|This was the view from our backyard, looking out over the Los Angeles Harbor and the Vincent Thomas Bridge leading to Long Beach. The sepia color isn't a photographic trick but rather the result of a mix of fog and smoke.|
Although we couldn't smell smoke here (and still can't), it quickly became apparent that the hazy sky couldn't be attributed solely to fog. There's another brush fire burning in the Angeles National Forest. It started yesterday afternoon and has already covered 11,000 acres, necessitating evacuations. A cool-down is expected in the area this evening, which I hope will help firefighters bring the fire under control.
The hazy, tinted light added a glow to my garden, making things look better than they did in the harsh light earlier this week.
|View from the northeast corner of the house looking south|
|The dry garden on the southeast side of the house is currently getting regular irrigation. The Leucadendrons ('Ebony' and 'Chief') and Coprosma 'Plum Hussey' add a touch of red color to what is mostly a green space at this time of year.|
|After more than a year in the garden, Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' (left) is finally gaining size. The 3 Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' under the tree continue to thrive after 3 years in the ground.|
All the Leucadendrons are looking good.
|Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' continues to be one of the stars of my garden|
And so is Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid'.
|Planted in the backyard border from a one-gallon container just over a year ago, I'm so happy with 'Cane's Hybrid' that I'm wondering where I could put another one.|
I refilled the bird feeders, which made the birds happy.
But even taking the lousy air quality out of the equation, all isn't entirely well here. While I've been hiding inside during the current heatwave, the tent caterpillars took over both my perennial lupines, leaving devastation in their wake.
Meanwhile, despite amping up my irrigation, the heat and drought have continued to take a toll on selected plants, leading me to conclude that more will have to be replaced this fall.
|This Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' showed signs of distress months ago but I wasn't able to uncover the cause. The plant is beyond help now.|
|In contrast, this C. 'Sunset Gold', also situated along the driveway, is doing fine|
In other cases, after years in place, a few plants have just proven themselves unsuited to the combination of intense summer heat, low winter rainfall, and restricted irrigation that is currently a fact of life here.
|The 3 Hebe 'Variegata' planted in the back border 5 years ago all look like this. While they generally look better in spring after being cut back, their summer appearance has become unacceptable.|
I've already begun scouring my garden books for ideas on appropriate replacements. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along!
Now, having dispensed with the bad and the ugly, I'll end with a more pleasant image of what's good in the garden.
|A skipper hanging out on a pink Eustoma grandiflorum bloom|
Wherever you are, I hope the weekend brings comfortable temperatures, soft breezes and clean, smoke-free skies.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party