Monday, May 25, 2015

Rehab and rescue

Some kind of Dyckia
Matt and I popped out for couple hours of gardening and took three large Aloe maculata and Aloe vera out to plant in the garden.

After that was done, Matt dug up a Phormium that has been hiding in the bushes for quite some time and potted it up so it can get some rehabilitation in a safe place. While he was doing that, he found a bag thrown in the shrubbery.  A quick look inside revealed the name of the owner, and I left him a voice mail to say I had his bag and some cables if he wanted them. Shortly after that I found another of his bags, and when he called he was quite happy. He'll be reunited with his goods this week.

Agave shawii
I weeded on the back slope, discovering very happy Agaves hiding back there, growing away in the bone dry soil as they like to do. It's all about plant selection in this drought!

I also reconfigured some Aeoniums and planted an Agave parryii.

That said, here's a list of plants not looking happy at all this week:
Calla lilies (usually they die back this time of year, but at PG they normally remain green year round)
Cussonia natalensis
Psoralea pinnata
Salvia "Tequila"
Fuchsia boliviana

None of these would normally be called xeric, but drought tolerant they have been. Until now...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Crispy dry out there...

Thanks for dumping that...
Despite a sprinkle of rain this week the gardens are looking crispy dry - well, the plants that aren't super xeric, that is. The Fuchsia boliviana is in a sad state and will likely die.

Even the Cussonia natalensis is looking iffy: if it dies I shall be very sad indeed. The Agaves, Aloes and other succulents are as happy as clams, naturally.

Agave tequilana flowering
Matt and I spent an hour or so picking trash at PRG today. We found, and filled, three wheelie bins! We left them by a big pile of wire casings someone dumped at the garden - they recycle wire at the scrap metal place around the corner and I suppose dumping the plastic casings in a garden seems totally fine to some types.

We also picked up a dozen or more dog poos in bags. What is up with that dog people? Why do some of you pick up your pet's waste, bag it, tie it, then throw it in the bushes or straight up leave it on the path?

Agave "Lemon Lime"
Calandrinia and Kniphofias
Some people just leave loose craps right on top of plants though. Harder to pick up so you don't even try? Pretty lame.

In other news a number of Agaves are flowering now. The Agave tequilana we planted as a pup in 2009 is huge, and going off like a rocket (image shown) as well as BOTH of the big Agave americana "Lemon Lime" specimens that Matt and Paul brought from Healdsburg. I'm sad about that! Almost all species of Agave die after flowering so we will replace them with something equally epic when the flowers are done - which will be months from now.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Workday Grass Removal Crew & More

Luke made short work
of the compost!
A big thank you to everyone who attended the workday - Annie, Luke, Jenna, Joanne, MaryBill and my mom Debbie. So much was done that it's hard to record it all, but I can at least report the highlights and acknowledge the great work that was accomplished!

First off, Annie set about to taming the Salvia canariensis that was overgrowing into the pathway with its' beautiful silver and purple abundance.

Jenna all smiles
weeding the pathway
The rest of the crew divided up into groups, weeding the pathways and doing a thorough clean-out of the grass that has taken over much of the garden. In particular, we made a big push to get the middle front bed, brights bed, and left bed all cleared and spiffed up.

Annie removed some overgrown Euphorbias along the top path and replaced them with Aloe maculatas, as well as trimming up the giant Phormium "Alison Blackman" who will soon need to be moved elsewhere as she has become too mighty.

Pathway clearing expert Joanne
Towards the end of the workday the fully crisped and dead-gone lavenders in the dog area were removed and Annie put in a nice variety of Agaves in their placeAs much as we all love lavender, a tough spot requires really tough plants; if a plant doesn't survive we will try something different instead of trying to replace it. 

A little art someone made
in the dog area - lovely!
Compost was turned (thanks Luke!), plants dead-headed (thanks Mary!), and every time I turned around Bill had expertly removed huge swaths of weeds. Everyone did a great job and it was fun to hang out and chat while we worked.

Hope to see you all at the garden next month!
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