This is about life in my gardens. One is an acre on a hillside in Laguna Beach, California and the other is an acre in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Fall Has Finally Arrived
I have to admit that when I left for a trip two weeks ago during yet another heat wave here in Southern California I was wondering if I would ever find the passion for working in my gardens that I have always had, again. Talking to other gardeners confirmed I wasn't the only one.
A walk through the gardens at that time showed that what the heat hadn't ravaged, the insects had damaged. The heat loving natives pretty much just shut down in the summer and wait for cooler weather. The succulents, although alive, look a bit boring in the hot sun without any complimenting plants. Drought conditions make watering a guilt-ridden activity and so everything just gets enough to survive but not enough to thrive. Nothing new had been added in a while and as plants died off as they do, bare spots were left bare. Summer annuals never went in because it was just too hot and they used too much water so nooks and crannies that usually were filled with charm and sweet smelling annuals were naked all summer. Pots were left empty that usually housed annuals.
Most of the summer was spent in the house with the air conditioner on and the doors and windows shut, something I can't ever remember doing. Our Laguna House without any air conditioning sat empty waiting for a cool-down before we would even consider spending a night there.
But as is always the case, eventually fall arrives and with the shorter days come the cooler temperatures and upon arriving back home after two weeks away I was so happy to walk through the garden this morning and see signs of what the cooler months ahead had in store. The azaleas are already starting to bloom and the 'Yuletide' camellias that I planted in the Gravel Garden last year (and immediately regretted, why would I ever plant a red flower?) even looked cheerful and made me happy.
Roses and iris that struggled all summer perked up and looked nice and healthy. Chrysanthemums were flopping over with heavy blooms, a fine problem to have! Graceful Japanese anemones had obviously been blooming for a while and had grown immensely since last year.
'Frequent Violet' Iris
The sunlight is so lovely the way it comes across the sky and through the trees and lights the garden in October. The temperatures are just perfect for working in the garden and taking care of all those issues that cropped up over the long hot summer that it is hard to believe that there was ever any doubt in my mind that there would be any place else I would rather be than in my garden this time of year. It's good to be back!