Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Volunteer Workday this Saturday

Justine making the gardens,
and our neighborhood,
 a better place!

It's officially Spring!

Join us and shake off Winter and welcome Spring by helping out at our volunteer workday this Saturday April 2nd from 10-12. Meetup at Pennsylvania Garden and we'll disperse from there. The gardens are looking good but need your continued TLC to keep them that way.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tree overboard

The Hakea suaveolens in the brights bed has been leaning at a precarious angle for a week, and I ordered strapping and ratchets, and consulted with an arborist in order to straighten it up.

Sadly over the weekend, before we could get it upright, the heavy rains dragged it down flat, exposing roots. Today we surveilled the damage and concluded the tree was unlikely to make it, even if we could attach the strapping to a point high enough to pull the several hundred pound tree upright.

Pretty sad, as that was the last remaining large tree in the brights bed. However, if the roots were as shallow as they looked and the top as heavy as it is, there's a good chance this is not an ideal tree for that spot.

We have two other examples of the same species in the garden, in the left bed. One of them started leaning a few years ago, and we staked it then. It's leaning again, though I expect it will be alright. The other is upright, but has a heavy branch on the downslope side we will remove to prevent the risk of it tipping.

On the plus side, this means we can select another small tree for the brights bed. Ideally something evergreen and extremely drought tolerant. Another Cussonia?

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Well folks, I've been shopping for some signs to put up at PRG and PG as scraping dog poo off the plants, off my shoes, and out of the beds in general is getting a bit old/disgusting.

Not to mention all the bags of dog poop - yes, picked up, bagged in a special dog poo bag, and then left in the garden, hung off the leaves of an Agave, or even thrown to the back of a bed. I absolutely love picking them up and then walking a few steps to a trash can - it really is what I live for!

Which sign do you think people would respond best to?

The top one is annoying in that "leash-curb" is an odd hyphenation. Mention of the law is an eye opener for some, no doubt.

This one appeals to my sense of humor. However, it doesn't give explicit instructions on what to do with your dog poo, and it seems like we have a few people in the neighborhood who need it have it spelled out to them...

Another funny one. But again, "pick up after your dog" is only half the equation. The other half being "...and then take that poop bag and put it in the trash" which appears to be very difficult for some dog owners to comprehend.

It's possible that the type of person who leaves dog crap in a garden is also the type of person who doesn't care about signs. But at least it'll make me feel like I'm doing something about this problem.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Break in the rain

Arctotis "Cherry Frost"
Last night it rained hard. Torrentially. The sun came out today and Matt and I ran up to the garden to see what it looked like. Damp!

We did some quick planting a tasks to get plants off our patio and into the ground:

1 Puya berteroniana
1 Beschorneria yuccoides 
3 Yucca flaccida "Garlands Gold"
2 Coprosmas - "Sunset" and "Evening Glow"
4 Agaves replanted from yesterday, when I'd had to dig them up to avoid being squashed by the chipper. 

Lycianthes rantonnetii
(Blue Potato Bush)!
We weeded about 4 large tubtrugs of weeds out too, and dumped two loads of mulch on the path below the steps. We also planned a path from the bench to the top of the garden so people can make a loop there. 

The Bronze Loquat (Eriobotrya deflexa) trees are flowering in the gardens now - they smell amazing. Drop by and have a sniff!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


That's Matt and Chris feeding the loud, hungry chipper we rented to crunch up the huge brush pile at the top of the garden. Leslie and Emily joined us and it rained and rained, despite the forecast saying we were due a perfect 2 hour break in the deluge. 
Who cares. The pile is gone, in its place is a lovely load of mulch, and the area is wide open to new planting possibilities! Great job volunteers!!!

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