The garden of recent developments

We got a new compost bin.


It's smaller than the last one (which I'm holding on to), so it fits under the stairs better. I think it's also better than the other one wrt/ material and construction (I sound like a contestant on Project Runway). I also like being able to take the whole top off. Aeration will be a problem when I want to turn the pile with a pitchfork (always a favorite pastime), but I'll mix that metaphor and cross that bridge when I come to it. In the meantime, it's a-compostin'. I filled 'er up right away, even layering the greens and browns which is usually too intense for me. Already the pile gives off heat, and water condenses on the bottom of the lid. Go!

I formally raised this bed w/ some cobbles. Before, the bed soil was at grade but with a thick mulch applied on top that inevitably rolled into the gravel path. Now it's a raised bed.


Those are the stairs that go up to the garage door. The house's foundation is about 2' high in the back, and below grade in the front. I don't know how much. Does that make sense? This is San Francisco. It's hilly. Does that help?

Anyhow, the planting in that bed needs some consideration. I'm committed to the Vitis 'Emeryville Pink' and the rambling Rosa 'Veilchenblau' both of which I'm training on the stairway. I planted the root crowns much too close together, but grapes and roses can find their own way, right? Make it work.

Also in there: a blueberry 'Patriot', a Fuchsia boliviana, some black mondo grass, Tweedia caerulea, some sea pink. Randomness. Needs more thought. More conception. More purposefulness.


I think it's strange that my 'Early Cherry' tomatoes all have a pointy nipple on the blossom end. I do not remember that from the last two years that I've grown this variety.


The recently sown cilantro bolted. Boltified. Boltitude. Bolitlicious. @Tangledbranches chriped, "I think cilantro tastes better after it starts to flower. You can cut it back and it will probably resprout. Pretty flowers, BTW." Well, hmm.


This fall/winter, I'm thinking about removing the bamboo clump that supports the passionflower 'Victoria'.


What to replace it with? Leading contenders include apple and pear. I have Ribes aureum I could move there. How big does Ribes nigrum get? Should I put a rose on the fence? Lots to think about.

Ignore the moldy dahlia and look at the Heuchera 'Caramel' and 'Marmalade'. Also, those green columbine leaves. Nice, huh?


Also, Phormium 'Black Adder' and Beschorneria rigida. Groovy, eh?


The first fall aster opened today. That makes it officially "late summer" in the back 40.


To that end, I recently snipped all the leaves off the buckeye to drive it in to dormancy. I may be more tolerant of those summer-brown leaves in the future. But for now, off they go.


It's late summer.


Pick a raspberry.



Ann Atkinson said...

Like your new raised bed! I'd love to have multiple rock raised beds - ala Annies Annuals display beds. Like 2' tall to bring things right up to your eye!! I moved a bunch of native rock to an area and attempted that a couple years ago -huge failure - never got past the first layer. You really need lots of big rocks. ka ching. I actually asked for a load of rocks for my birthday. My family thought(still thinks) I was nuts. sigh.

lisa said...

I'm liking that raised bed, too...think I need a few more of those. The heuchera together look so nice, I think I'll aim for a grouping of my own. Up here the blackberries are ripening...fall is tasty! :)

Frances said...

Oh the raised bed is divine! I believe most beds, around here anyway, begin as random and then get edited after watching to see what thrives and what doesn't. Veilchenblau is one of our very favorite roses. I liked thinking the name meant veil of blue, veil or night, veil of black, personal fave, but was told it actually is the word for violet. Are those berries Caroline?

JvA said...

Raised bed! Lovely! Made of rocks, very Seattle of you!

Ronnie said...

How long have you been gardening the "back 40"? I'm in SF as well, 20th/Bryant Sts. I love keeping up with the progress of the garden. Gives me inspiration for my own backyard..this is only the 3rd year. Definitely needs some soil improvement, but a work in progress:)

Brad B said...

I had no idea the city I live in (Emeryville) had its own grape variety. I'll try it if I can ever find it. Someone gave us a fire seedless grapevine as a housewarming gift, and well it hasn't done much at all. The first year it got maybe 3 feet high. This year it's more than double in size, but not even hinting at grapes.