July 4th Garden

Happy Fourth of July!

Keckiella cordifolia Abutilon Omphalodes

We have friends coming over for a BBQ in a few hours, so this will be short. (ADDED: I found time to make it long.)

San Francisco had a soaking fog last night, and the cloud cover is still heavy and low. Despite that (because of it?), it's warm.


This was at noon. Fireworks displays seem unlikely for tonight. You know California gets no rain for at least six months of the year, hence our mediterranean gardening climate. This kind of summer fog on the coast adds some more options. But more on that later.

Just in bud 'Jude the Obscure' is still very fragrant. I guess this kind of weather is bad for roses. We shall see.


I'm sure the natives don't mind the weather. They count on in it.



foliage is esp nice this time of year.


Elsewhere in foliage news, something is chewing on a little maple, Acer circinatum.


And I bought this unidentified houseplant and put it in the garden last month. It's doing just fine.


I enjoy the range of creamy oranges on Mimulus aurantiacus this time of year.




Eriogonum latifolium.


Merits a close-up.


This is Streptanthus farnsworthianus. I didn't grow very much of it this year, which I regret.

Streptanthus farnsworthianus

In nature, this California annual grows on serpentine soils. Serpentine has relatively large amounts of chromium, manganese, and nickel--metals that can be toxic to plants. Unsurprisingly, serpentine supports a variety of endemics, many of which also grow well in more ordinary soil.


Echeveria 'Metalica' is newish to the garden. I got it a few months ago and it's sending out lots of future cuttings.

Echeveria 'metallica'

The bed it's in will get a makeover this fall. I'm going to replace a Ceanothus with this fig...my first fig.


This Beschorneria I bought last week at UC Berkeley will go in there too...


...and some other things that have yet to be determined.

I've kept this one Gilia growing in the tomato patch all summer.

Gilia tricolor

I have not harvested a single ripe tomato yet this year.


But they're a comin'.


And so is one pumpkin.


I have one fruit, and I've been snipping off all subsequent female flowers... The idea is to see how big a pumpkin can get in my garden.

(Oh, to discourage raccoons, I put all the pots and unused cobbles and flagstones I could find in the garden, between all the plants. That's why it looks all crowded like that.)

This is the best picture yet of the Keckiella cordifolia insofar as showing how the long stems arch and spread.


The hummers spend a lot of time working this plant. My camera wasn't built for them.


They love the flowers on the snowberry too, which got spritzed by the fog.


Guy just got back from the market and I need to help him make preparations. More later.




Have a Happy 4th!


Christopher C. NC said...

Happy 4th to you. It is raining here which is fine. I just reseeded the bulk of my hillside with grass seed and planted more corn seed on the 4th of July. The 'Painted Lady' Pole Beans are up and ready to twine.

Les said...

Everything looks lush and colorful, yet you say that this is your dry time. Do you have to do a lot of supplemental watering, or is the fog enough to keep things going?

chuck b. said...

It's fog and the use of native plants, mostly. I do have rain barrels, but they're tapped.

I water the lemon and the abutilon/s once every couple of weeks. The vegetables every few days.

The buckwheats, kecikiella, succulents, wildflowers, brodiaea, grape, passionflower, mimulus, fig and snowberry live on rainwater only.

By August, this will be much lesss lush and colorful.

Frances, said...

Hi Chuck, hope your 4th bbq was a great success. Everytime you post that mimulus it makes my heart sing. Keep it up, please. And I am going to research the kecikiella, it looks like the type of plant I am trying to add to the only flat area we have that used to be a gravel driveway. Extremely xeric plants are doing well there, but they have to overwinter the low temps. High Country Gardens has some that have done okay that have names I have never heard of. Most of yours I have never heard of either, but love anyway. Hope your pumpkin gets big. Did you get seeds for the ones that are supposed to win contests? Those were really flying off the racks here.

chuck b. said...

High Country Gardens is a good source for plants. I've ordered from them a few time myself and they've always sent quality material. Probably anything in my garden that you've never heard of is a native that wants a dry summer.

I got an ordinary short DTM pumpkin. I think gigantism is out of my reach.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, I must admit that before I read your caption, I was wondering what that super-cool filigreed foliaged plant was ... it was your chewed-up Acer!

Kudos to the critter for doing such a lovely and artistic job of biting.

Echeveria 'Metallic' is my favorite!

beautiful garden, as usual.... thanks for the eye candy!

Angela Pratt said...

Looks like the work of leafcutter bees. They're good guys.

Leafcutter Bees

lisa said...

Amazing how the leafcutters are such artists, making those perfect circles. I hope your BBQ was fun, I had my son over with his girlfriend and did a whole ham on the grill. Scary to expiriment with, but the results were terrific! Is the re-arranging helping with the raccoons?