I wish it had occurred to me when we bought the house. I wish it had occurred to the landscape contractor, the landscape architect, or to anyone who might have suggested it.
It occurs to CalTrans sometimes when they build highways:
Well, now I know.
Filling the empty space is not an issue--plenty of plants. Leucadendron 'More Silver' needs a spot. A potted Aloe aculeata needs a spot, which would create an aculeata duo with the aculeata already there.
The prettiest Agave titanota 'White Ice' offset would create could create a titanota trio with the two 'White Ice' already there. More possibilities, now there are steps to make access easier. Best to wander around looking at flowers while deciding.
Somehow the thought of a fellow gardener out there getting hit in the shin with a rock and swearing brings me consolation. The blowers ... I've never seen the point other than shifting lots of dust into my yard.ReplyDelete
Good thing there's no one around when I garden. The bad words flow freely.Delete
The people in the two homes behind ours insist on having their bare dirt blown free of all leaves and twigs. Yes, they want clean dirt. The blower runs for an hour, almost always at dinner time. Sigh.
Wow, wow, wow! All your work (and profanity) is worth it. LOL. Sorry about the drowned-out arias. That is truly a shame.ReplyDelete
I got out there just after sunrise this morning to listen to the resident Mockingbird sing. So beautiful! Much nicer than my foul (not fowl) language.Delete
My expletives usually have to do with snail damage ..and with our lack of rain this year the snails have not been around. The only positive feature of drought. So many mow-blow guys in our neighborhood now, and they all seem to show up on Saturday morning. Hate it. Brooms are a lot cheaper than blowers.ReplyDelete
Lack of snails is very positive indeed. Drought + rats = zero snails here for years.Delete
Ha! Trying to find a good quality broom nowadays! The ones I see for sale are junk, and my old ones are long past effective.
Flower tours make everything better, even if they don't resolve matters. Any of the options you mentioned would be good ideas in my view. I wish someone had modified my slopes long ago to make them more manageable too.ReplyDelete
The steps (according to CalTrans) also reduce erosion, but cost more to construct. There's the rub...Delete
Flower tours yes, and foliage helps, too.
What a busy time of year. I hope the steps help ease your work on the slope.ReplyDelete
Winter/early spring is our crazy busy garden time here. After that it is just watering and complaining about the heat.Delete
That red flower is beautiful - what is it? Thanking fates that we live in a fairly wet climate and require hardly any irrigation.ReplyDelete
The last pic? Sparaxis tricolor, a spring-flowering bulb native to South Africa. The daisies with the Aloes and Agaves is Actotis 'Pink Sugar'. Actotis is also native to SA. Parts of SA have a similar climate to parts of California.Delete
I visited Chicago for the first time in summer and was so puzzled when people who lived there would check the weather to see if it was going to rain or not. Rain in summer?!?!? Didn't believe it until I saw it!
Yes, steps for your slope, so we don't have to worry about you so much ;)ReplyDelete
That Aloe aculeata is a real looker. And your gift of hunnemania seeds is going to bloom here too!
One broken arm was one too many!Delete
Your garden is where poppies of all kinds go to thrive. Enjoy, and looking forward to poppy flower photos.
I thought I was alone when gardening and “swearing “ at many unexpected mishapsReplyDelete
but glad to learn I am not. Slope gardening has been a real challenge for me also especially as one ages but a sturdy walking stick has kept me from many near accidents. Your gorgeous
garden and your lighthearted tales of gardening brings such pleasure to me. I marvel at your to do list for I seem to have an endless one as well. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for shating
"Wouldn’t have it any other way." Me, too. Constant activity, entertainment, adventure, education. (I put exasperation, disappointment, frustration, and dirty socks under "education" so they seem worthwhile. )Delete
I use a garden fork to steady ascents and descents--jabbed into the ground it also aerates. The soil here gets so dry over our long rainless season it forms a sort of crust water has difficulty penetrating.
Happy you enjoyed the posts. Many thanks!
Sorry to hear it wasn’t such a straightforward job, but best to relieve frustration with expletives at times. At least you’ve got lots of plants to choose from as replacements.Delete