Garden Report: May 15

We've been derailed on the retaining wall by my work: I got a sudden rush job that made me drop everything around the house. With luck the job will be over halfway through the week and I can get back to work. That's kind of the nature of working for yourself and in a field that comes in rushes and halts.

Flowers in the rain garden

In the meantime, there's something amazing going on outside. Spring is the season for flowers, and the flowers are kind of exploding in the little drainage garden. And most of those are technically weeds: the pink and white are both oxalis, which I allowed to love because I think the non-yellow forms are actually kind of pretty. Like the yellow, weedy variety, they thrive and tend to kind of take over if you let them. I love going out there and seeing this little display that has taken so little work on my part.


The big story in the garden this year is fruit, of course. It's kind of the big story in the garden all the time, of course, what with my fruit-planting hobby. The cherries are looking awesome, and I did figure out why the third cherry tree never sets fruit -- it blooms a few weeks after the other two are done. I guess it's time to get it a pollinator. (I won't plant another tree; I'll just graft a branch on for pollination purposes.)

We have some new fruit this year, which is kind of exciting:


These are mulberries, which I love to death and am really hoping do not get devoured by birds before I get any. I also have one with white berries which I understand tend to be ignored by the birds more than the black berries. When I was a kid I used to climb a mulberry tree down the street from our house and hide in there, eating berries and hiding from people. (I wonder what I would say if I came out and found a neighborhood kid hiding in one of my trees -- I hope I would be as cool about it as my old neighbors were.)

Mystery grape grapes

And these are grapes on the vine growing by the chicken yard. I have no idea what they will be like, but they are probably not great for eating as the parent plant was a wine grape.


And apricots! I had to thin out the fruit on the Moorpark apricot tree, but I left a few to ripen.

I have a few garden projects coming up that are of varying levels of complexity: I want to make a more solid delineation of the edges of the pathways, and I'm thinking of using old bricks laid on their edge. Our neighbor offered me a pile of them, scavenged from the piles of bricks we gave away when we did our foundation.

I'm also going to shrink the size of the lawn, both by widening the path out to the chicken yard and by removing/smothering grass at the back of the yard. Somewhat ironically, the grass at the back of the lawn is the grass that actually thrives in our yard without watering, but it's in the way of some construction plans I have for a patio area and bread oven.

posted by ayse on 05/15/11


I have a patch of Oxalis pink it stays there and is now just resting.It is always the first spring thing to bloom. I like it requires no care just don't mow it. I also have some of the yellow that has put itself in some of the pots at least it is a flower I say. The sunflowers are from the bird feeder and what with no rain are not doing well at all Canna are blooming very well but flower heads are drooping strangely. What with the very dry weather am lucky to have anything at all must water a lot! Baby birds are leaving the nest and have to watch the kitties all the time.Little wrens are so tiny, even have had young woodpeckers at the feeder along with the tiny chickadees.

What's that blue flower in the drainage area?

I call it the Trader Joe's campanula; I don't know the variety name, but I got it in a little container at Trader Joe's, where they often have them in cute little decorative containers.

Growing up in Contra Costa, I used to think oxalis was sooooo pretty when I saw it on the west side of the tunnel. Now that I've spent several hours pulling it out of my boyfriend's back yard, I'm not as enamored of it as I once was.

Your garden looks lovely!

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