May garden

My favorite shrub for May/June has started to bloom, Carpenteria californica.

Carpenteria, my favorite shrub in May, is starting to make flowers.

I have two of them side by side. They function as a sort of gate between two sections of the garden.


I enjoy the tall grasses until the flower stems start to break. I find the broken stems... distracting.


Almost all the grasses are California native perennials I grew from seed. I used Festuca californica, Festuca rubra, Nassella pulchra, Nassella cernua, and Melica californica. If I were starting over, I would probably just use Festuca californica and Nassella cernua, with maybe one or two Melica. Anyway, I'm mostly happy with the way it's worked out.

buckeye, with grass

I'm very happy with this corner. I like it even more when the red dahlia comes up next to the cordyline, and flowers.


I cut down the crimson-flowering fava because they were shading out some things I wanted to grow. The cages are all ready for the tomatoes I'll plant in two or three weeks. Usually, I've already planted them by now, but they're not ready. My tomatoes took an incredibly long time to germinate this year. Oh, well.


I cleaned the witch's ball. Amazing how dirty it gets just hanging in the rain.


The tall tree fuchsias are getting more popular here all the time. Fuchsia 'Miep Aalhuizen' grows vigorously all winter and flowers profusely through San Francisco's foggy summers.

Fuchsia 'Miep Aalhuizen'

Most of the cloud forest asters bloom in winter, but Bartlettina sordida flowers in spring. Usually it's done by now, but we had a long, "cold" winter.

Bartlettina sordida

The leaves are huge and fabulous.


Well, the plant is huge. The bottom of the deck is 11' up; Bartlettina would grow right into it if I didn't prune.


I'm excited I might get two apples this fall. Wish me luck!



Unknown said...


"Cloud forest asters" even sound cool, don't they? (And seriously, I didn't see any stems--it was that gorgeous cordyline that was distracting me instead!)

Phillip Oliver said...

Beautiful - good luck on the apples!

Unknown said...

Lookin' good Chuck.

Unknown said...

It's amazing how much of a focal point that cordyline is- the sun hits it perfectly to light it up. Mine are still in pots. Maybe I need to find a place for them to shine like yours. Oh- and I have baby apples too- finally!

Town Mouse said...

Isn't Carpenteria glorious? I love this time of year. Good luck with the apples, not an easy crop around here...

lisa said...

I always enjoy your garden, you come up with cool designs and the plants are so different from mine. I sure wish I had a better connection though, dialup only loads half the pictures (then I have to open each one manually...you're worth it of course! :)

ryan said...

I debated between N. pulchra and cernua, went with pulchra and fell mild regret every time I see cernua. It's both more beautiful and more interesting, I think.