Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Interlude

We’re slipping into summer. A series of hot spells above 100F has really forced flowers to fade quickly and seed heads to form.

My garden is more like the umber rolling hills of California. That means less growth (especially since I don’t irrigate) and less bloom for color. This is due to the deer that favor most of the plants that blossom in the late summer and fall like: California fuchsia (Zauscneria californica; also classified as Eilobium canum canum); roses (the thorns are not a safeguard); and many other summer-blooming exotics that become breakfast, lunch, and dinner for these beautiful; yet pesky animals.

The exotic grasses that have choked out the native bunch grasses and turn a golden-straw color. Seed heads begin to form to release next years regeneration. It’s only natural that some of my garden reflect this pattern. However, I don’t let the exotic grasses to grow in my garden. And I’m reluctant to dig up the few native grasses that cluster near my mailbox. I might have to; so as to fill in among other plants, but they are not that showy and usually prefer steep slopes where the deer can’t get to them.

However, I allow common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea); euphorbia, (Euphorbia characias - pictured here); some lavenders, such as the prolific spreader English lavender, (Lavandula angustifolia), mullein; (Verbascum thapsus); native ginger (Asarum caudatum); and rose campion (Lychnis corneria) to wander about the garden by letting them go to seed. No deadheading here.

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