While some plants in the backyard were damaged, including the two small Phylica pubescens I foolishly planted in the back border less than a month before the heat struck, the area as a whole doesn't look too bad.
|View from the back patio looking southeast|
|View from the other direction looking east: the border on the right, formerly dominated by the yellow flowers of Achillea 'Moonshine', is now taking on pink highlights with the belated return of the pink Eustoma grandiflorum|
|View from under the mimosa tree at the midpoint of the flagstone path looking north|
|View from the far north end of the backyard looking back to the south|
The biggest issues in the back garden are an attack on the large perennial lupine (Lupinus propinquus) by tent caterpillars and the usual seasonal battle with the litter from the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin). I've ranted about the latter problem many times before. As soon at the tree leafs out, it begins to drop its leaves. Ditto with the flowers.
|The mimosa looks nice from a distance but the litter drives me crazy! The fuzzy pink flowers stick to everything so sweeping alone doesn't take care of it.|
I'd expected the sunny south side garden to come through the heatwave relatively unscathed but I was surprised to find some damage to a few of the 'Blue Glow' Agaves. I didn't notice it immediately but my guess is that the scarring I've seen on these plants may be the result of "agave edema," possibly a byproduct of the rapid shift from our "June gloom" to intense dry heat. This damage isn't noticeable in the broader view of a wide shot, though. The raccoons have also returned and are back to digging here and throughout the garden but, thus far, they've caused relatively little damage and they've been leaving me gifts of empty snail shells so I'm cutting them some slack.
|View of the southeast side garden looking west toward the arbor leading to the front garden|
|View of the same area from the side yard patio|
In some views, the front garden looks fine.
|Photo taken from the front driveway after the marine layer lifted|
|View of the front garden looking south|
However, two areas of the front garden look particularly bad. In both cases, I misjudged the degree to which thinning our trees left the areas exposed to the sun on the west side.
|This area in front of the garage is far less shady than it was last year. That, combined with the relative immaturity of the plants, made it difficult for many plants to survive the heatwave.|
In contrast, the succulent bed that runs along the street on the southwest side generally fared well. One of the 5 new Xylosma congestum shrubs we installed in the spring as an extension of the existing hedge and a backdrop for the succulents was partially burned. Some succulents are entering summer dormancy too but that's to be expected.
|Street-side succulent bed viewed from the street looking toward our neighbor's driveway|
|View of the same area looking back toward our house|
The vegetable garden has received little attention this year. I've been using 2 of the 3 raised planters as a cutting garden. My sweet peas fried during the heatwave and I've replaced them with zinnia plugs. Some of my sunflowers, grown from seed, failed to germinate and those that did are limping along.
|Vegetable garden viewed from the gate leading to the dry garden, looking toward the garage|
In the dry garden, the daylilies took the hardest hit. The rest of the area looks pretty much the same, with one exception.
|View of the dry garden from the start of the gravel path leading to the back slope|
|View from the other end of the gravel path underneath the grape arbor, looking back toward the house: the spa is new. I wasn't all that thrilled with the idea of adding a spa but it's made my husband very happy. Marriage is full of compromises.|
The part of the garden that experienced the worst impact of the heat was the back slope. As it only gets watered once a week, that was perhaps to be expected but I've a hard time looking at it so I'll share just one photo. Even the lemon tree, which has been in place at the bottom of the slope for at least 2 decades suffered. The tree's dropped about a third of its fruit since the heatwave. I'm now regularly hand-watering it.
That's it for this quarter's wide shots post. I'll be back with another wide shot post in October. Hopefully, by then cooler temperatures will have returned and, maybe, some rain.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party