I hate to make changes in the garden this time of year, because it's warm and it won't won't rain until Oct/Nov. (Always an outside possibility of rain in September.)
But sometimes change must happen.
I removed the Echium wildpretii...and now I can I can't find the last picture I took of it. Too bad. We had fun, but its many blooms were fading fast. The tall, expiring inflorescence quickly becomes prickly and unpleasant to have around. Better to be rid of it. I wore my heaviest gloves and a long-sleeve shirt for the removal and I used a saw to cut it down in portions. When I got down to the stump, I gripped firmly at the base, and yanked it out in one piece--roots and all. Even chopped up, it overfilled my green waste bin and I couldn't close the lid. The waste collector took it just the same.
Where it was, I put a potted rose 'Charlotte' which I may or may not plant in that location later on. I bought another Echium wildpretii, and it's sitting in its nursery pot for now. I'm contemplating whether or not to have it again.
I also decided to remove some foxglove. This was harder to do because they weren't "done".
Although they were more done than they are when I took these pictures last week. They were starting to fade, and I refused to water them.
In its place, I planted a highbush blueberry and that pinkish abutilon I bought a while back. I can justify watering a blueberry.
I still have three tall foxglove--and, really, that's plenty for a small garden when they get that tall.
I think I'm over the Cineraria. These were exciting to me a couple years ago, but now they seem...blah.
I'm digging most of them up and planting them at my client's house. They're still exciting to her--and I can charge her for them.. I'm just keeping a few for me.
I removed two Ribes sanguineum. They weren't growing as well in my garden as my two R. malvaceum, which is probably a better plant anyway.
R. sanguineum tends to branch out horizontally while R. malvaceum maintains a very erect habit. Perhaps I can find another spot for these, but it doesn't seem likely.
These Ixia (I think) are horrible and I'm yanking them out wherever I find them. No idea where they came from.
Meanwhile, I have no trouble letting the wildflowers go to seed even though they look much worse in their decline than either the Echium wildpretii or the foxglove.
Once I've collected every last Cream Cups seed I can get (Platystemon californicus), I'll yank everything out. That might not happen until August, so we'll see how it goes.
Every day I snip off another few seed capsules of Stylomecon heterophylla and drop them in an envelope I keep in the refrigerator. At this rate, I'll be able to yank the plant in a couple weeks. I've must have collected 1,000 seeds already, but who knows for sure. I will not be deterred from my mission.
There are still a few spring wildflowers here and there, but the great masses in my "meadow" are are done. Gilia tricolor.
The summer wildflowers arrive on schedule. My first Clarkia opened this week (left) and the Madia elegans are swelling with buds (right).
I have four times more Madia this year than last year, so I expect a riot of yellow daisies swaying in the breeze from summer through fall.
The perennial Delphinium cardinale is about to flower too. I wasn't expecting that for another month.
It's not just one terminal flower spike, but several flower spikes all up and down the whole plant which is about five feet tall currently. Very exciting. I've never seen this plant before, but I bought three of them on Betsy Clebsch's recommendation. I tried growing it from seed, with poor results. Now I'm thinking the seedlings needed bottom heating. Maybe I'll try next time.
I bought a witchhazel. I've wanted to have a witchhazel ever since I started gardening. This is Hamamelis x intermedia 'Primavera'. I don't see suitable witchhazels for sale often, so I bought this on the spot (after I checked the nursery's copy of Sunset for suitability in Zone 17). It was $16.99 in a 2-g pot--a lot more than I usually spend on a plant.
Sunset says, "[H]ybrid of H. mollis and H. japonica. Big shrubs 12-15 ft. high and wide...'Primavera' [is] broad-petaled light yellow flowers. Yellow-orange autumn foliage".
I planted it under the tree-fern, and I'll prune as well as I can for size-appropriateness. Nearby, this new (to me) Orthosanthus, which I bought last week from the San Francisco Botanical Garden during my lunch break.
I don't know anything about this genus and the species was not identified. I believe it's Australian. It has grassy, Iris/Sisyrinchium type foliage and pretty blue flowers.
I also bought a Leucospermum. I got it for $12.99 in a 5" rose pot, which is pretty good. I've never seen such a small Protaceae for sale. (Is it vulgar to mention prices? Bloggers rarely do, but I always want to know. It would be more vulgar to ask, I suppose. But I do that too, when I feel like it.)
I've generally resisted buying flashy exotics that grow well here...am I changing? I don't know. We'll see if I can even keep it alive. Protaceae are picky about soil and hate excess phosphorus. I kinda doubt my soil has any excess anything.
Another showy exotic doing well, Cobaea scandens.
I first blogged about this plant when it bloomed for the first time on February 3. Since then it's nearly always had at least one or two flowers in bloom. Now, with recent warm weather, it's more like a dozen. The purple flowers get so dark... It might be nice to try the white-flowering form.
A southern Californian basking in warmth...Keckiella cordifolia.
Penstemon palmeri flowers were waiting for me when I got home from my trip (only 7 days ago; it feels like longer). The inflorescence can be 5' tall, but mine is only 2'. I wonder what the name for the anter structure is... These flowers are supposed to be fragrant, but it's very faint.
Recent warmth has not been enough to excite the tomatoes. They seem depressed. The squash makes lots of flowers but no ripening fruit.
The runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) are off and running. This plant is a flower-making machine. Last year I grew the red-flowering 'Scarlet Emperor'. This year I'm trying the peach-pink colored 'Sunset'. I grow them up twine ropes secured to the deck 13 feet above the ground.
I removed a clump of bamboo before vacation (reader sentiment was strong in favor of removal, no?). I left one clump so I can enjoy this Passiflora 'Victoria' which I have growing up the canes.
Next year, we might grow it on this fancy iron structure Guy and I bought for $120 in Morro Bay.
It's a three-paneled affair, and can be used as an elongated wall or folded into a triangle (or disassembled into three separate pieces). It doesn't fit together evenly in this spot but it's just temporarily here.
We also got this pot-of-four-conjoined-pots on our trip. I'm not sure what to use it for, but it won't stay in this location either.
It came from Harmony, just south of Cambria.
I don't remember how much it cost.