Calendula 'Xeolights'

With the plants more established, the Calendula flowers have improved.  Still, bugs seem to love to eat them, so I'm unenthusiastic about growing them again.  

This lovely bloom's stem was loaded with black aphids.  Thank goodness for shallow depth of field:

Garden activities:  I'm working on moving past my knee- and medical--industrial-complex- induced malaise.  A tree trimmer is going to shorten some shrubs for me next weekend--the ones too tall for me and the knee to deal with.

The veggie/cutting garden needs more winter sun.  The shrubs to the east and south are still tall enough to reduce direct sun when the sun is lower in the sky.  Annual flowers and shade--not so good.  

Except foxgloves:

Take a little more off the top, please:  

I removed the 'Meerlo' rose I messed up when shearing it back--more chopping revealed it was 95% woody stems underneath a coating of gorgeous fragrant foliage--so it was time.  Five years is good for a lavender.   Another 'Meerlo' is growing out front by the street, so there will still be one to enjoy. 

A couple of Rhodanthemums planted in too much shade can thrive in a sunnier location--so will be moved into 'Meerlo's spot, along with a few Zephyranthes.  The soil there is chocolate-cake rich--surprisingly the Lavender was happy there.  Perhaps poor soil is not always mandatory for Lavenders?

The last tomatoes were harvested (and enjoyed!) and the plants pulled.  I dug in some soil enrichment--compost with 10% chicken manure.  Now it's ready for Stock and Snapdragon seedlings.    I'm not doing winter onions this year.

An irrigation leak to fix.  The riser may be broken.  I've got it part way dug out so far. 

We got 0.58"(15 mm) of rain Wednesday night into Thursday, bringing our season total since October 1 to 0.92"(23 mm).  More is forecast overnight Friday into Saturday--not expecting much--but every drop is welcome (we ended up getting only 0.02" more).  It rained hard enough Thursday to prove the rain gutters I hired a guy to clean are working again.  The tennis ball lodged in a downspout was indeed the problem.  

 Boris had nothing to do with that.  Not a tennis ball:

Harvested and spread the compost tumbler's contents--two or three cubic feet--the darker brown area below.  

The tumbler was filled and refilled over about a year's time as the decomposition of clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps made room for more.  Not much area mulched, but it kept a lot of green waste out of the landfill.   

 I refilled the tumbler with leaves collected after our first big Santa Ana wind event and added kitchen waste--coffee grounds and vegetable peels.  The process begins again.  

A few new bulbs arrived in the mail Friday. 

Hippeastrum cybister, 1849:

 Hippeastrum cybister 'La Paz', which I've wanted to try since I saw a picture of it.  Whenever I thought to shop for it, it was always sold out.  Made advanced purchase this year in July--got three bulbs, potting them up immediately.

Speaking of Hippeastrums,  H. papillio is looking insanely happy. 

What in heaven's name did I do right?

Nothing.  Surely it was the rain.  

The other bulb purchase was a 10-pack of Brodiaea californica 'Babylon', which went here:

They'll flower in June.  They need winter/spring moisture and summer dry, precisely what this area provides. 

Added continuing-to-appear volunteer sweet pea seedlings to one new spot, down by the pergola, in an area that is full sun again after the Pittosporum 'Ivory Sheen' removal.   The recently planted Helianthemum 'The Bride' on the left, and  Lavender augustifolia 'Platinum Blonde' upper right, are both settling in nicely. 

I'm spending actual time sitting under the pergola now and then since the Pitto removal--a wider view is back, and more worth admiring since various plants have grown larger--the blue Podocarpus, the 'Emperor I' Acer, 'Cherry Mocha' Lagerstroemia, 'Austin Griffiths' Arctostaphylos, lots of pink roses, 'Springfire', summer Zinnias and Salvias bringing in bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds...well, you get the idea.   

Lesson learned I guess, if you put a chair or bench where the view is really good, you are more inclined to sit down a while to admire it.  Now, if I were to add an urn fountain to attract avian bathers...something to consider. 

To end the post more roses--photos I didn't get into the previous post. 

'Firefighter' and 'Francis Meilland'

'The Ambridge Rose':

'Queen of Elegance'

'Sweet Mademoiselle', drippy from the rain:
'Apricot Cream':

'Valencia' which I stuck in with 'Mystic Spires Blue' to take the photo--it was pushed down into the mulch by the rain, and was far too lovely to leave there:
'Darcy Bussell', very crimson instead of deep pink because of cloudy weather:
'Firefighter' and 'Easy Does It', blown and ready to fall apart, but it is November, after all:

'Iceberg' with the above:



  1. Great shot of Boris! Your roses are an inspiration. We got a little more rain overnight, with the total from both storms now standing at 0.44" - not generous but it filled both my 50- and 180-gallon rain collection tanks, which is very good. I can't tell how much is in the 265-gallon tank that feeds off the smallest roof surface but I doubt it's more than 1/4th full even with the rainwater I manually fed into it.

    Sorry about the irrigation problem - and the aphids :(

    1. That's great you got good rainfall!

      And now the wind is roaring. It's pretty bad here. Didn't even walk the dogs this morning--even they were of the opinion it was not safe to go out. --hb

  2. Whatever you are doing with Papilio do it with La Paz too. How any flowers do you get from Papilio? I have found this one is a bit more challenging to grow in a container. We often get so busy in the garden we forget to sit down and enjoy it. Placing a chair where there is a beautiful view will hopefully inspire you to take a break and just be in the moment.

    1. The H. papilios flowered last April--as I remember each bulb had at least 1 stem, with 4 flowers on each stem I think. I would think them being so much happier and more established, this coming April they may put on quite a show. There is also a pot with four or five bulbs in it--they do not look as happy as the ones in the ground (in the photo).

      We gardeners all seem to forget to stop and smell the roses in our focus on weeds, etc... --hb

  3. Gorgeous Boris! We didn't get as much rain as predicted, but of course appreciate what we did get. Valencia with the salvia is so beautiful. You were pretty busy with your bum knee, I'm glad you found a good place to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labor for a bit. I can't wait to see your 'La Paz" when it blooms! I'm going to have to take a closer look at my calendulas and see if they are covered, ew.

    1. He's a beautiful dog. And has a beautiful personality. :) Curious to see how 'La Paz' does here as well--this coming springtime maybe will tell. --hb

  4. Hippeastrum cybister, 1849: I so love vintage drawings of plants.
    I can see why 'La Paz' is often sold out, glad you finally got your hands on 3, and I can't wait to see them blooming.

    1. I thought that drawing of the Hippeastrum was particularly nice. French artist. It was on Wikipedia. It looks like there are some newer more refined forms than 'La Paz' available now, but La Paz should be beautiful enough.

  5. I always find it difficult to sit still and to enjoy what I've accomplished in the garden. I always see that one more thing to do... Can't wait to see your Hippeastrum cybister in bloom. The roses make me feel like it is still summer.


Post a Comment

Always interested in your thoughts.

Any comments containing a link to a commercial site with the intent to promote that site will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.