September Garden Report
Rafael really helped me out one Wednesday morning (not his regular day at the Garden) when we had a stuck sprinkler valve…it wouldn't turn off. I tried everything I knew of to shut it down to no avail. He came right over and after trying a couple of different things, got it stopped. And then a week later when a large branch from the Coral Tree fell into the street he and Jose were soon out there cutting it up for the trash
Rafael came to the rescue again a few weeks ago when neighbor Tom Woods suffered minor flooding during a recent heavy rainstorm. Water from a drain pipe egress that was thought to be completely blocked, discharged above the Woods' back fence and gate, causing quite a bit of watery mud to wash under the gate. Rafael was able to extend the drain pipe down the hill and past the Woods' gate to a spot where it can discharge safely. He and Jose are still working on the hillside and will use utility poles to secure the pipe on the hill. Then, as he was unable to completely bury the pipe, indigenous shrubs and trees will be planted to eventually screen it from view.
Whil completed a few more repair jobs for us. He glued and refastened a slat on the Entry Gate, secured the peg holding board on our tool holder in the Lower garden and repaired loose flagstones on the Entry Steps. We also had him tear out a rotting handrail in the Perennial garden. Then he replaced the posts with metal poles and fastened bamboo on top for the handrail. After that Sherry and I tied “decorative” rope knots over each joint.
Sherry and I went on a field trip with the Garden Club to the Fullerton Arboretum where we saw a lot of really cool plants and we picked up two more Dudleya hassei (Catalina Island Live-forever). One was planted in the Lower garden; the other in the Wild garden.
We have begun to work in the Perennial Garden and over the next couple of months we'll be adding amendments to replenish the soil and then replanting some sections. Stay tuned for details.
Ruben Flores gave us a dozen one gallon plants when Laguna Nursery closed. I planted 3 Muhlenbergia grasses behind the Ponds; Mark and Sherry planted 4 Phlomis lanata (Jerusalem sage) at the top of Sawdust Hill; last week Sherry and I planted 3 more Phlomis in the Dry garden and a lavender down in the Lower garden.
Barbara tends to the Atrium and happily does whatever else is asked of her. Recently she worked with Sherry trimming ivy and weeding the steps going up to the Gazebo and helped me tidy up the Driveway Herb garden. We weeded and cut back some ferns and clipped rampant creeping grape tendrils. Previously she and I pruned rose canes and barleria in Mid Garden and deadheaded and weeded in the Perennial garden.
Sherry and Mark culled dead canes from the vine across from the Front Door as well as pruned dead branches from Tecoma stans and the Palo Verde. They've also been digging out Naked Lady bulbs…the ones that don't bloom any more. Sherry has been replanting some…and the rest are available for free in the Potting Shed.
Sherry and I pruned rock rose and rosemary along the Entry steps; and weeded and removed invasive plants and bamboo growing on the slope. Recently, we planted Aloe pups on sloped areas in the Lower garden that might erode in heavy rains. We've also been pulling out invasive aristia and deities plants that are popping up in the ivy covered slope of the Lower garden. Sherry discovered that on damp mornings they pull out fairly easily. I found it greatly satisfying spending 30 minutes or so yanking out a whole bunch of those devils! Also in the Lower garden we worked on the Pepper tree…removing many large suckers that were growing around its trunk and encroaching on the Blue Agaves and rip rap wall. Sherry periodically tidies up and fixes raccoon damage in the Bromeliads…at least once every couple of weeks they tear something up. Staghorn ferns that we got from Marsha were repaired or remounted by Sherry; who also got up on the Potting Shed roof to retie and then prune rampant canes from the Belle of Portugal rose.
Bonnie faithfully waters and fertilizes the potted plants, cleans the pond, sweeps walks and putters in the Potting Shed.
Blooming now in the Garden
Bauhinia - waning
Firebush or Hamelia patens
White Hibiscus- profuse!
Petria Vines – both
Crown of Thorns