Temperatures in the 60s, completely overcast, and a forecast of rain. A storm is approaching and will be here this evening or tomorrow bringing high winds and rain. I love southern California winters! This kind of weather just makes me want to play in the dirt.
I have to face it, I am not a lazy gardener. In fact, I really can’t keep myself from pinching, pruning, weeding and getting dirt embedded under my finger nails. Earlier this week I rebuilt the mini-veggie garden, extending the rock walls and adding soil and compost. Yesterday I bought 6 packs of Romaine and Nevada lettuce, arugula, and sugar snaps. Today I planted them. So much fun!
I also planted more of the monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp. and cultivars) that I had in pots for the wedding. Still have one last pot of cuttings to go. Unfortunately the name of the cultivar that I carefully printed on a used, wooden chopstick has disappeared so I don’t know what it is. Maybe I will be able to tell when they bloom.
The area where I put the monkeyflowers (backyard, east garden) was dominated by a large Eleanor monkeyflower (Mimulus ‘Eleanor’). I planted it in spring of 2005. You can see it is quite woody now, but a monkeyflower that is over five years old and that has performed beautifully each year is nothing to sneeze at (weird expression – sneeze at?). (The light gray-green plants on either side of Eleanor are succulents that fell out of a pot. They are too happy to remove.) Anyway, I cut it back and am now planting some other monkeyflowers around it. To the left of it is a young Davis Gold toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia ‘Davis Gold’) that is growing well. It was planted in December 2007 after spending a couple of years in a pot. The skinny sticks are to remind me of where the smaller cuttings are – and to keep Milo from walking on them – he’ll probably pee on them anyway and that will be that.
Here’s a closeup of Eleanor on the left and a non-cultivar monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) on the right. (Note: M. aurantiacus is so variable that you never know what it will be unless you get a cultivar.)