Thursday, October 30, 2014

Extra (Mostly) Bloom Day To Celebrate Irrigation Completion.

October usually produces some of the prettiest roses of the year.  'Souvenir de la Malmaison' above, had an exceptional October.
A trio of  ever-blooming 'Belindas Dream'
 photo rose4149_zpsde437612.jpg
'Julia Child'
 photo rose4112_zps359ca1e2.jpg
 photo rose4092_zps42ac737f.jpg
'Bill Warriner' in front, 'Trumpeter' in the background.
 photo rose4091_zpsa0d85897.jpg
I nearly dumped 'Matilda' this spring as it was miserable in its old location.  It's happy now in a spot that gets regular irrigation.
 photo Rose4025_zps5ff23bcb.jpg
 photo Rose4053_zps994ab69f.jpg
The last 'Elizabeth Salter' day lily of the year:
 photo rose4110_zps68157f75.jpg
This unknown doesn't often bloom in autumn.
 photo rose4101_zps10f8b4b3.jpg
This one never blooms in autumn.  Perhaps the extreme heat of mid-August through mid-October did it.
 photo rose4097_zpsd1af9344.jpg
The winter's Sweet Peas are emerging.  The days are mild now, but the soil is still warm.
 photo rose4078_zps96400433.jpg
This beautiful pumpkin is so late--I wonder if it will be able to ripen.
 photo rose4077_zpsd897a506.jpg
A happy Impatiens growing from the bottom of the Koi pond shower.  No soil, constantly moist crack between the bottom of the shower container and the concrete coping of the pond.  (See where the shower and coping meet there on the left.)  The Impatiens is growing in that crack. 
 photo rose4068_zpsc4679345.jpg
The first Nasturtium flowers of the fall.  Nasturtiums inevitably become huge and try to take over, so I usually pull them early.  A few always manage to reseed.  
 photo rose4065_zps61f95f59.jpg 
The Lotus jacobaeus.  I've enjoyed this odd and dainty little plant, with its black/brown/burgundy flowers.  
 photo rose4059a_zpsbc7f1adb.jpg
Nice near the beautiful 'Barcelona'.
 photo rose4046_zps6743c45b.jpg
This is the lavender plant we were given at the Portland Fling in July.  It has settled in.  Flowers next spring, perhaps. 
 photo Rose4032_zps0c8a04f2.jpg
Out front, a Nemesia volunteered this spring.  I haven't grown any Nemesia for at least five years.  This seed came from somewhere. 
 photo rose4117_zpsa051cd9b.jpg
One of the milkweed plants is stripped.
 photo roses4127_zps9e500a50.jpg
There's one of the strippers.  We've had just a few resident Monarch caterpillars this summer.  I'm seeing many more now that the weather has cooled.  
 photo rose4143_zps105bfee0.jpg
This plant, Alstroemeria 'Rock and Roll', so godawful tacky looking at the garden center I was embarrassed to buy it, has proven to be the surprise plant of the year.  It turned out to be superb.  The rats ate all the slugs and snails;  the lizards ate all the earwigs, the foliage is pristine.  How about that?  You just never know--no wonder we hope and experiment.  Sometimes this happens: 
 photo rose4151_zps9903d97d.jpg
That was yesterday's walk around the garden, so neglected for the past nearly two months because of the heat.  I'm celebrating because the irrigation is finally done on the west slope, and I can now plant the darn thing. 
Thar be drip on that yon hill, matey.  
 photo rose4158_zps61d1e5ba.jpg 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Great Bones, Dead Plants.

Due to water restrictions, this Cambria herb and vegetable garden has been allowed to die until the rains return.
 photo veg3546_zps75756b37.jpg
The "bones" of the garden, a series of curving stone walls, are better visible in the garden's fallow state.
 photo veg3516_zps02add004.jpg

 photo veg3511_zps4a38fb83.jpg

 photo veg3503_zps6eb78eb4.jpg
Beautifully crafted.
 photo veg3501_zpscff88615.jpg
Sadly, the lemon tree is near death.  If plentiful rain arrives soon, it might survive.  It hurt to see this. 
 photo veg3543_zpsfc52a5e5.jpg
Rosemary, on the other hand, has new growth even without water.  However without water, likely the flavor is harsh.
 photo veg3512_zpsf0ee9616.jpg 
A few ghostly pumpkins.
 photo veg3529_zps067fce4b.jpg
Besides the walls, the star of the garden at present is a potting shed of great charm.
 photo veg3498_zpsd938413c.jpg
Carefully detailed.  Like Rosemary, Wisteria laughs at drought. 
 photo veg3508_zps404a13df.jpg
Beautiful glass above the shed's door.
 photo veg3536_zps632414d6.jpg
At present, housing a melancholy lifelessness.
 photo veg3534_zpsdd8a756d.jpg
Beautiful, though.
 photo veg3515_zps8b31594f.jpg

 photo veg3532_zpsead2a98f.jpg
Oddly, the shed also housed Santa's throne.  
 photo veg3540_zps77039585.jpg
Kids, remember to ask Santa for rain.
 photo veg3542_zpsaff47190.jpg 

 photo veg3497_zps70dfac37.jpg

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Central Coast Road Trip: Eye-Catching Plants

Bauhinia x blakeana caught my eye in Carpenteria

It was road trip time last week.  We thought about Tucson, but after so many long weeks and months of endless heat, a desert landscape did not appeal.  A cool, misty climate sounded better, and I wanted to see this rich guy's famous castle near Cambria:
 photo hearst3761_zpsa788105a.jpg
The idea of shivering a little, of wearing a jacket after 18 months of not needing one--ahh!  
 photo pines3340_zpsa2f556b0.jpg
We headed north.
 photo central3868_zps1285ed9d.jpg
A Phyllica pubescens in Carpenteria.  Wow!
 photo Seaside3975_zpsb190ed38.jpg
And a monsterous 'Hercules'.  Will mine grow to be so grand?  I hope.
 photo central3921_zps3a531b66.jpg
A quick stop to see the Monarch grove.  
 photo Day1-3296_zps8fc71303.jpg
Thousands winter here for several months, in a small grove of non-native Eucalyptus.  We saw a few hundred early arrivals.
 photo Day1-3298_zps8fb7c61d.jpg 
Time to move on.
 photo central3849_zps53ca15a6.jpg
The drought is apparent here.  Lake Cachuma's spillway is dry.  
 photo Day1-3273_zps0ebf236a.jpg
Quintissential California in October, Oaks in a sea of golden grass.
 photo Day1-3288_zpsb9a6057a.jpg 
Deer grass by the Starbucks in Atascadero.
 photo central3854_zps7dbf4fbd.jpg
Down the block this blue conifer in the Denny's parking lot.
 photo central3863_zps882d23f3.jpg
Tree mutilation on the way out of town.
 photo Central3851_zpsc095f1c1.jpg
There, coastal fog licking the hills.
 photo central3838_zps10dc4555.jpg
On California Highway 46, you get a brief glimpse of Moro Bay to the south. 
 photo central3844_zpsb29b6178.jpg
And so down to the Pacific.
 photo central3749_zps11ca4b1a.jpg

 photo central3724_zps4604d987.jpg
 photo Day2-3639_zps136aee11.jpg

The Monterey Cypress along the beaches attain fantastical shapes over time.
 photo central3699_zpsbf9ce277.jpg
A few miles inland, the golden version is pampered and fat.
 photo central3489_zps6244ab76.jpg
Succulent plants have become very popular around Cambria, and they looked happy in a cool-summer climate that has lacked rainfall for the past three years.  This Aeonium nobile was Agave-sized;  I put my hotel key card on one of the leaves to show how big it was. 
 photo central3671_zpsd6f561b0.jpg 
A flawless Euphorbia myrsinites at a motel on Moonstone Beach.  E. myrsinites is a noxious weed in some parts of the world. 
  photo Central3669_zpsbf131fa6.jpg
 photo Day2-3667_zpsb9a7e423.jpg
And Aloe dorothea, red for lack of water.  Residents are not allowed to water outdoors any more.  
 photo Day2-3668_zps49258457.jpg
Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, invasive here but most all of it we saw was dead from the drought.  
 photo Central3576_zps4cdbf6b5.jpg
This Hebe appeared to be getting water from somewhere;  it was glorious.  
 photo central3569_zps814ed4bc.jpg
Dew, and frost-colored leaves.  Sweet.  
 photo central3475_zpsa430095d.jpg
Dew, and fog.  Ahhh.  
 photo central3461_zps48bec160.jpg

 photo central3378_zps502e19ff.jpg
An inexplicably happy Leptospermum in Cambria.
 photo Day2-3360_zpsf7ede7f6.jpg 
Drought or no drought, many trees had this mossy stuff draped all through them.  
 photo pines3341_zps18b49541.jpg
The rich guy's castle was amazing.  Beloved took these photos.  I was too busy gawking. 
 photo Central3800_zpscc2868e3.jpg
Plants in both hands, pleased expression.  I can relate.
 photo central3814_zps7f4563c4.jpg
We went on the sunset tour.  It was quite dramatic.
 photo Central3824_zps8a62bf16.jpg
Nothing like a road trip in October.  
 photo Day1-3314_zps8a454a57.jpg

 photo central3840_zps5a6b88e2.jpg