Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Somewhat overcast

Phormium "Guardsman"
Last week's blazing sunshine gave way to some breezy and overcast mornings and today was perfect for planting. Well, OK, if it was November it'd be really perfect, but relatively speaking... when things have to go in the ground, an overcast day is better for the plants.

I deadheaded the Kniphofias around the garden that are looking great right now, and planted a Phormium "Guardsman" in the back border (to match the other one that's doing well there), then moved on to the middle back bed.

I removed a scraggly looking Opuntia from that bed, as well as the large Agave filifera. Sadly, that Agave had the yellow jacket nest under it last year, and the exterminator guy sprayed the whole plant with poison to kill the yellow jackets... the Agave was trashed and on close inspection the center was rotted out, so I took the plant out of the bed. A real shame - it was a good 20 year old specimen, but Agaves grow so slowly that the plant would likely never look pristine again.

Before and after
I moved an Aeonium haworthii and a Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass) to the side, added some dirt and planted two Mediterranean plants: a Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage) behind the Phormium "Alison Blackman" and a Cistus salvifolius (Sage Leaf Rockrose) to it's right.  I replaced the Aeonium and the Nassella, popped in a few other Aeonium cuttings, and called it good. There's still a good space behind those plants for a 4' high and wide plant, or a small tree. Leucadendron argenteum, perhaps?

Signs in progress

Another project I worked on was making some signs for the garden. Following the theft of many plants (Aeoniums) by what is likely the same person,  the best thing I could think of to protect the plants immediately was signs.

This person cuts all the heads off the plants and cuts anything spiky nearby as well (they come with pruners, clearly, and know what they are doing) - one Agave on the cactus wall has had all the nearby leaf ends lopped off, so this person could reach the Aeonium behind it without being hurt.

Sign at the scene of the crime
Yesterday I printed out my sign, took it to Office Depot to laminate, and today attached them to paint stirrers. Will it help? Maybe, maybe not. But at least I feel like I'm doing something. And yes, when I say "please call 911" if you see someone stealing from the garden, I mean it. It is theft.

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