Established 1959

Rafael and his tree climbing friend and Jose worked on most of our big old eucalyptus trees this month. They removed all the heavy and longest leaning branches, and opened up the canopies a bit. Unless you really look closely, it's hard to tell anything was removed. And now we no longer have to worry about that huge leaning branch falling on anybody.

To improve water coverage, Rafael also changed some sprinkler heads for me in the new front Entry garden and Gazebo beds.  Last week he repaired an underground leak up next to street…a broken PVC pipe almost 2'deep.

It's always something. Currently he is fixing another leaky pipe above the concrete wall next to the driveway. And, earlier in the month Rafael repaired a broken wooden handrail near the ponds.

This month we did a lot to get ready for the Open House on June 11th and I made several trips to Plant Depot for plants and supplies. Sherry helped me amend the soil and plant angelonia, cerastum, alyssum and red dahlias in the Gazebo garden; then we tested sprinklers and discussed adjustments to be made with Rafael.  I also transplanted clumps of alstromeria and anemone from perennial garden to the azalea bed where I think they'll be happier.

After weeding the new Entry garden, I applied cottonseed meal, watered it in, then covered the soil with small bark mulch…to retain moisture and cut down on oxalis germination.  The dead tea tree was replaced with Hydrangea, Selina.   I also fertilized the Bauhinia, the scented geraniums, Gazebo garden, Kitchen garden and parts of the Perennial garden as well as hand watered special plants. Early one foggy morning I frightened a big deer with antlers that was drinking from the pond…he took off running when he saw me!

Whil replaced the broken electrical outlet in the Lower garden and finished some of the remaining timber steps.

Rick has stacked and covered most of the milled agonis tree slabs. There are just a few more pieces to take care of and some cleaning up to be done at the lower gate. Then, the wood dries for at least a year before it can be used.  

Craft Day a few weeks ago was a big success. Marsha brought rusty metal, found objects, tools and more.  Dorothea, Sherry, Barbara, Erika, and I had a lot of fun potting up cuttings, mounting staghorn ferns and creating garden “art” to sell at the Open House.

Volunteer Activity

Sherry and I spent a morning working in the Gazebo garden iris bed…pulling weeds and grass, digging out ivy and aristia, and replanting some iris bulbs in bare spots.  We also remounted and moved the unusual cabbage leaf staghorn fern that was sitting in the ivy to the Kitchen garden wall where it will be more protected and hopefully do better. With the pole pruner Sherry removed wisteria tendrils climbing up the Bottle Brush tree. Gophers are on the move…Sherry gases them when we find their holes.

Sherry's been transforming the driveway path…she planted clivia next to the giant bamboo and has been bringing bromeliad pups and planting them near the hanging staghorn. After digging out many invasive spider plants and ferns next to the driveway path, she and Mark found a section of log and Sherry thought to install it in an upright position right next to the giant bamboo grove, creating a unique resting spot in the shade.

Barbara planted a couple more fuchsias in the planter next to the front door, watered and cared for the potted plants, staghorn ferns, camellias, roses and citrus. She also watered dry plant beds around the house and tended the Atrium off the master bath. Barbara continues to help keep oxalis seedlings from taking over the newly redone Entry garden and she helped me trim back ivy and plant aeonium cuttings alongside the path below the house. Last week, in addition to watering, she clipped the boxwood hedge and trimmed back wisteria suckers in the Entry.

Last week Sherry helped me in the Perennial garden…weeding, as well as digging out unwanted plants like aristia, fortnight lily, ivy and too much barleria. The following day Mark joined us…he weeded and pruned back ivy all along the lower pathway and up the flagstone steps; while Sherry cut back weedy tree suckers and overgrown shrubs. Sherry also helped me push up and secure drooping wisteria vines in the Kitchen garden.  

The Merry Month of May in the Garden