In the garden of kind gifts

I received this Cordyline 'Cherry Sensation' as a gift.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

You see, East Bay garden designer Susan Morrison apparently tweeted something about looking for Phormium 'Black Adder' then Patrick FitzGerald of Ireland's FitzGerald Nurseries, breeder of that plant, tweeted back that he could get her a specimen somehow by Carri Stokes (who lives in Sacramento). Well, the nursery gave Carri a ton of plants. A surplus of plants--whatever to do...

At length, Carrie, her daughter, and I arranged to meet in the bushes in Golden Gate Park between the baseball diamond and the new Academy of Sciences where Carri also gave me said Phormium 'Black Adder', a new pinky-red penstemon, a 1-gallon Ceanothus 'Tuxedo', the lovely Cordyline you see above, and this bottle of homemade vanilla-orange liqueur. (I'm about halfway through it.)


(It's quite strong, but it comes at you sideways. I drink it with seltzer or ginger ale.)

Anyhow, back to the garden. At this point in time, I think you know that Cordyline is not the sort of plant I typically garden with, but as it's been sitting looking pretty in my garden since meeting Carri, it seems very clear to me that it must stay. Because I love it.

Thank you Pat! Thank you Carri!

Certainly you also know that Phormium is not something that I typically garden with either. Well, they're such workhorses... But this is apparently the blackest Phormium yet, so that's very interesting.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

And let's face it, my garden has become rather too glaucus of late. So after I pruned back some Eriogonum arborescens, and removed a raggedy Artemisia douglasiana, I planted the Phormium here next to some white Chalk Lettuce (Dudleya pulverulenta) and the Luma apiculata I'm planning to dwarf in an urn (one of my many ongoing dwarfing/bonsai projects that I began after visiting Elandan Gardens in Gorst, WA last spring).

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

Fine texture overload has been a problem with me for a long time too. The bladed flax should help with two of my biggest problems--too much glaucus, too much fine texture (among my many, many problems).


I have a lot of sunflowers. Many haven't even formed flower buds yet. I have not tried boiling them yet for food. But someday I will, I'm sure.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

We have a reached a state of maximum summer chaos. I don't think it can get any worse than it is right now. (And by "worse" I mean "fabulous".)

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana).

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

The buckeye (Aesculus californica) still has some green leaves. I've been snipping off the dead ones.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

I pulled out a lot of tarweed (Madia elegans) and I keep only the strongest, most floriferous specimens. So, that's three. I have three.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

The flowers die by noon on warm days. New flowers open at night. I think. Or maybe they open in the morning. I haven't seen the garden at night in a long time.

Only the part-sun Clarkias remain (Clarkia rubicunda). The sun turned the others to toast a few weeks ago. I pulled them up and put them upside down in a paper bag to collect seeds for next year.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

It occurred to me that it might be a raccoon leaving me midnight poop, not a cat (as per burritojustice, here). But I've had raccoons before, and they've done so much more damage than just an inconvenient poop. They attacked the plants, they dug for grub, they messed up of the birdbath. Currently, I have none of that, so I was thinking cat. But I really don't know. Raccoon, cat, little shit maker. Whatever.

I made a pile of some rocks and petrified wood to deter him/her from using the favorite spot. At first, I thought it worked, but if you look close, I think you will agree with me that there is a turd at 8 o'clock.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

Have you grown the double Cosmos vars? 'Psyche' and 'Double Click' are the two I know. I have a few of both, and I'm not sure which one this is. Whatever this one is, none of them are as vigorous as the single-type. I want to know if that is my own idiosyncratic experience, of if you have that sense as well.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

My Tibouchina urvilleana does not seem to bloom as heavily as everyone else's either. But I'm used to that.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

Dahlias like my garden, and I really like the single kind.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

The neighbor's yard is FULL of bamboo. If there is a raccoon, I'm certain it lives there.

summer chaos; 2009-08-10

Guy says he's going to ask him if we can take over his yard.

I'll cut down the bamboo and dig up the roots. Then we'll transfer vegetable production over there so we can have a sitting area in our own garden--for the first time since I started gardening 4ish years ago, and picked plants over people.

We shall see.


Unknown said...

It was nice to finally meet you in person and I feel special to contribute in some way to your beautiful garden! Next time I'll just go to your place instead of trying to find you in Golden Gate Park! And I will use a better GPS that doesnt lead me into alley ways! Haha! Thanks for being patient with my total lack of direction!

Michelle said...

Hmm, my garden would love to have your garden's problems! It's looking awfully dry and patchey around here. Thanks for the tour.

Les said...

Did you get the liqueur recipe?

weeder1 said...

Be prepared for a strenuous workout if you DO get to remove that bamboo! You'll need an adz and a pick and some big loppers but it can be done. ;>)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What great gifts! The liqueur does sound good, maybe she would share the recipe?
We've had a raccoon leave "presents' before, after trashing our pond. Hope whatever it is, it quits soon.
I'm going to look for some double Cosmos next year, those are really pretty.

Unknown said...

I would be all over that phormium... and now I want to know more about growing baby plants in agar. That sounds all scientific and fun!

Byt he way, you should totaly take over your neighbor's yard. But just do it--guerilla gardening style. ;)

Unknown said...

I am delighted Chuck that you have given one of my plants some of your space I hope it lives up to our expectations for you. I am really delighted its found a home in your back 40 feet!
Pat FitzGerald