|This is the healthy Grevillea 'Penola'|
|This isn't the best photo but it gives you a good idea of what the branch tips looked like|
I enlisted my husband's help in taking out the afflicted Grevillea this week.
|This is a wide shot of the area immediately before the Grevillea was removed|
|And this is approximately the same view after the Grevillea was removed. The bare tree in the center of the photo is a cherry we inherited with the garden.|
|This is the same area, viewed from the concrete steps that lead into the area from the back slope|
So now what do I do with this area? The status of that cherry tree alongside the stairs to the back slope is still in question. Inherited from a prior owner, it amazed me by producing a handful of cherries for several years in a row, despite the fact that getting the recommended 800-900 hours of winter chill is a virtual impossibility here. However, I don't recall seeing any fruit last year and thus far this year it hasn't produced leaves, much less flowers.
|There are lots of buds like these but they show no signs of opening|
If we pull out the cherry tree, I might try another tree in that location. A crape myrtle maybe. Whatever I select, it can't be too tall as I don't want to risk the ire of my next door neighbor, whose spa sits on the other side of the fence. I still haven't planted the Arctostaphylos 'Louis Edmunds' I picked up at a discount at my local botanic garden a couple of weeks ago either, so that's another possibility.
Meanwhile, other parts of this garden area also demand further consideration. I never designed this part of the garden so much as just plunked plants there. My husband said he'd like to add a tree to block the view of (and from) a house up the hill that's currently in the latter stages of construction.
|If I positioned a tree to screen the area my husband identified, it'd mean removing the Salvia clevelandii 'Allen Chickering' I circled here|
There was an apricot tree in the general location of that Cleveland sage when we moved in but it died soon afterward. If I put a tree in the Grevillea's former spot, that'd probably be too close anyway. As the spot gets a considerable amount of shade from a mature Arbutus 'Marina' nearby, maybe another New Zealand tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) would be a better choice to address my husband's request.
That question had me considering the placement of the 2 Leptospermum I currently have in this area. The 2 shrubs sit beside an inherited guava tree. I don't hate the guava but it's not something I would've planted either and it doesn't look at all great next to the Leptospermum. Maybe the guava needs to come out.
|The guava tree (left) and the Leptospermum (to the right) don't do anything for one another. The second Leptospermum is largely hidden behind the guava from this viewpoint.|
There's another guava tree on the other side of the gravel path running through the area. Guavas are self-fruitful so it doesn't require a second tree to produce fruit but fruit production is said to be heavier when there are others in the same species nearby to promote pollination. However, no one here eats guavas except the squirrels and I wouldn't be distressed if they had fewer fruits to bury in my garden borders.
And then there's the problem of what to do about the Cordyline 'Renegade' I planted last fall. They looked great - until our temperature unexpectedly soared into the 90s a couple of weeks ago. What happened to them doesn't bode well for their fate this summer.
|Here's what the Cordylines look like after a week of temperatures above 90F|
A friend recently told me that, when remodeling a home, the domino theory comes into play, with one change precipitating another. It looks as though the same can be said for gardens.
Any and all suggestions will be gratefully considered! In the meantime, I'll leave you with a pretty picture of one of the Matilija poppies now blooming on the back slope. Enjoy your weekend!
|I may not have any California poppies at the bottom of the slope but Romneya coulteri had no problem returning for a second year|
All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party