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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Note: I somehow lost the usual section "Post a comment". To leave a comment, simply click on the area/button that says "___ Comments" below. Or,clicking on the title of a Post under "Blog Archive" also gets you to a view that gives the option of leaving a comment. Robert

Monday, June 23, 2008

Even the pros mess up sometimes.

Planted deep as a coffin. Not really, but very deep. I just got back from a trip to St. Louis. The Missouri Botanic Garden is one of the of the top five public gardens in the country. Yet, the pros don’t always get it right all the time. It appears this poor tree was planted two feet lower than it should have been. (To be fair, it probably was the work of a well-meaning volunteer.) That’s my Dad showing how the tree desperately tried to develop roots closer to the surface. (Clicking on the image presents a lager image.) Too much energy to get feeding roots out near the surface and the death of the deeper roots led to the demise of this tree. Lesson for the gardener? Never plant a plant any deeper than it was grown in a pot or at the of color on the trunk of a bare root tree.