Adjustments Plus Garden Report: March 24

I'm in the process of changing the software I use for this blog. Not the blog platform itself, but the client I use for composing posts, because writing in a web browser sucks eggs. This has mostly worked OK, though there have been some hiccups. It is nice to be using software that is being maintained again. Now I just have to move the forty-some drafts I have saved in the old software over to the new. And get used to a totally different workflow.

The back garden

In the meantime, the garden is going nuts.

Lilacs in bloom

The lilac bush is getting started. This doesn't get nearly as amazingly perfumy as the one in my parents' back yard in New York, but it is good enough and about as good as we're going to get in a climate with no significant winter freeze.

Ipheion and hyacinthoides

Under the buddleias, the ipheion are still looking like little blue stars, and the purplish pink hyacinthoides are coming up, too. The area under the buddleias had been looking kind of plain and dark to me, so I wanted to fill it up with flowers for at least one season.

The last of the daffodils

The final batch of daffodils are open, now, too. These are "Silver Bells." I think I need to get some yellower daffodils next year, since the white is pretty but lacks the pop I was hoping for.


Part of that might be that I also planted only white freesias. I could have sworn I bought multi-coloured freesias in the fall, but looking at what I actually ordered, it was just white ones. Next year I need to add some other colours.

The base of the swath

This is the very bottom of the swath, near the sidewalk. The gardeners came through and weeded it, which is why it doesn't look choked with oxalis. You can see lots of small bulby things (tulips and so forth), plus some seedlings. It turns out there are a bunch of poppy seedlings there, which is interesting. Plus clarkias! More on that in a bit.

Poppies coming everywhere

Poppies are in fact coming up everywhere, which is kind of interesting. Like these ones in the crack of the sidewalk. You can tell the gardeners think like I do, because they left these when they removed several other sidewalk crack plants. I love that.

Volunteer sweet peas

Another seedling (well, more than one): these sweet peas are in the middle of the front garden. For no reason? I mean, the place where I usually plant sweet peas is some distance away. Maybe at some point somebody laid a dead sweet pea vine down here and it dropped seeds or something. Anyway, I think it's kind of funny that they showed up here.

Allium schubterii coming up

And the Allium schubertii are looking very promising. I'm a little disappointed that the ones in the back yard seem to have completely petered out, but I could replace them if I'm willing to do more digging in the fall.

Also, this happened:

Another shopping accident at Annie's

In between a series of non-house events this weekend, I skipped lunch and went to Annie's.

The damage:

Arctotis grandis "Blue Eyed Daisy", which is really pretty and one of those plants people seem to throw into neglected gardens all over the place here. I do like plants that will survive anything. I planted this one along the front walk.

Iris douglasiana "Light Lavender". I should probably lay off the Douglas irises. I have eight of them. And I don't even have the one that's on my wish list at Annie's. They're just so satisfying, and they take up so little space.

Helenium puberulum, which I planted out front. This is a California native (and the front is allegedly my California natives area, though in reality it is whatever I like), and from what I've seen the native bees love it to pieces. I'm not so sure about honeybees, but they get plenty of other stuff, anyway.

Saxifraga x arendsii "Purple Carpet", which was kind of an impulse buy, though I am in general looking for smallish plants to fill in parts of rain basin (which is really a rock garden, except for those two days a year when it is completely submerged). I'm also kind of a sucker for plants described as "spilling over walls." I put this one in the rain garden, where the old gardeners removed a favourite small plant (also billed as spilling over walls, but in reality not so much).

Lupinus regalis "Morello Cherry", which I've planted before, and it was lovely. Lupines do not seem to reseed themselves in my garden very often, though there could be any number of reasons for that based mostly on my inattentive weeding. Anyway, I like this one and I'm OK with buying replacements every time I want a lupine. I planted it out front since some lupines are natives. Oh, who am I kidding?

Clarkia rubicunda "Shamini", and Clarkia speciosa immaculata "Pismo Clarkia" . My plan is to develop a self-reseeding patch of Clarkias in the swath between our house and the neighbors'. These two are the latest foray in that plan. Since the swath has a bunch of clarkia seedlings going this spring, I think we are well on our way to something really spectacular.

Schizanthus grahamii "Butterfly Flower", which I tried last year and I think I actually killed them. This year I got another two, and put them in the bed by the deck instead of out front. Because planting them in a bed that doesn't yet have any installed irrigation is obviously a good idea.

And three plants I already have kept alive: Leptosiphon hybrids and Heliophila longifolia, which are both annuals but well worth paying for again, and Cotula leptinella, which I'm using as a ground cover in several areas.

posted by ayse on 03/24/13