Monday, May 12, 2014

As The Temperatures Soar

It's hot and dry and very, very windy here. It's bad enough that we're in the middle of a terrible drought but now we have to have souring temperatures what seems like every other week on top of it. This time of year we are usually cool and cloudy. It feels more like September or October wildfire weather than the diddle of spring. I am thankful for the shade trees in the back yard that add a visual coolness to the yard as well as dropping the temperature in the area. Where the soil is exposed it is hard and cracked. Many of the roses have already been cut back after their first bloom and attack of sawfly larvae. (I need to seek out some worm castings for their soil.) But there are other plants like these natives that look like they aren't bothered at all by the 90 degree spring temperatures. The pretty pink Mexican Evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is a native that can be invasive once it starts reseeding, but it doesn't bother me. I welcome the pretty pink flowers in the spring that disappear altogether the rest of the year. They thrive in terrible soil with little water so they are perfect in a spot where nothing else will grow, like under this clump of palm trees. They are mixed in with another reliable native, Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron Karvinskianus). The threadlike stems and tiny daisy flowers grow year round and act as a filler almost anywhere in the garden. It is not easy watching the gardens trying to survive under trying conditions, so it is nice to see some plants that take it all with not much stress at all.


RobinL said...

It's been a strange spring for sure. You are in a terrible drought, and we are practically drowning over here in Ohio. What do you do for the sawfly larvae on your roses? Mine are often eaten by them, but I never notice until they get raggedy. On my mugho pines, however, those pesky caterpillars want to devour! I've had good luck with insecticidal soap so far. I try to be organic when possible, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sheila said...

Robin - you are right, I don't usually notice the sawfly larvae until the rose leaves are a mess and then I just strip them down and cut the bush back. I have used Safer organic spray in the past and that seems to work but you have to keep it up. The best defense I have found was worm castings in the soil. They seem to act like a systemic control, but they are hard to find in a concentration that is high enough to actually work. I guess I need to check the farmer's markets again where I used to have luck finding them.