1. "Succession planting is a gardening method that extends the growing season and yields a greater harvest"
More of those!
2. "Succession planting is the layering of plants to create dramatic change in the garden over the growing season, and to extend bloom over a long period."
When a beautiful spring becomes a "meh" summer, the problem is a lack of succession planting. Meh:
3. "Succession planting is a method to gradually transition an area from a full sun exposure to a shaded exposure."
Example: the next photo. The Oak is gradually turning a full sun bed of roses into a future of shade and a fluffy blanket of fallen oak leaves. The Lagerstroemia on the left will require eventual removal as (if) the Oak grows larger. The Oak will someday shade he house as our climate deteriorates into the misery of year-round heat, until the Oak, too, dies of heat, or drought, or insect pests, or the transformation of all of California into towering apartment blocks surrounded by little green mustaches of token shrubbery.
4. "Succession planting is a method to gradually transition from an irrigated garden to a summer dry or arid garden."
No more of this. Sigh:
And more of this. Which is not so very bad...is it?
As I fumble and stumble my way through the gardening experience, it's time to think about succession in terms of the last three of the above descriptions. Regarding #1, the growing season here is 360 days a year. It need not be longer.
Incidentally, the first two definitions are real. The second two, I made up. Succession over a long period of time isn't really "succession gardening"--it's... "gardening".
A detailed approach to combining #2 and #4 of these ideas is presented here. While it's brilliant, it also saddens me, because I love the plants I love, and the plants I love, while they might not love lots of water, undoubtedly love some in summer. Even Aloes.
And certainly Verbena, Dahlias, and the Garvinea series of Gerbera daisy:
New one! A garnet red.
While I might (and have) become accustomed and attached to some very xeric plants...
Such as Hakea from western Australia:
Such as Dasylirion wheeleri from west Texas, a bee-covered flower tower of what looks like woolly rigatoni...
and Geranium 'Rozanne'. Not just Agave 'Blue Glow'. Learning to love xerics is learning as much as it is loving. You love what you love. You cannot do otherwise.
Moving pots around is a way to change things up. Rolled the big sloppy splash of orange bromeliad out by the Dahlias:
But ahhhh, flowers!
So I've been planting small, heat-loving Pentas, Cosmos, and Salvias, babying the Zinnias in hopes of brightening July and August, spot-watering as needed, and moving pots around to make summer a little more interesting.
Temporary shade and mandatory rodent protection to help them settle in.
The Salvias can do without shade or rabbit protection. There will be a splash of red flowers here in a few weeks, and hummers feeding from them.
Surprise: the "butterfly gladiolus' flowers already emerging. The labels said late summer.
Well, I definitely suffer from a "meh" summer garden here in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. I am working on it though by trying to find things that will sail through our cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers while sitting in heavy clay. Not an easy task.ReplyDelete
No, not at all easy to garden in clay in a rainy winter climate. I grew up in a garden of clay so gooey I made little bricks and built little houses from them! A funny memory. The little houses were so strong my Dad had a hard time breaking them up when I was done playing with them. They were like concrete.Delete
Every climate has challenges--summer heat-loving annuals are what I'm trying this year--it might have to be something else next year. Experimenting is part of the fun, right?
That sounds like a fun little art project to do with clay. My plant experiments this year have been to try several desert southwest plants and see how they do in clay. It sounds like a bad idea, but some of them made it through the record wet this year.Delete
A kid project, the bricks. It was fun. I always have liked to play in the dirt!Delete
Many arid-climate plants live in seasonal streams, so they can take a soaking for a time, as long as they dry out, especially when soil temperature goes up and microbes are more active.
"Juggling act" is a good description of the challenges gardeners face as they're confronted by the reality of climate change. I'm fighting the urge to skip the juggling and just flee to less hostile terrain. But fleeing poses its own challenges, both personal and practical, and given that any selected haven could be either temporary or illusory, it may be utterly pointless.ReplyDelete
I love the description of the Dasylirion flower stalk as woolly rigatoni.
The fleeing has its own issues, yes because I've been thinking going somewhere with a better water supply would be a good idea--but where now that is decent is not overrun?Delete
You know, I was just thinking about the world food supply this morning as I was making coffee. I wonder how long we'll be able to wander into any grocery store and get our coffee, nuts, fruits, veggies, cereals, etc. without a care, and which of those is going to become hardest to grow first. I was pondering what kinds of changes we'll have to make, and when they will come. This year? Next year? In ten years? Scary to think about...ReplyDelete
Coffee is really vulnerable, as is chocolate--so they will go back to being luxuries only the very rich can afford, as they were 300 years ago. Citrus is threatened world wide by Greening Disease, Avocados here by the polyphagus shothole borer. Growing what we can at home seems like a good idea--certainly a lower carbon footprint and affordable.Delete
A neighbor was just telling me this morning about a refugee he worked with who was shocked at how easy it was to get work and adequate food in the US. We are still really lucky here despite all our increasing problems.
Definitely hard to give up on growing plants you love but in your climate there is a huge palette of sun loving drought tolerant ones to try too. It just seems to be hard to get your head around the possibilities vs the losses. Gardens are always changing so the lesson I suppose is we have to be willing to do so too.ReplyDelete
Very true! The garden is the gardener, and the gardener that never changes isn't much of a garden. Or something like that! Seeking out and trialing new plants is part of the fun.Delete
As much as I love trees (and I've planted way too many), I'm still amazed at how much sun they eliminate, even though they aren't really that big yet. I do appreciate shade but... By the way, have you seen the new geranium called 'Azure Rush' - a dwarf version of 'Rozanne'. We got it at the nursery this week and of course I got one.ReplyDelete
The heat here is getting worse so the shade is making gardening in summer/autumn bearable. The issue of heat in the house during summer has become really important also. It can be unbearable without the A/C and we try to run the A/C as little as possible. A big oak will help keep the house cooler. Re-thinking how much sun roses need here--it's considerable, but not all-day-all-year-long. Even the roses are starting to need some shade.Delete
Working at a nursery must be endlessly tempting--so many plants to try! I actually tried 'Azure Rush' back in 2013(!), which I realize only because I blogged it way back then. It was not vigorous and it did not survive--may have been a poor copy. 'Orion' with slightly deeper colored flowers has not been vigorous but I think it is the location and the rabbits. The plan is to move it to a better place this autumn.
In my Zone 5 Wisconsin garden I am dealing with similar issues. My shade garden lost two trees. Once that would not have been too big a problem, but now with drought and 90° temps starting in May, it is hard to know how to proceed.ReplyDelete
One thing seems important: to support the birds and other native critters with plants that will feed and/or shelter them--that's something we can work at, at least.Delete
Good points there especially the transition or changes seems to be shorter, from having some rain to having far less now in your area and hotter summers too? So true, you love what you love and compromise can be difficultReplyDelete
Best wishes, M&G. We are all affected these days.Delete
I think gardening here in Phoenix has always made me so aware of the water. However, it just gets worse and worse and with much higher heat too. You have expressed the dilemma we are all facing so well (I too love the “woolly rigatoni”!) It is in my genes that I have to garden no matter the challenges. And, after reading these posts, I know I am not alone in that need! You all give me inspiration to keep going!ReplyDelete
if only to help the birds and other wild critters--it is worth helping them if we can.Delete
I was talking to a gardener over the weekend who mentioned a bear with cubs was getting into neighborhood trash -- a cold wet spring means not just gardens but the wild berries are delayed too, and cubs gotta eat. I've not rushed to plant roses, clems, lilacs, peonies. I'm sure you'd think I'm wasting the opportunity! I think what excites me most is having a summer garden of herbaceous stuff, an impossibility in zone 10. Love the photo of the clem climbing sticks on fire! Cheeky bit of garden humor...ReplyDelete
Does your local waste company offer bear proof bins? They are worth it, for the safety of the bears, not to mention the cleanliness of the neighborhood. (So says my sister in Alaska where bears getting into trash bins are ubiquitous.Delete
No, can't say roses would be appropriate for a 90"/year rainfall climate, and lilacs are like cymbidium orchids, interesting for two weeks a year, boring for 50, but peonies are herbaceous stuff. Just sayin'. 😜
Thanks for noticing the cheek!