Saturday, July 25, 2015

Finally Ripening!

 Into the later half of July and we still have overcast mornings, some much needed but unexpected rain, and it is finally starting to get hot enough to turn the tomatoes ripe. I even picked my first fig this morning and will savor it in a couple days with some cheese and honey.

 The tomatoes finally got staked by my son who stopped by a couple weekends ago and made a run to the nursery for me. 

 I have tried to make it as inconvenient as possible for the dogs to get to them and enjoy them before we do. 

 The red among all the foliage is a welcome sight! Along with the different basil that also appreciate the sunny days there is a carpese salad in the near future.

 These oranges have been sweet and tasty for a while, which usually doesn't happen until the heat kicks in to give them some flavor. Must be an excellent variety (that I can't remember) for the coast. It is always a good idea to shop the local nurseries that know what varieties do best in our fickle climate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Corner of Color

With the water regulations in play, most of the flowering perennials that would be in bloom now are laying low. It hasn't been terribly warm yet, so there are still some corners of the garden in the shade that hint at what the garden used to be during years when there was adequate rainfall. I'm surprised to see the baby tears since most of the other tiny groundcovers have disappeared, but this little corner near the front door sits in the shade and must get a good dose from the sprinkler nearby a couple times a week. Other plants a few feet away are shrinking and shriveling. Sometimes I am fooled by what hangs in there and which plants cannot handle the stress.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sago Palms

Female Sago Palm

Male Sago Palm

Any questions?

Sunday, July 5, 2015


 I have to admit that my garden is looking pretty pathetic right now. Even though most of the plants are rather drought tolerant and I don't think it is necessarily the water restrictions that are causing the havoc as much as the erratic summer weather combined with my lack of attention. It is cool and overcast for a few days, then hot and humid for a while, then dry and windy.

Asiatic lily
 I have very few things in bloom when this should be the peak season for things like roses and lilies. Most of my lilies have disappeared over the years and I still have the new bulbs waiting to be planted. 

Disneyland Rose
 The roses have been cut back hard due to looking very shabby from sawfly larve, an ongoing problem. I need to make a trip to the nursery for some organic treatments and keep up the spraying. There are a few blooms here and there.

I am getting concerned because I have a big event coming up here at the house and only about six weeks to get everything in shape. But this week we have our four oldest grandchildren coming for their special week with us so everything is just going to have to hang in there a little longer - I have more important things to do right now!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Succulents Are Not Cactus, (But Cactus Are Succulents)!

 I use aeoniums as ground cover in a number of spots for the simple reason that they are so easy to propagate. Just take a rosette and stick it in the ground and you have a new plant.They do best in bright areas or filtered sun. But they are not fool proof in that they do need some regular water. They are not cactus! The picture above is a spot that they are quite happy in, a neglected corner with just the right amount of sun and water.

This picture is a spot they are not too happy with, along the curb in the front yard. My garden helper put them in on his own when the creeping thyme wasn't doing so well. Naturally they can't be walked on so maybe not a great choice next to where people park and get out of their cars. But the main problem is not enough water in this spot. There are sprinklers here, but the soil is so thin and sloped that it just won't seep into the ground and these guys are thirsty (but they are still creating offspring I notice). They ball up and turn red when not happy. I am planning on replacing them with dymondia in the fall or next spring. Not my favorite groundcover as far as looks go, but I guess you can't beat it for being tough and drought tolerant. Almost anything will be an improvement over this!