There's a storm blowing in

So I don't have to water up here today.


I'm trying to simplify and harmonize the roof garden. I'm an uninspired container gardener at best, and it's always been a hodgepodge up here. I'm tired of it. I took out all the weedy Nassella tenuisima, raggedy gazania and Cotyledon orbiculata and a very sad specimen of Agave vilmoriniana who'd turned yellow and had roots growing a foot or two through the hole in the bottom of the pot.

I brought up several 1-g pots of this fragrant Aeonium balsamiferum from the nursery downstairs,


and made several divisions of Echeveria 'Afterglow', really one of the easiest succulents to propagate. And that's saying something.


Those two are the new backbone on the roof. I also have couple nice specimens of Kalanchoe beharensis and a vigorous black Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf' for a bit of contrast.

I replaced one clump of feathergrass with the restio Chondropetalum tectorum that I bought in a 4" pot a while ago. I don't know if a restio can grow well in a pot on the roof, but if it does I'll get another one. I like there to be some movement in a garden when the wind blows. Succulents tend to be rather inert.

Once the echeverias are done blooming I'll take them out of the copper fire pan and encourage this one Sedum whose name I can never remember to fill in the whole thing.


The plan is to improve the feeling up here using repetition. I hope it works.

We are temporarily hosting a beehive downstairs. This is my friend Claire's.


For unknown reasons, this hive is not doing well. It's also been raining a lot so she's feeding them saturated sugar solution in that inverted jar. They come out on sunny days.

Have I shown you Kitty World?


Guy and his dad built this last summer.


The kitties love it, especially at night. I coaxed Penny out for a picture.


It's not much, but it's better than nothing.


Down in the garden...


Everything is getting so big. I could be a case study in the perils of over-planting.


Plants aren't dying necessarily,


But there is definitely some congestion.



And, actually, there have been some losses, mostly among the natives. The
Fremontodendron californicum, a favorite tree/shrub fell over in the rain last year and could not be salvaged. I managed to kill my treasured Keckiella cordifolia. I'm not sure how. I gave the Ribes malvaceum away because it never flowered. What good is a Ribes that doesn't flower? But we still have the buckeye,


here with a fuchsia,


and of course the Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman'.


It's peaking right now. Soon there will be pruning! There's a Passiflora sanguineolenta vining through it right now.


I never get to see the flowers, they are so far overhead. We still have many native perennials, like Grindelia hirsitula, Verbena lilacina, and Salvia spathacea all grown from seed by me, and doing well. It was hard to get that Salvia started, but it finally seems happy, spreading at will. I see lots of flower buds.


I managed to right the birdbath again, for now. Stay with me, birdbath. I took out one patch of Festuca californica for the sake of this Delphinium elatum 'Dusky Maidens'. I thought those flowers would look nice with the black phormium and gray artichoke nearby.


The Douglas irises are about to bloom. That will be nice. I started a couple seed trays of summer annuals this morning, Madia elegans and some Clarkia, I forget which. It seems kind of late to start seeds, so I hope it works out. Anything I plant from here on out will have to be watered this summer. So it goes.


We had a lot of daffodils this year, but I didn't get to enjoy them much with school. This is the last of them and it has a caterpillar.


Some remnant foxglove from a massive planting I did a couple years ago are still hanging around.


Remember Cobaea scandens? It became so massive I had to hack it back unto death. It's back! Volunteers are, anyway. You can see it climbing the deck post.


I can't allow it back on the deck, per Guy (and I agree), so I'm going to find out whether it's possible to hold it at 10 feet or so. Doubtful! I loved those woody vines as much as the flowers. I did not like the flowers dripping copious amounts of sticky nectar on the deck, however.

Another plant I was known for once upon a time, Hardenbergia violacea, has also seen better days. I hacked it back after letting it go wild for a couple years, and it has not rebounded. I may take it out altogether, or start with a new one. I think I'd like to try the pink variety.


Under the deck, Bartlettina sordida is doing very well, and right on schedule for April flowers.


Claire tells me there is movement afoot to change its generic name. This might be a Eupatorium soon...


The Bartlettina has been a great plant for us. I got it at a San Francisco Botanical Garden plant sale in 2005. Our other giant aster,
Tithonia diversifolia continues to embiggen itself.


I need to go in there and do some serious pruning too. Unlike the vines, I don't think it will hurt this plant. It responds to being cut like a hydra, spouting 6 new shoots for everyone I lop off. Clematis 'Comptesse de Bouchard' is threading herself into it.


I've encouraged this with some feeding recently.
Go, lady, go...

Anyway, that's what's going on here. I'm looking forward to spending more time in the garden this summer.


In the meantime, the cats and I are back inside waiting for the storm to blow in.


1 comment:

Town Mouse said...

Yeah for the rain. I finally turned my irrigation of. And I'm expecting my loot from the flower & garden show will enjoy getting wet (I planted it all yesterday evening).
I'm with you on the overplanting thing, but then, that's what real gardeners do. The designers can plant everything at the proper distance, but they don't have to look at it for a few years until it fills in....