Sunday, May 13, 2007

Garden update

I'm sitting on my patio in a comfy but plastic Adirondack chair that will leave a chalky white film on my butt when I get up. Hey, they were only 20 bucks each and seemed like a good deal at the time. It's 7:22 pm, sun is setting, the temperature feels like 72 degrees of perfection. The garden is absolutely still except for the movement of a few bees (yes, bees), ants and at this very moment, a hummingbird. An owl is hooting in the nearby park. Two yellow-billed magpies are carrying on a conversation from separate trees.

My laptop is propped precariously on my crossed legs, my Sennheiser PX100 headphones (a very good value, I might add) are delivering 'Darlin' Do Not Fear' by Brett Dennen while the sun sets.

When I look to the left, I see a 4 1/2 foot tall coral-flowered Phygelius a friend gave me for my birthday last year that's about to bloom for the first time. Other bloomers as I survey the yard include: lavender, penstemon, columbine, orchid cactus, abutilon, verbena bonariensis, roses, salvia, California bush anemone, wallflower, coral bells, lamium, cerinthe, California poppy, million bells, kangaroo paws, 'Get Mee' campanula, etc. Lilies planted in the last couple years in the ground and in pots are tall, budded stalks about to put on a big show.

Winter cold wiped out my beloved bush echium, Mexican bush sage, and nearly all of my hopseeds. A few weeks ago, the gaps and overall scorched earth vibe in the backyard made me want to go plant shopping. I'm glad I waited because I would have definitely over-planted. Now I see that the daylilies, veronica, agapanthus, penstemon, butterfly bush, and other warm-weather plants are really taking off and filling in those gaps. I still need to add some fillers, but not nearly as many as I thought.

I mowed and edged the lawn... yes, on Mother's Day... and yes, my teenage son was supposed to have done it last week. I got tired of asking. He did compliment my work and even admitted the lawn looked better than when he mows it. I offered to show him my technique.

Last week, I planted tomatoes and basil. Let's see... tomatoes were 'Sungold', 'Early Girl' and 'Heatwave'. One more... an heirloom... should be plenty for me this year. The basil plants are Genovese and they're being protected from snails quite successfully by Plant Defenders. Oh, and I put in three 'Anaheim' peppers. I will start some 'Gold Rush' yellow zucchini this week from seed. They're delicious and excellent producers. Like I even need to mention that about zucchini. I'm not going to go nuts with the veggies this year. I tend to overplant. For some reason, I'm finding it easier than usual to avoid frantic overplanting. I think it's the yoga. It mellows me out and the effect is somewhat residual.

I plan to replace my dead hopseeds with more hopseeds, but purple ones this time. Bronzy purple foliage adds such drama to the garden. Speaking of drama, my 'Tropicana' cannas are about 2 1/2 feet high after dying back completely to the ground over winter.

Ok, I just saw a mosquito. Time to go in. Somebody's barbecuing steak. I wish my blog had smellevision. Goodnight from my northern California backyard. As I log off, The Staple Singers are singing 'I'll Take You There.'

I'll post some flower pics soon. It'd be a crime not to.


  1. That was a beautiful description of your evening. Wish it were a bit warmer here in San Francisco. I've been here forever, but I think this is the first time the fog and the wind have started bugging me. I think I read too many blogs from warm weather gardeners!

  2. Thanks, Anna Maria. If it makes you feel any better, I'll be fantasizing about living in San Francisco during the months of July and August. ;-)