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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Curtain Call

If every gardening season were like an opera then fall must be the final act. The soft overture of spring gives way to the intensity of summer before finally bowing to the curtain call of early winter. My gardening for the year is done.

Plants have been pulled, divided, composted, swapped, ordered, planted, transplanted, and then transplanted again.

Salvia koyame is a tough fall blooming salvia that thrives in dry shade and only grows about a foot tall. I added several more to my dry shady beds.

Rudbeckia fulgida seedlings growing in the middle of other plants were transplanted into better spots. The rudbeckia were quite peeved to have been moved but the other plants were thrilled.   

This seedling was so happy I decided to just design around it 
and let it stay in its spot.

Beds have been redesigned and photos marked to identify new plants. 

The 'Rozanne' geraniums have been blooming since spring.

Hundreds of pounds of compost has been lugged into the garden to amend soil that was weeded and mulched. 

(When I added this photo, Google/Blogger spontaneously added the frame and softened the edges.)

Spending every spare minute outside allowed me the pleasure of watching monarchs migrate through my garden.

The rain garden has been extended and more rocks lifted, heaved, and hauled. 

There are almost 1,000 lbs of rocks in this river bed but they weren't hauled all at once. 
Creating the rain garden was a two year project.

Any theatrical production in my garden would have to be a comedy.

 In the southeast, California poppy seeds grow well when seeded in the fall. I mixed these all together and scattered them over my front butterfly garden.

Seeds were saved, shared, and sown.

35 fragrant peony tulips were planted in pots near my back door, including Creme Upstar, pictured above. 120 tulips were planted in empty spots in my container garden. 

150  bulbs have been planted

Every time I opened the gate, it dug into the soil and the dogs would turn the divots into big holes. So I dug up the grass, laid flagstones, and planted Corsican mint between the stones.

Problem areas were fixed with old flagstones. 

Homegrown carrots ended up in a homemade cake and 
a plate of cookies was exchanged for permission to prune a neighbor's tree.

My neighbors ash tree shaded this bed too much and the 'Bluebird' asters grew weird from lack of sunlight. Too much shade caused weak, spiky growth. 

Holes dug by the dogs were filled and filled, and filled. When they redug them, I refilled them so they dug them again so I refilled them....

Baby - Not guilty

Lucy - Guilty

Scout - Guilty and trying to hide from the evidence.

Genie - Very Guilty

I know how you feel, frog.


This is my last post for 2014 but I'll be back January 1, 2015.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Bad Bad Thing

I did a bad bad thing and I'm not sorry. I did it on purpose, an impulse that felt so right despite being absolutely wrong. You could say I was seduced but I think not. I chose to be bad.

I planted mint straight into the garden.

I slipped it into a sweet spot at the base of the white balloon flowers and didn't look back. I have no regrets. It will thrive and mingle, slyly caressing the petals and leaves of the surrounding plants but offering its true heart only to the bees.

 A few quick tugs will keep that Romeo in place and I'll just wink as I walk by.