Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rough times

Ochagavia litoralis
Having watched many plants die at PG, and not feeling desperately sad about all of them (after all, we're a xeric garden: if it can't survive some drought we don't want it!) I started noticing that some really tough plants have died. And since this is a rare weather event, I felt it's time to step in and see if we can save them.

Yesterday Matt and I went out with our watering gear for the first time in years and spent and hour giving a good soak to a few of the good plants that need help, and would be tough to replace.

Aloe reitzii var. reitzii
Of course, a lot of the plants out there look perfectly happy - Agaves, most Aloes and CA natives are all bopping along looking great. A lot of the Australian plants have not missed a beat.

As you can see from the photos, the Ochagavias are flowering for the first time (surprise!) and the Aloe reitzii var. reitzii as well - apart from being a bit squashed by Moby Dick the big Agave americana, this one is gorgeous!

However, the list of dead or dying right now is:

Berberis linearifolia
Buddleja "Ellen’s Blue" and the other big one Joan gave us
Cestrum fasciculatum
Cordyline "Kiwi"
Cordyline sp.
- surprised about this one
Cynara cardunculus
Festuca glauca
Fuchsia boliviana "Alba"
Kniphofia "Dwarf Yellow"
Leptospermum scoparium "Red Ensign"
Leucadendron "Safari Goldstrike"
Psoralea pinnata
Salvia gesneriiflora "Tequila"
Tibouchina urvilleana 

...and that yellow flowered Australian edging shrub whose name I can never remember.

Aloe reitzii var. reitzii
Cussonias are looking ropey. Surprisingly the Brugmansia clings on. Phormiums are in bad shape. Several Aloes are tightly curled up and praying for rain. It's all a bit sad really.

I'll water again next week and make an assessment. Hope we can make it through to the supposed El Nino we're expecting. October?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lovely Photoshoot at PG

Thanks to all our volunteers
 and Monica (photographer)
and Amanda (Flowers & Styling)
It's a big honor and privilege to create and keep the gardens looking good, and it relies on so many volunteers to make it all happen. Everyone has done such a great job, so good even, that the garden has been chosen as the site for a few photoshoots over the years. I think that is a pretty big kudos! Most recently Monica and Amanda were working at the site, and I happened to run into them during their shoot. So volunteers give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done at making the gardens beautiful. Monica and Amanda were very kind to share the final, beautiful finished product with us from Style Me Pretty and the original photos; enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A little bit of everything volunteer workday

Out with the old, soon in with the new!
John and Matt dismantling the shed
Big thank you to Annie, Matt, John, Carl, Nate, Justine and Debbie for getting so many different things done at the gardens on Saturday! As you may know, our shed has been broken into quite a few times, so it was time to take it down and plan to put something in its place that was more secure. Annie decided today was that wonderful day and set out with John and Matt to dismantle and move it to the curb. Annie will make sure the old shed is disposed of, and Matt is gearing up to build a new better storage unit, so our shed woes should be taken care of soon.

We get the best visitors
at the gardens!
Dog snuggles abounded.
Meanwhile, Carl, Justine, Debbie and I headed down to PRG to remove the mountain of trash that collects there weekly (!) and rip out as much of the fennel and other pesky deep-rooted weeds that seem to thrive in the bone dry soil that is down there. Annie and Matt had to leave to attend to horse-related duties, but were able to get started sorting out the compost with John at PSG. John did a
Cheery Justine makes quick
 work of the pathway weeds
fantastic job with some expert pitchforking to get the piles sorted and turned. I hauled up some water from SF Paint Source (they are so nice!!) to help get the ultra dry compost going again and Nate showed up to help too.

Nate, surrounded by numerous
cacti at ground level,
takes care of difficult fennel
Overall a lot of great progress was made at both gardens and we had a really fun time chatting and making the gardens look even better! Looking forward to seeing everyone at the next garden workday, hopefully with a new storage unit and maybe some rain (ok I'm just dreaming here....).
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