Yes I know it is February but I seem to running behind in my garden posts. Luckily I am not running too far behind in the garden. With 124 days until the backyard wedding I have been busy seeding clay pots with wildflowers, making monkeyflower cuttings, weeding (a bit), digging out some old plants that were part of the old deck landscaping (strawberry guave), and “fixing up” the yard.
So how did I actually do with the December to do list?
1. Prune hard Baccharis ‘Twin Peaks #2’
2. Relandscape backyard
3. Continue sowing wildflower seeds
4. Irrigate annuals for long bloom period
5. Finish planting perennials
7. Relax and enjoy the garden
I did #3 and #7. I am working on #2, #5, #6. Haven’t started #1. And I didn’t need to do #4 because it rained regularly. Not great. Here are some details.
#2 – Relandscape yard
With the help of our landscape designer and approval of our next door neighbors we have decided to paint the side of their garage that faces our backyard on the western property line. We thought about putting a fence in front of it but were concerned about creating a tight space that would make that side of the garage hard to reach for repairs and painting. Also the garage facing us will actually add character to our yard. We plan to paint it a fairly bright color – to be determined.
We met with our designer to prioritize the work. Hopefully we will have an overall plan that we can work towards. Paths and general areas will be laid out. Most will happen after the wedding.
And finally I removed a large, old and unattractive strawberry guave that was on the side of the deck. I plan to dig out the rosemary shrub that wants to be six feet tall and wide. It too is now in the middle of nowhere since the deck is gone.
Lastly, once the old camellia next to our neighbors’ garage finishes blooming it will go too. I think that is all I plan to tear out – for now.
#5 – Finish planting perennials
I planted the California buttercup (Ranunculus californicus) in a clay pot. It was way pot bound but I think it will be okay.
A few of the other gardening chores that got done this month follow.
I also spent a lot of time cleaning up the backyard. I cleaned up all of my pots, cut and stacked some wood, gave some logs to a friend, harvested avocados, gave away avocados, harvested and ate Meyers lemons, lettuce, arugula, etc. Leveled the ground under the avocado tree. Cut the Mexican sage to the ground.
Didn’t do much in the front, just a little weeding.
Unfortunately there was more vandalism on the garden along the east fence. A Ray Hartman ceanothus that was split in December was finished off in January and an pvc irrigation pipe that I don’t use was pulled out, though not broken. The police are getting to know me and have listened to my suspicions and promise to keep an eye out. Bummer.
What’s in color
Wildflowers are really coming up well though none is blooming… except a globe gilia that has been blooming all winter. Very odd indeed. Poppies, gilias and clarkias to name a few are growing well.
1. It rained a lot. Yay!
2. The cat got lost for a whole day and night (she’s getting old and shouldn’t be out all night!) and stuck in a tree a week later. It was raining and though I climbed a ladder and tried to coax her down I couldn’t get her. Jim to the rescue! He came home from work and grabbed that cat. Once she got inside she slept by the heater vent for about two days before resuming her delightful ways – annoying us until we can’t stand it anymore and we let her out. Her insistent meow is like nails on a blackboard.
3. I tidied up part of the garage and found some old bird seed so I put it out and got some lovely goldfinches.
1. Prune hard Baccharis ‘Twin Peaks #2’ – and I mean it this time!
2. Plant two 4″ hummingbird sages (Salvia spathacea) in the front yard.
4. Clean up the yard: level the ground, cut the rest of the wood, chip and shred.
5. Don’t freak out.