Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meanwhile, Back In The Garden...

Spring beauty continues.
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Salvia 'Blue Hill':
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Rose 'Bolero', better every year:
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An unexpected but welcome display of California Golden Poppies on the west slope.
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The Calothamnus villosus begins to bloom.  Nectar drips from the flowers--no wonder the hummingbirds love it.  I had a taste myself--it was discernibly sweet.
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While all that beauty displays itself, I'm laboring in a different part of the garden, moving a retaining wall.  It needed adjusting after the addition of the top section of concrete culvert in 2012.  I'd intended to do it last year, but this year proved better because of the snapping off of the large Eucalyptus branch that hung over the area from the neighbor's tree.  Now that the branch is gone, there's more light and less litter there.  I'm glad I was not working there when the tree snapped. 
This area of the garden has changed a lot over the years:
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I've ended up using those same concrete blocks over and over again in all sorts of places.  Legos for gardeners.  
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Not the most fun of garden projects, but easier than digging up a stump.  I need soil to fill in behind the shifted wall.  Since we wanted to flatten out the adjacent area slightly, soil from there is the perfect fill--"perfect" meaning I don't have to lug it far.  
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There was a large piece of granite to move.  I had to flip it uphill a little at a time.  I tried dragging it on a tarp but it was too heavy.  But easier than digging up a stump. 
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I needed breaks from the ugly...
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The first Dahlias--'Arabian Night':
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Dahlia 'Duet' photo 4-15-5858_zps55bd82f9.jpg
Clematis 'The President' amidst Euonymus 'Chollipo':
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Aloe pseudorubroviolacea is almost ready to open:
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The koi are fine, and hungry:
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Now, as usual, back to work!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Neighborhood Garden Tour (Part 2)

Interrupted by a visit to the Huntington, and Bloom Day.  Back to the tour.  Next stop...
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This charming garden belongs to a family in which every member enjoys creativity and art.  It shows.  

Even the potting bench is beautiful.  
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Two family members:
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Plain black nursery pots made fun by a family painting project.  
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A mature native Oak is the property's botanical highlight.  This is a small part of it.
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Tree with a view.
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Fun portraits of the daughter and son-in-law on display indoors.  
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Window view
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The next and last garden was carefully groomed.  There was only a leaf or two fallen under a row of Eucalyptus. 
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 A beautiful mature landscape.
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We enjoyed an alfresco lunch...
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Swooned over the blooming Ceanothus...
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...then it was time to go home.  
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Bloom In The Huntington Desert Garden

 Though there are still Aloes blooming in April, the majority are finished, and spring bloomers such as Puyas take over. 
Cericidium x 'Desert Museum'
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The Cericidium yellow competed with the glowing Golden Barrels.
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This Euphorbia was also ablaze.
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Pachycereus marginatus
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Agave marmorata has particularly bright flowers:
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Flowers all over the Euphorbia millii
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We counted eight fat hummingbirds fighting over this mass of hybrid Aloe flowers.  
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And many Puyas were just beginning their floral show.
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That amazing rich deep blue...
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These are enormous--24" (60 cm) tall, at least, on a 10' (3 meter) stalk.
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   photo dg5719_zps260f1264.jpg An out-of-the-ordinary Erythrina, E. acanthocarpa:
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House finches on a cactus
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How's this for tall? 
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In future, I will not hesitate to visit the Desert Garden in April.  There's more to it than Aloes.
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