Saturday, November 10, 2012
The New Screen
I've been talking about the problems we have been having with the old oleanders dying around the perimeter of the back yard in SJC, and it was finally time to tackle the problem last week. Although the weather was still warm during the day, the evenings were cooling off and it had to be done before my attention turned to the holidays. Even though the oleanders had been drastically cut back and they looked like the were coming back with gusto, the tips were showing signs of the dreaded oleander scorch so it was time to bite the bullet and just remove them, roots and all. We only did about a 20 foot strip where the foliage was the thinnest, but it was a huge job, taking several days for my two workers to cut them back and dig them out. My job was to go the the nursery and buy their replacements. I went with what is already working well on some of the other borders of the yard, Carolina cherry, privet and podocarpus. My philosophy is to mix it up just in case one of the species comes under attack by a disease, that way you don't lose the whole screen. This is what happened a few years ago in Laguna with the myoporum and now the oleanders in SJC. I had been trying to mix some of the new plant material in with the oleanders over the last few years, hoping they would take off and fill in, but they never seemed to get enough sun or nutrients to really start growing. Meanwhile we are seeing much more of our neighbors these days!