|Photo of the side-by-side Ceanothus and Xylosma hedges in April 2013, when the former was in far better shape. The space between the two was just over 3 feet wide.|
As discussed in a post in October 2015, the Ceanothus shrubs throughout the garden began to fail in 2015. I can't entirely explain this. They have a reputation for being short-lived when grown in areas receiving regular irrigation but, if anything, the irrigation in the area decreased after we moved in, especially once the adjacent lawn was removed and water restrictions were implemented in response to our drought. Perhaps the shrubs weren't as deeply rooted as they should have been after years of more intensive irrigation, or perhaps they couldn't handle the regular shearing they received to keep them within the space designated for them. In any case, they died off one after another in the front garden, leading me to wonder if I should just pull out the remainder. But I hung on to the last of them until I could stand their ugly appearance no longer.
|Photo of the remaining section of Ceanothus hedge in the front garden taken last month|
|This is a closer look at the worst area of the remaining hedge. At this point, I was convinced that the shrubs weren't going to mount a comeback.|
I asked my mow-and-blow gardeners if they could take out the remaining shrubs but, when they made minimal progress during two of their 20-minute weekly visits, my husband and I tackled the job. My husband deserves most of the credit - I served mainly as the clean-up crew. We made quick work of the job and, voilà, in less than 2 hours we were done!
The pathway parallel to the street is now far less claustrophobic and I have a new area to plant.
The plants behind the old Ceanothus hedge may also get more sun and better air circulation.
The "new" area is roughly half shade and half sun. I'm still working out what to plant there. The ground above the stacked stone wall is sloped so I think I need another supply of rock to stabilize it before I get too carried away buying new plants. Having new space to plant is a great mood booster, though.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party