Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An Uber Workday

Quick shout out to the volunteer crew from Uber that visited in December. They were on-demand garden heroes! Many thanks to Jackie, Phil, Becky, Katie, Yulong, Kevin and Kyle for a stellar workday.
This crew dug in and got a lot done

Like usual, we meet-up at Pennsylvania Garden go over a bit about how volunteers make all of this happen and the history of the gardens. After some sorting out of who wanted to do what job and collecting supplies, we headed down to the Pennsylvania Railroad Garden to get to work.

Everyone split into teams, while one team was diligently picking up trash, others were ripping up the fennel that has begun to pop up. Even the trees received some TLC, getting some extra water carried over by hand from SF Paint Source. Buckets and buckets of trash and weeds were cleared and the garden looked much more beautiful and fresh than before!
Some would say a miracle occurred, as a $100 bill was found among the agaves. Drug deal leftover or generous donation from an anonymous volunteer you decide...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Agave forest

Yesterday Matt and I decided to do one quick task in the garden: move some Agaves.

We had noticed a large Agave parryi was languishing behind something taller on the cactus wall, so we dug it out and put it where the wrong way sign used to be. Being prolific puppers, this one came with half a dozen babies so we worked them into the design.

This area now has a great swath of A. parryi and we're going to add another Agave "Green Giant" behind them and some Mexican Feather Grasses (Nassella tenuissima) and Euphorbia characias to complete the bed.

While Matt was digging I collected up a bucket full of Opuntia fruits that had fallen in the drainage ditch and were rotting or being eaten by rodents. I turned the compost bins and added the fruit to the newest heap to rot down. There are lots more fruit ripening up there and I don't want people trying to get back there to steal them as they'll get hurt. I myself spent quite some time picking spines out of myself after that job, and I had the right protective gear on.

The day before yesterday our quick garden job involved cutting back all the Salvia leucantha in one of the BRCs at PRG. They were crushing the pampas grass in that spot and now it has some breathing room. Yay!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

More rain!

Aloe maculata
We had 1/2" last night, and more due tomorrow, so Matt and I got a few more plants planted and moved today.

First up, we moved an Agave angustifolia and two Yucca whipplei to the steps. I also planted an Agave potatorum into the group there.

Then we planted a dozen Aloe maculata by the bench, as well as several seedling Euphorbia characias.

Then we moved all the clumps of Agapanthus from the place where the "wrong way" sign was, over to the Triangle Garden in preparation for adding more Agaves to the wrong way area.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Before the rain

Two new clumps
We're due a nice big rain tomorrow - half an inch maybe? So Matt and I decided to take care of some plant moving and dividing so the new plants would get rained in and we wouldn't have to lug water up to the garden.

The ground at the garden is still very dry - the top 4" is damp, but below that everything is dusty, so we're a long way from being back to normal, though the last few week's of light rain has helped for sure.

Pampas and moved Phlomis
We dug up the Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass) "Silver Comet" by the arch and divided it up into several parts.

Then we returned the largest clump to the ground in the same spot by the arch, and then planted five divisions in the brights bed, middle back bed and left bed.

Cortaderia is one of the toughest plants we have, sailing through the drought without suffering at all, so we're confident having more of them is a great idea. This is a sterile hybrid, too, so unlike the plain green kind won't seed all over the place and be a nuisance.

The remaining original
I planted two large clumps of Chasmanthe bulbs in the brights bed, rescued from the Mariposa Center strip's destruction.  The other Chasmanthes in the garden have lots of leaves already so should be flowering soon - a nice spot of orange for the winter.

Lastly Matt moved a buried Phlomis to the brights bed. Much better spot for it, and it should fill in in front of a new Cortaderia there quite nicely. 

We have lots more plants to move and loads of brush to run through a chipper. Need to try renting one again!
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