We got about 0.4" (1 cm) of rain on Monday--everything washed clean.
The rain was energizing. I've been digging out the Dymondia near the oak tree:
As the oak grows and this area becomes ever more shaded, the Dymondia will die out anyway. Pulling Dymondia is easy, but tedious. Some of the day lilies and Iris are getting moved, along with a few stepping stones. Agaves and another Centaurea ragusina await planting here:
The 'Improved Meyer' lemon went up on the west slope, where a 'Valencia' orange failed. I just could not find a better place. Irrigation tube reworked, then the little tree screened off to protect it from rabbits, who found the other, older 'Improved Meyer' foliage delicious.
Hence when I walk out on the driveway and see this...
...I'm happy for whatever ate the rest of it.
Pulled a dead Verbena and the two Carex testacea. The Carex, though fine plants, were always intended to be temporary. Replaced with 'Queen Mum' Agapanthus (seen to the right of the red bucket ), 'Pruntucky Summer' Agapanthus (to the left of the red bucket), one of the 'Twister'/'Indigo Frost' Agapanthus (to the right, not in the frame) and I'm still thinking about the rest of this. The Hydrangeas are getting bigger and bigger, even though hard-pruned each winter.
A touch of Autumn color on the 'Dynamite' Lagerstroemias.
A bit also on the 'Oshio Bene' Maple, if photographed early in the morning, backlit:
The 'Cara Cara' oranges also begin to color. They'll be ready to start harvesting around Christmas:
A few of the Verbenas are still going:
Picked up another 'Meerloo' lavender. A fine performer, the foliage extremely fragrant.
It went out front:The seedling lavenders moved there last winter grew well through spring, but died in summer's heat. Hopefully 'Meerloo' has time to establish before next summer.
This little Sanseveria that lives on the patio had a good summer, producing two offsets.
The native Rhus integrifolia is dioecious (the plant produces either male flowers (producing pollen) or female (producing seeds), not both) which explains why the flowers look different from the most common photos on the internet, because they are male flowers, even smaller and less ornamental than the female form. At this early stage, they do have charm:
The Ceanothus megacarpus planted in early August held a surprise. At purchase the leaves were matte, tough, leathery, and a dark green--very different from the Ceanothus foliage I was used to--more like the leaves of the native oak. A few months later, with irrigation and part shade...
...they look more typically Ceanothus-y, glossy, and a richer green.
You fooled me!
Time--past time, really, to plant sweet pea seeds. The rain was a real motivator. I moved the tuteur to the bed, planted some "Dutch" iris bulbs in front of the tuteur, planted sweet pea seeds around the base, and arranged hardware cloth to protect emerging seedlings from birds and rabbits. This is intended to jazz up the axial view of this area from the front gate for the spring.
More sweet pea seeds around the umbrella trellis, with more hardware cloth protection:
The tomatoes were a failure this summer. Now, now, long past time for tomatoes, the remaining plant in the tomato kennel decided it was a finally a good time to produce some:
More new Iris bulbs went in here and there. Some planted last year are already emerging.
An angle I don't usually see, in the back, made better with early morning light:
A rivalry has been going on over possession of the top of the Agave marmorata bloom stalk, a prime lookout point for songbirds. Oak acorn woodpecker at the top was eventually chased off by the smaller but feistier Mockingbird indicated by the arrow:
Chopped back a couple of the Leonotus. They may come out. There are seedlings elsewhere. These two were taking more space than they should.
This one blocked a path in the gully:
This one overwhelmed the new little 'Sunbelt Savannah' rose:
The plants also seemed refreshed.