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Ruthless Trimming and Rainstorms

by Lorraine on July 31, 2011

Okay, so the weather forecast for mid to southern California was for thunder storms, lightening, rain, humidity, drama and flash floods.   None of which happened around here, although I don’t know if these events transpired in other parts of the state.   But the weather turned out to be beautiful with fantastic blue skies, some clouds and lots of humidity.

Sometimes  I can be spontaneous and I got the urge to (well just a little bit), do some trimming in the garden yesterday.   Naturally, being me…this became an event that lasted about three hours as I cut back some of the Salvias, trimmed the Desert Lavender/Hyptis emoryi and knocking myself out for any future events that might require my energy.

I have two Desert Lavender bushes and both of the are up against the house and easily over 8′ and tend to want to become bushy.   So once in a while I have to do some trimming as one of them is right next to my sitting area in the garden and if I didn’t trim it, I’d be sitting in it’s branches.

They are covered in bees, collecting nectar and spreading their good cheer and work and Hummingbirds like them as well.   Although, lately I haven’t seen too many Hummers, since most of the plants are done blooming for the summer with the exception of Everett’s Choice fuchsias.

They do adore them and of course the fiery orange color, seduces the little birds to visit the bar quite often.  They love the fuchias and typically they are swooping in and out of the plants for most of the day.

So I got off my topic here…trimming.   Due to all the rain we had this past winter, the plants went “bonkers’ in their growth and ended up competing for space.   The Whirly Blue salvias, covered some of the Purple Three Awn grasses and a couple of Yarrows, too.   They are know behaving because I cut them back a bit, which should be done beginning this time of the year.

I soaked a Spreading Gum Plan/Grindelia stricta yesterday and yanked it out today because I think it’s ugly.   There’s another one that will be receiving the same fate as well but later on, not today.  I whacked back several Coyote Mints/Mondardella villosa too, as they were looking done in and no longer putting on a show but they sure have a strong, minty fragrance that is almost overwhelming but nice.

August is supposedly one of our hotter months in California and my plants have all but retreated to safety until the first rains of winter.   Then it will start all over again.

But what happened to today’s rain storms, flash floods, lightening and other exciting events?


December, Already?

by Lorraine on December 9, 2010

Well, I guess you could say that I’m not exactly posting regularly here about the events or lack “of” as to what’s going on in my garden.   Most of the summer was rather quiet and it’s then that a native plant garden goes into a kind of slumber as it coasts through the long  hot days of the season.

I had been trying to decide what I would do about the Canyon Prince Rye Grass, as I commented in my last post and I finally dug up (lets see here,  hummm) four of them but I still have three to be removed.

Obviously, there were too many put into the garden three years ago and what I didn’t know at the time, was how large they would become and that they obviously  loved the conditions in the garden and thrived.

It took some digging to get out the ones I did remove and I am noticing some shoots coming up here and there where they previously were and that could be a future problem.  This means I will have to pay constant attention and make sure that they don’t get a “root hold” again…..

In their place I have planted some Purple Three Awn native bunch grass and several Yarrows.   My color palate is grayish-blue and yellow.   Mixed in with this are the amazing Woolly Blue Curls that continue to amaze me in their resilience and look healthy and are still blooming.

This weekend I plan to remove the rest of the Canyon Prince and also remove two Salvia mellifera and attempt to relocate them to my backyard.  I don’t know how successful this will be, but I want to keep them and I have more space in the backyard for them to spread out.

The garden evolves as we all do, circumstances change and nature’s moods and music continue to delight, regardless of what is happening in the world.



May and June in California

by Lorraine on May 27, 2010

The day has started out being dreary, gray and drizzly….it doesn’t make me feel happy or thrilled but I guess there are some people that love this kind of weather but I am not one of them.  If you grew up or live in parts of the country where long gray days are the norm, you would not be bothered by it.

But being a native of southern California, I am used to mostly sunny days and when we have our “May Grays”  and “June Glooms”   those of us who have lived here for most of our lives, hate this kind of weather.

Hopefully the condition won’t last long and our sun and warm days will reappear soon.   But sometimes this will last for weeks and you dispair about the darkness and eat too many carbs.

I hate this gloom and for some reason, this year we have had very little of it and most of the time its been beautiful, sunny and blue skies to look forward to and I loved it.  

Especially the last few days with clear skies and horizons that called out for attention.  It’s been amazing and makes you want to be outside and enjoying it as much as you can and be in my garden, doing things, poking around and loving it.

With the additional rain we have had this year, all of the wildflowers continued blooming longer than normal and the plants in my garden have become quite large and those that bloom are still going strong.  A terrific bonus!

The Nodding needle grass overtook my pathway and I finally but reluctantly, decided it was time to trim it back to each clump’s base, so that I could walk on the path.   Although the cats simply cruised under it as they traversed it.   It was a bit like a tunnel to them and they have enjoyed hiding and napping in it for cover during the day.

I enjoyed how it looks when it waved back in forth in the breeze and especially in the early evening when it is back lit by the setting sun and is mesmerizing to watch in it’s movements.

It appears golden and silver, shimmering in the soft sunlight and creates a mellow and calming sense of pleasure.   But it was blocking the path, so I cut most of it back and created bundles of it to dry for future arrangements, as it looks beautiful in a vase and brings the outside in and memories of lovely, swaying grass and sunlight.

But gray, gloomy days can mean catching up on housekeeping, reading a book, going to the movies or just daydreaming about the sun.

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