The Garden in Summer

by Lorraine on December 30, 2008

I’m still trying to get caught up with all of the things that I’ve  written about the garden from the beginning of this year and now we are rolling into a new one.   My friend Deena, who helped with designing the garden and choosing the plants, visited me yesterday and she was very thrilled to see  how much the garden has grown and changed since we first installed it in Dec. ’07

She made a few suggestions on pruning and some other ideas for additional plants for the area between my driveway and my neighbors.   Then we looked at the intimating back yard.   But more on that later.   I’m going to write about this past Summer and try to bring this blog up to date since I am so far behind!

June 29th.

The weather is beautiful today and it feels great to be outside!   I did a little dead heading on the California Sunflower plants (Encelia californica) and in general just took a look around in the garden to see how things are doing.   I’ve noticed that the Monkey Flowers (Mimulus) are starting to fade and end their flowering.   They’ve been going strong and have continuously bloomed for several months much to my surprise!   I would say that at this time, they have been a very successful plant in the garden and have found a permanent home with me.

But now the leaves are changing and look a bit yellow and the blossoms are drying out and starting to fall off the plants.   This is a natural process and nitrogen should not be applied to keep them going.   They are preparing themselves for the Summer and they should be just left alone.  I have seen the dried out plants on the local hillsides, so I know that this is normal for them and I shouldn’t be concerned.

Chia (Salvia) and Poppies

Chia (Salvia) and Poppies

The Whirly Blue Salvia is also changing in its appearance and the pretty purple-blue flowers have dried out, only leaving  a bit  of color on each plant and a number of the leaves have fallen to the ground.   The birds are attracted to the seeds that they find and are enjoying the feast  as they fly in and around the garden.

Whirly Blue Sage & CA Sunflower

Whirly Blue Sage & CA Sunflower

I haven’t seen the Quail couple lately but there have been quite a few of Lesser Goldfinch’s in the garden.   They also love the seeds from the Salvias and from the Quail Bush/Salt Bush (Atriplex leniforms brewii).

This is  a lovely bush, with long sweeping branches and smallish gray-silver leaves.   It is considered to be a really great choice for a garden, as it provides habitat for various birds and small animals.   I have four that were planted and they have done very well and  and become quite large, surprising me since they were only in one gallon containers.

The lesson here is to only buy plants in the one gallon size.   Anything bigger doesn’t give you any kind of advantage and if anything, I’ve discovered that the plants that were in 15 gallon pots, are the same size now, as the ones that were in the smaller containers that I started with.

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