Places I Couldn't Access For Five Weeks

 'Gruss an Aachen' ('Gruß an Aachen')

There were several areas of the garden I wasn't agile enough to visit for five weeks.  I got to some of them yesterday.  But first, more roses and rose companions...  
First Agapanthus flower of 2024 'Prunetucky Summer':

'Yves Piaget':
Iris 'Clarence' with Geum 'Totally Tangerine':
'Princesse Charlene de Monaco':
'The Poet's Wife':

Now, on to places I haven't been able to access.  Of course I can see the towering flower stem of Agave marmorata from a far distance, but I can't access the weeds at its base which desperately need pulling.

The arrow indicates a hummingbird trying to keep the Agave flowers all for himself.  Dream on, buddy!

Two extra rainy winters filled in this area by the street.  Lavenders 'Silver Anouk', 'Meerlo', and a random seedling, Calylophus, two Leucospermums around the right edge of the photo, and a few other plants.  There was a weed or two, which I manged to pull.
Hemerocallis 'Little Missy' flowers are in the same color range as Aloe capitata foliage in the background.  I don't know if that works or not:
One of the Leucospermum hybrids the big box stores were selling last year.  No flowers yet but the plentiful new foliage looks excellent.  Artemisia 'Sea Foam' at its base doesn't look too bad either--not great but better than last year:
This is another big box hybrid that doesn't look so good.  It needs some chelated iron to help it green up:

Leucospermum 'Red Sunset', purchased in the Monterey area a few years back.   Not seeing a lot of red in the flower...

...less opened:

Those plants were either on sloping ground I could not handle or out front by the sloping street.   Couldn't handle even slightly sloping for five weeks.   

The next photos are from the back gully.

I was able to make it down the stairs supported by a cane in one hand and a shovel in the other.  Felt very steady.

Sweet pea 'Cupani' with 'Mystic Spires Blue':

Crammed together jungle of Hippeastrum 'Apple Blossom', Salvia 'Wendy's Wish', and rose 'Cinco de Mayo':

 The above flowers from the other direction.  They crammed themselves together by growing so much:

Noticed a Damsel fly landing on a Metrosideros leaf.  Damsel flies are predators of other insects.  They do not eat plant material.

Pulled what weeds I found--the chop-and-drop mulch I put down last spring and summer prevented many.  

Hunnemannia seedlings here and there, not weeds:

Acer palmatum 'Ryusen' , definitely not a weed, just growing like one:

'Climbing Iceberg' doesn't get any direct sun in fall and winter.  In spring and summer it is somewhat sunnier, enough to enable it to flower:
Back out of the gully, I squeezed the camera lens between a rose and a Clematis to get a shot of the garden's first Foxglove flower. 

Nice.  A recent visit to a local nursery had a mass display of blooming foxgloves arranged on blocks at different heights.  It was stunning.  Regret not getting a photo.  The price of each large potted foxglove was stunning, too.  They are easy from a package of seed.

Are there parts of your garden you don't get to often, even with two healthy knees?   Why is that?   


  1. Congrats on making it down the steps! That's a significant step forward, forgive the pun.
    The photos from the back gully suggest your fauna and flora are organized in natural 'bouquet' arrangements, helped by your eye for color design. Breath taking!

    1. Getting there. :) Mostly happy accidents in the gully plantings, but thanks!

  2. Beautiful photos, HB. I'm glad you're getting around more, although you're shaming me with your efforts to get at difficult weeds even during your recovery - I've got so many this spring that I feel like throwing up my hands! Who knew that the upside of drought was far, far fewer weeds ;) I try to limit the time I spend on uneven turf, especially on my back slope as both my knees are in need of repair (but I'm targeting replacement of the right one later this year).

    1. Every weed pulled before it sets seed is 1,000 less weeds next year. If weeds is the price of good rainfall, I'm happy to pay that price! Plants so happy this year. It's such a joy.

      So far knee replacement seems like the right choice--time will tell for sure. I spoke to a UC Master Gardener at the SCP plant show who had his done 17 years ago--he said it was still good!

  3. Yay on making it down the stairs, I'm happy your healing is going so well. It must have felt wonderful to see areas you haven't been to in 5 weeks. That first rose is a romancer! I like the idea of a mass of foxgloves, and you are right on about saving some $. Love that second shot of the trio of Hippeastrum, rose & salvia. Beautiful.

    1. It was good to pull weeds before they went to seed! I may do foxgloves again for next year because they really are striking. The north side of some of the walls is a perfect spot for them that doesn't get planted with anything else.

  4. Honestly, you've got such good coverage with your garden plants, it is surprising you have any weeds at all! Everything is looking fabulous, per usual. Glad you are able to get out there, enjoy it, and to get some chores done. Of all the plants grown in CA, I am most envious of the Leucospermums. I would probably go a bit crazy trying to grow them all if I lived down there. The damselfly is cute - one of my favorite insects. 'Climbing Iceberg' as a cultivar name made me laugh. Does it smell like its namesake too? Are there parts of my garden I don't get to often? Yes, most of it, 2/3 acre is a lot to manage for a weekend gardener!

    1. The drier areas have space between plants. Those drier areas where the mulch has thinned are the worst spots. Hopefully with a new knee I can mulch better soon. Leucospermums are quite amazing and am very lucky they like the soil here. 'Climbing Iceberg' yes if you think about it a funny image! It's exactly the same as 'Iceberg'.

      2/3 acre is a lot plus you have deer and other plant-eating critters and hard freezes--a lot more challenging!

  5. I'm so glad you're able to get about again. Your post brings back all the memories of fighting to get into to parts of my garden with a broken ankle, no fun! Designs that I love when able-bodied are not so great with only one usable leg. Like Jerry I am jealous of your leucospermums, or all the protea really.

  6. Beautiful plants aside, I'm so happy to hear you're getting around again!


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