Not Good With Fiddly/Late Fall Light

  I'm not good at fiddly.  Arranging flowers makes my skin crawl, and this replant of "vertical" planter was not only fiddly, it's also pretty sad.   Though to be fair, creating a waterfall of Sedum morganianum takes growing time.  I used scraps and odd bits growing in various pots.  Maybe it will eventually look good--and maybe it won't.  

Ewww.  This is the "after" picture: 

Growing from seed is fiddly, too, though it has significant advantages.  For one third the price of a single six-pack of Stock (Matthiola) I got five six-packs. 
Separating some of the tiny seedlings to give them more room made a mess.  If I continue growing from seed, a potting table would helpful.  Should build one.

The remaining potted sweet peas, started from seed back in October, are all planted.  They are growing much better than the sweet peas did last year.  Because, why?  No idea.

 They are so cute when they reach out and hold on to things:
Went to Lowe's with a garden-buddy who wanted a table-top conifer for Christmas decor.  I found a Leucadendron galpinii in good shape on the death rack for 50% off.  These are happy in a pot for quite a while.
Other gardening: cutting back (Iochroma) and cleaning up yellowing foliage  It took four weeks to chop all the Pittosporum trimmings and fit them into the green waste bins.  It wasn't four weeks of chopping--the pauses between bins packed full waiting to be emptied was most of it.

Lovely to be out there, though.  Quiet.  Most  people in the neighborhood were gone for Thanksgiving.  

Besides autumn clean up, enjoying the soft light and  near-flawless rose flowers of the season.

Many Aloes sending up flower stems:

'Julia Child':

Garvinea Gerbera against a background of Pentas which are beginning their winter-ratty phase.
Salvia 'Waverly' and its shadows
'The Poet's Wife':
Yet more of 'Snowbird':

Surprise on 'The Ambridge Rose':

Parthenocissus got a touch of fall color.   Variegated Aloe noblis below it:
 Even better:

I've been gardening so much garden-blogging has had to wait.  The weather is ideal:  cool, and at times overcast.  

 I found a fresh Metrosideros 'Springfire' to buy and planted it where the beautiful Hakea petiolaris purchased in March, died in August.  Still cringing about that.

The new 'Springfire' is on the far right. The small one by the Agave stalk was purchased in March of this year: 

Maybe they are a bit to close to each other.  Hmm.  To the right of the new 'Springfire' is Leucandendron 'Chief' planted October 2021.  'Chief' is Not Happy.   Overwatered?  While that seem impossible in this climate, light soil, on a hill, and with the way I water,  I shut off one of the two drippers it had and temporarily moved the other to another new Salvia apiana planted for the local pollinators.  The Artemesia was planted back in May.  Salvia 'Dara's Choice' planted at the same time as the other Saliva (hmm...two "Choice" plants). It needs a dripper of its own for a while, until it can establish itself.

I'm uneasy--perhaps the new 'Springfire' could be moved 24" (62 cm) towards 'Chief'.  Maybe tomorrow. It's getting dark. 

 Several Agaves are sending up flower stalks in the area.  The 'Springfire' on the other side of the fence was planted as a one gallon size in February, 2014.  (Blogs are great for recording that kind of stuff!):

 Speaking of Hakeas, the survivor H. laurina spent the heat of September and some of October in afternoon shade.  All it needs is a place in the ground.  Foliage backlit looks fabulous. 

 Love those pinstripes: 

A small thing:  pulled the volunteer Carex testaceas coming up in several places in this path: 

Blue Fescue tufts will look good with the lavender and aqua of the Graptoveria and the Ageratum which has flowered on and on.  The Carex is a great plant, but too big to adorn a small path.    Shopped for a six-pack of blue Fescue, and came home with the 'Springfire' instead.  I'll try another nursery another time for the Fescue.

In the meantime, pulled a mostly dead Fescue clump from another area and saved the part still alive, trimming it short and replanting by the path.  The roots looked good.  Worth a try: 

So glad I hit the roses with fertilizer in early October.  They made November look pretty good, distracting the eye from Hemerocallis going to sleep for the winter:

'Brass Band':

And 'Sombreuil':
Enough.  Fiddled with this post far too long.  The dogs want their dinner. 


  1. Cute photo of the mantis on the lovely rose - I wouldn't expect to find one now when the temperatures have cooled as they have. Kudos on your seed-sowing efforts! If my experience is any indication, Leucadendron 'Chief' gets very big very fast - I'd say mine is close to the upper range of SMG's quoted dimensions of 6-10' x 6-8' (even though I generally prune it 2x a year) so you might factor that into your decision about moving 'Springfire'. I hope my 'Springfire' (planted in 2017) looks half as good as your one day.

  2. I was very surprised to see the Mantid at this time of year. It's been on that rose for several days, too.

    'Chief' has a lot of yellow foliage--I think it is not going to survive where it is, and moving it--not sure that it will survive a move. Wait and see, I guess.

    I was talking to a guy at the nursery. He said 'Springfire' did not do well for most customers. I said I was on a hill with instant drainage and light non-clay soil and they were fabulous and he said, "Ah, that's why." As you are on a hill with gravelly soil I wonder what the difference could be?

  3. Since it's cold with snow forecast this week, my garden is very quiet. So I enjoyed looking at your plants and projects and problems. When I started to garden I thought it would be so wonderful to live where I could garden most of the year. Now I am glad to be able to take a break, to rest and regroup for next spring. Loved your photo (meaning the actual composition) of the Agave near the top of the post.

    1. We do get a kind of a rest break here due to hotter summers--too hot to do much and many of the plants go heat/drought dormant as well. Must spot water attentively to promote survival, that's about it. Didn't used to be like that... :( However, winter is certainly more meditative a season than summer.

      The tilting aloe stems with the dasylirion leaves doing the same slant behind? I like that one too. The plants come up with amazing vignettes themselves.

  4. Creating a waterfall of Sedum morganianum is a wonderful idea. It's a challenge not to knock all the little 'beads' off the stem :-D. It should look fantastic with time. I hope you share another photo in the future.
    Saving Leucadendron galpinii from the death rack is a good thing and a great find, especially since it can live in pot for a while, where you can move it around until deciding on a permanent spot.
    Thanks for showing that Garvinea Gerbera again. I'm smitten with that color and structure!

    1. yep, those little beans falling everywhere. Previously, I tried Senecio radicans to attempt that same "waterfall" effect, but it failed for a couple of reasons--mostly lack of regular watering--so I'm trying again with the Sedum, this time with strict vow to water regularly. If it succeeds, of course I'll want to show it off. ;^) If it doesn't...🤪

      I'm completely smitten with that Gerbera, too.

  5. The roses look absolutely stunning. Despite their finicky dispositions you still can't beat them. The path photo of Fred Ives and the Mangave is beautiful. The colour echos between the two really amp each other up. For a potting table I just use an old plastic patio table. The legs come off when not in use and it stores flat. Easy to hose off too. Not pretty but super practical.

    1. Roses are like humans. They can be annoying and problematic, but also wonderful, and wonderful to have around.

      Excellent idea about a patio table with fold-down or removable legs. Thanks!

  6. L. galpinii is hardy to zone 8, my Oregon garden zone! I need to make a shopping trip south, but very unlikely. Lotusland does the Sedum morg. fabulously well, with those UFO-esque planters to keep the squirrels away. Climbing Sombreuil or bush form?

    1. Would probably be happy for a long long time in your Oregon, in a deep pot of sand and humus.

      #%@#^&^ squirrels.

      There's a non-climbing 'Sombreuil'?!?!

  7. Nice to see I'm not the only one who makes a mess, uses little hardware cloth cages to protect plants, and ends up using the nearest convenient, although not necessarily ideal, spot for potting activities. I enjoy reading about the messy reality and second guessing that others have gone through in creating their gardens - It makes it all feel somewhat more relatable and achievable seeing others struggle with the same things that I do. Thanks for that. Gorgeous Hakea laurina.

    1. Hardware cloth cage all day keeps the $#%$*@& rabbits away.

      No Instagram staged perfection here.

      Best wishes and happy gardening!


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