Friday, August 3, 2018

This week's projects

It's still hot here.  The temperature hasn't gotten above the low 90s but the humidity has been running higher than we're used to.  Garden activities are once again restricted to early morning and late afternoon.  Watering takes the majority of my time during those restricted intervals but I've tackled a couple of projects this week.

The first involved cleaning up an area of the front garden badly damaged by the early July heatwave.  I resisted the urge to cut back the damaged foliage of my Acacia 'Cousin Itt' but I went ahead and pulled out the clover and Santa Barbara daisies (Erigeron karvinskianus) that were incinerated when the temperature hit 110F and stayed there for hours.  I also cut back 2 mint bushes (Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata') that looked spindly and sad well before the heat struck - they have short lives here and I don't really expect them to come back.  I focused on adding topsoil and soil amendments in the hope of creating a good foundation for replanting come fall.

Lots of bare space now for planting when the weather cools.  The Acacia 'Counsin Itt', Arthropodium cirratum, Pennisetum 'Rubrum', Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', and probably the Artemisia 'Seafoam' will stay.

I'm not sure about the Phormium 'Tom Thumb' or the Pelargoniums.

The area beyond the Acacia and Arthropodium gets sun most of the day.  I'm considering adding another Grevillea 'Superb' (to mirror that on the other side of the path) and either clumps of Lomandra 'Breeze' or Festuca californica.  Beyond that, I'm unsure what to do here but then there's lots of time to deliberate before September.


My second project was seed sowing.  Encouraged by a small success in getting a few Ferraria crispa seeds to germinate, I sowed seeds I'd recently collected from my Pacific Coast Irises (Iris douglasiana).  It remains to be seen whether I'll be successful in getting any of these plants to grow but my fingers are crossed.

I know the Ferraria seedling looks scrawny but I was thrilled just to get the seeds I collected to germinate.  This is a bulbous plant so it'll be a long while before it produces blooms like those on the right but worth the effort as the plants aren't especially easy to find.


I continued to work on rehabbing my succulent containers too.  I made a second trip to the succulent nursery I visited last week.  I hadn't planned to visit again so soon but one does what one must.

A friend joined me on this visit.  These are views of the larger succulents and cacti growing in full sun.

The nursery has a large collection of healthy houseplants too

I checked out the bromeliads this time but decided to hold off on buying anything as there's a bromeliad show scheduled this weekend that's likely to offer better deals

The nursery has a surprisingly large collection of Sansevierias.  I brought home one of those on the far right.

Like my prior trip, I focused on making selections among the smaller succulent under shade cover, although I also brought home 2 houseplants and a large Aloe in addition to the Sansevieria.  My only complaint about this nursery is that most of the plants aren't labeled and the staff isn't always able to provide an ID.


I selected plants for 2 pots that needed rehab.  So far, I've replanted just one, a hover dish planter positioned outside my lath (shade) house.  Once again, I mixed cuttings from my own garden with newly purchased plants.

The Agave lophantha 'Quadicolor', Portulacaria afra, Rhipsalis (maybe R. burchellii), and noID Echeverias came from the nursery.  I filled in mostly with cuttings of Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi' and 'Kiwi Verde' from my garden.

In retrospect, I think the composition is busy but, as the Agave's likely to pup, I can remove Aeoniums to make room as needed


The biggest garden project this week was my husband's.  He designed and constructed removable shade covers for my lath house.  My hope is that they'll prevent the kind of damage the plants there received when the sun went supernova in July.  My husband installed the covers this afternoon and I spent hours before dinner cleaning up the space.  More on that to come in a future post.  For now, best wishes for a great weekend.


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. I love the planter containing the succulents: it’s a really interesting combination of colours and shapes. I’ve never thought of putting succulents in a hanging planter, but I think it’s an excellent idea.

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    1. Agave 'Quadicolor' can be a prolific pup-producer but, as plants always struggle in that container in that location, I decided I needed a tenacious plant. If it gets out of control, I'll break the plant out of its pot prison and start over (again).

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  2. Love the hover dish! Also, that looks like a very pretty Sanseveria that you bought. The stripes actually remind me of many Bromeliads. Hope you have good luck with your seeds and seedlings. The Ferraria that I bought from Annie's either died or went dormant. I usually cut off the seedpods from my PCIs but I should try saving some.

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    1. The Ferraria does seem to disappear during the summer months so don't give up on it yet, Alison. I've never tried to propagate my PCIs before either - I was surprised at just how many seeds those plants produce.

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  3. Beautiful job on the hover planter. The selection at the nursery would be oh-so-tempting for me. We have nothing close to it here, maybe because our season is so short, compared to yours. Hope your weather breaks soon!

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    1. Our season is year-round, although the sensible among us (I'm not including myself) suspend planting during the hot, dry summer months.

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  4. One does what one must...Another fun visit to this nursery. I love what you did with your hover pot & am looking forward to seeing what you bring home from the bromeliad show!

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    1. There really weren't a lot of deals at the bromeliad show this year, Peter, not that that kept me from opening my wallet...

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  5. I am impressed that you accomplished so much in this heat. It is hot here again too. We always have humidity. Sometimes higher than the temps. It is always fun to start seeds. I hope these grow for you. I like those blooms. I hope you are having a great weekend.

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    1. Other than the occasional summer thunderstorm, I don't remember humidity like this up until the last few year. But we've got nothing on you in the humidity department I suspect, Lisa! The morning marine layer has been reappearing at intervals, which is a mixed blessing. It increases the humidity but keeps down the afternoon temps a bit. I try to do my "heavy lifting" during those early morning hours when the marine layer is still firmly in place.

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  6. Congrats on the Ferraria and the Iris plants! You have been busy. I think your garden looks wonderful in spite of the heat and lack of rain. We had near-perfect weather for a few days, but today our weather is similar to yours in the temps department (90s), but the humidity is at 67%-70%. Not fun. So, I did my outside chores in the morning and the evening. ;-)

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    1. Morning and late afternoon has been mostly it for my time in the garden too, Beth. And summer temperatures drain energy quickly even then. Our humidity, while higher than "normal," isn't nearly as high as yours, though. Stay hydrated!

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  7. Oh those Sanseveria! You can plant them outdoors, right? That would be amazing...

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    1. Yep. I've got quite a few Sansevieria in the ground now, Loree. They've got to have shade here, though.

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  8. Why do I complain about the high temperatures in Germany?! I think 90° F is about 40°C?! Here we have around 35°C. I am impressed that you can still work in your garden and do lots of garden work! I gave up on that! The soil here is like concrete now. It neary never rains. When the dry summers continue like this one I should also find a succulent nursery. :) You did a great job with the succulent pot!

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    1. I keep adding more and more mulch in my garden, Sigrid. It is the best chance I have of keeping moisture in our sandy soil. I hope you get a break in your hot, dry weather soon!

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  9. You manage to get work done out there despite the weather, good for you!

    The heat seems to suck all the energy out of me. Two extra bad days ahead--stay cool.

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    1. I did the heaviest work - moving topsoil(ugh!) and planting mix -under a heavier-than-usual marine layer last weekend but I admit to being thoroughly rung out afterwards. The marine layer has been light since then, usually dissipating by 9am or before.

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  10. A gardener's work is never done! Your succulent pot turned out very well. I hope you don't experience any more 110 degree temps! I much prefer the more reasonable temps we have in spring and fall to our summer. Yesterday I worked outside for over 8 hours. It was partially cloudy with a bit of breeze, and the temp was only in the low 90s. Today I feel like I have been hit by a truck!

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    1. Pace yourself, Deb! Another excessive heat warning goes into effect here tomorrow. The forecasters don't show heat above 100F in this location but then they didn't predict the 110F we got on July 6th either.

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  11. It's like a continual scientific experiment, isn't it, finding out which plants are up to it and which aren't. I've never had any luck with Prosthantera, found them fussy and definitely short lived, although in my garden they could have died from lack of appreciation. I like the composition in the planter.

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    1. I don't know why I fall for that variegated Prostanthera at periodic intervals, Sue - you'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now as the plants have proven to be short-lived here too. They clearly want more water than they get.

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