Late February and the sun is blazing'

Cussonia wants a drink

This weekend Matt and I hit the garden twice. And although Matt went to baseball practice shortly afterwards, we got a lot of weeding done in the gorgeous sun.

One thing we noticed when we arrived was that one of the Cussonias was wilting. This is a biggish tree, and after a few weeks with no water at the height of the winter growing season, it was quite alarming to see. We set up a hose and gave it a drink for an hour – the next day it was looking a bit better. This is not a great sign though – we’re at about 38% of our usual rainfall for the winter season, which is a bit shocking.
Mulched and ready to rock!

Between us, we thoroughly weeded and mulched parts of the middle front bed, the back bed and the left bed. The parts that didn’t have ground cover, that is – always an invitation to weeds, and despite the lack of rain they have been growing like maniacs.

The weeds went in the compost bins, two of which are almost full. It’s time to turn the bins and make compost again!

On Sunday I set about weeding and mulching by the wrong way sign – an area about 10′ x 20′ in dimension, and around a lot of Agaves. My hands and forearms are looking pretty nicked up after that task. 
Slender salamander

I came across a nice little California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus) while I was repairing the path edging. So cute with his tiny little legs. These guys hunt for earthworms, and are a sign that the garden is pretty healthy. This one wriggled off to live under the bench.

After that I weeded around the new plants put in recently up at the top of the garden. They were in danger of being swallowed by weeds – seemingly overnight – so protecting them is key. I gave them water as well – the ones that needed it, anyway. 
Left bed weeded

I also weeded in the front bed and mulched thoroughly. Nothing like a nice layer of wood chips to keep those weeds from getting involved. The garden is looking very luscious right now – head out and enjoy it 🙂

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Moar planting! When will it end!

Matt sawing
Matt and I took another weekend trip to PG and PRG to plant some plants – it’s that time of year, and all the plants we have accumulated in the last 9 months need to get planted!
We had a great time and lots of new species went in – lots of them thanks to Jamie who donated Grevilleas and Leucadendrons galore recently. I hope they do well!
While I was busy planting three Agave potatorum “Cameron’s Blue” at the top of PG, Matt took our chainsaw and cut down a tree. Yep! One of the dead cherry plum trees is GONE! It finally succumbed to years of drought, but lets face it they’re not very long lived trees anyway, and it was about 15 years old. Oh well, more sun for the other plants. Thank you, next!
Matt CHAINsawing!
He also removed the stump of a Pittosporum and generally tidied up a lot of things. More to go – I don’t think the remaining cherry plum trees are looking that great… *cackle*
What else got planted? Quite a list:
2 Grevillea gaudichaudii
2 Westringia “Blue Gem”
2 Grevillea sp 
2 Leptospermum scoparium prostrate
1 Agave americana medio picta aurea
Most of those were from Jamie – thanks Jamie! After that, we headed out for lunch, and after THAT we planted at PRG. Here’s the list:
3 Agaves and a Leptospermum
1 unidentified Manzanita
1 Yucca elephantipes
1 Agave geminiflora 
2 Salvia  canariensis
1 Furcraea of some kind
1 Cortaderia selloana “Silver Comet”
And by then we were knackered, so we went home. Hope you like the new plants! Come to the Volunteer Day on Saturday and find out more about ’em.

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Another awful Californian day

Horrible California – glorious sunshine on February 1st! Ugh! I jest of course.

Matt, John, Chris, Saba and Waris joined me in the garden for our volunteer day and we got right down to business in the warm summer winter sun.


John weeded with gusto, clearing out pathways and beds with his classic, cheerful style: always fun, always working hard.

Chris took down geraniums behind the wrong way sign and composted like a trooper. His project to fix up the bed behind the wrong way sign is coming along beautifully.

Matt did more tree stump removal, and started a big cleanup project at the kiosk at the front of the garden. That old agave has to go: maybe next volunteer day we will finish that task!

Saba and Waris!

Meanwhile, Saba and Waris (friends of the inimitable Mikey!) absolutely transformed the Aloe nobilis hedge along the bottom path, weeding it clean and planting 16 new Aloes as well!

I planted some plants too. Quite a few actually! Matt helped. The final tally including the Aloe hedge additions was:

2 Agave gypsophila
16 Aloe nobilis
4 Cereus repandus
2 Euphorbia rigida
1 Furcraea (or Agave vilmoriniana… I can’t remember) 
4 Salvia leucantha
1 Strelitzia reginae

Then when everyone went home we realized we had two big Agaves to plant… so Matt and I put them in down at PRG. Whew!

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