Friday, October 26, 2018

This week in my garden

Last Friday I wrote about new plants.  This week, I did a little planting and a lot of garden clean-up.

I had the most fun with my first project, replanting the window boxes attached to my lath (shade) house.  The boxes I'd planted in early July looked worn by late October so I decided they needed an overhaul.  I found a colorful Coprosma at my local garden center and when I discovered a new Lisianthus that picked the deep pink tones in its variegation, the contents for my boxes came together quickly.  There are 2 boxes and I used the same selection of plants in each.

Coprosma repens 'Inferno' (left) provided the inspiration and the new-to-me pinkish red Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum, right) sealed the deal.  I love the buds on the Lisianthus as much or more than the flowers themselves.

In addition to the Coprosma and the Eustoma, each box contains Nemesia 'Snow Angel', Alternanthera 'True Yellow', Viola 'Red Blotch', and Lobularia maritima (aka sweet Alyssum)

The second box is the same as the first


My biggest project this week was emptying the raised planters in my cutting garden to prepare them for planting winter bloomers.  This entailed pulling out the mildewed zinnias, all of which were still flowering, and digging up the dahlia tubers.  Most of the dahlias had been knocked out by last week's Santa Ana winds but 'Punkin Spice' was still producing new blooms, even after I'd cut 7 blooms on Sunday.  I cut all the mature blooms and used them to refresh the flowers in one of my vases before lifting the tubers for cleaning, division and storage.

As you can see I didn't quite pull everything out.  I have plans for the yellow zinnias in the middle planter but they'll be pulled this weekend.  A lemon verbena and a few stray plants are left in the planter in the foreground, as well as some herbs in the planter in the background.  I'll plant around those.  That exuberant Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' is in a strawberry pot - I've no idea what to do with it.

After pulling the majority of plants in each planter, I cleaned out the left roots and other debris, mixed in some fresh planting mix and a light dusting of fertilizer, then covered the soil with compost


My other tasks were less time-consuming.  I mulched the front garden bed I showed in last Friday's post after adding a few more ground cover plants.

I resisted my inclination to squeeze more large plants into this area and made do with ground cover plants like Alternanthera 'Joseph's Coat' to fill the space between the large shrubs (2 Leucadendron and a Grevillea), which will eventually spread substantially

While I'm hoping for decent rain this winter, I've applied more mulch this year to retain soil moisture (micro-bark in this instance).  I'm relatively happy with how this area is shaping up but there's still more work to be done, including additional planting (a mail order plant delivery is due next week!).  I also need to order flats of creeping thyme so I can fill in between the paving stones, which were overrun by clover last year.


I finally got around to pruning the 2 large Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' on either side of the walkway to our front door too.

I love these shrubs but they'd gotten a bit larger than I'd planned while I wasn't paying attention


This weekend I hope to get seeds sown and ranunculus tubers planted in my cutting garden.

I've got more seeds than space already


That's a summary of my week in the garden.  Fall's a busy time here.  What are you up to in the garden this weekend?


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

28 comments:

  1. You sure have been busy. I love your choices for the lath house boxes, what a nice combination they make! I'm hoping to get the fall bulbs planted and the begonia tubers brought inside this Saturday as the rain is supposed to stop on that day.

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    1. I'm sad to say that I tossed my own flowering begonia tubers in my compost tumbler, Peter. They just didn't do well enough to be worth the limited space in my lath house.

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  2. Our rain has returned this weekend, pretty heavily (wish I could send you some), so I probably won't be doing much. We did just have more than a week of dry weather, though, which I spent in the garden just about every day, either pulling weeds from a bed that I'm redoing or planting some of my pot ghetto. My aching muscles will appreciate the downtime this weekend, I think. Your raised beds look wonderful, so neat and tidy and all ready for their winter inhabitants. Is there an empty spot in a bed where you could put the Sticks on Fire?

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    1. I've cut large stalks of the 'Sticks' on Fire' at intervals and distributed them to locations throughout my garden - I may have a Euphorbia tirucalli forest one day! I've given some away too but now I'm thinking making I'll cut a whole lot more and put them on the street with a "free" sign. I've gotten rid of a lot of lemons and even Renga Lily bulbs that way.

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  3. Oh girl you make my little chore list look whimpy. I have been busy emptying and putting away pots I don't want to freeze. I had to clean out the barn first of all. That is always a chore.

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    1. I don't know, Lisa - cleaning a barn sounds like a major-major chore to me!

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  4. Those shrubs that explode again 3 days after you prune them - they grow in this garden too. I'll trim another layer when the current heatwave melts away.

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    1. I hope so, Diana! I tried hard to keep the shrubs' shapes balanced but I still wasn't 100% satisfied with the results so I'd appreciate some tweaking on the part of Mother Nature.

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  5. So we’ve both been refreshing planters for the season, eh? Your new window box plants look fabulous. My weekend plans include hoping the new version of the shade pavilion greenhouse gets finished so I can move the plants in...sadly this will probably happen in the rain. Not ideal...

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    1. If only you could direct that pesky rain down this way, Loree!

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  6. Doesn't it take a long time to fill a garden up to one's satisfaction? I love your planters, and Coprosma 'Inferno' is a great plant, although I nearly lost mine to the frost. My chores this weekend are aphid removal(!) dead heading and the ever-present weeding. have a lovely weekend Kris.

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    1. Yuck, aphids! Weeding can at least be meditative if you allow your mind to go that way. The variegated Coprosmas don't seem to hold their color in the long-term here but we don't have the winter frost/freeze problem so I can be thankful for that.

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  7. Kris, I love that hot pink Lisianthus! I wanted to plant Lisianthus last year but couldn't find any in nurseries here. I wish you a nice and hopefully rainy weekend!

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    1. I would expect that Lisianthus would like the warm conditions in your part of the world, MDN, but maybe not the humidity and heavy rain. There is no rain in sight for 2 weeks yet and even that is both iffy and light.

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  8. October for you sounds like our May. Busy, indeed! Following the Lazy Gardener trend, I do little in the fall and leave things for spring. The exception being, eventually I will dig up the dahlia and cannas the frost killed this past week. Sliding into the dark, cold months where there is no gardening takes acceptance. :/

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    1. I always envy those of you in wintry climes for the garden break you get but, if I actually had one, it's also possible it would make me crazy. Best wishes addressing any winter doldrums, Eliza!

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  9. I'm even tempted by that new lisianthus! The Cousin Itts look like they've recovered from the July heat wave. I've been mulching too, with garden clippings from the shredder. Wonderful time of year to be busy in the garden.

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    1. Aren't those Lisianthus buds gorgeous? Growers seem to be going crazy in developing new varieties. And, yes, the 'Cousins' have recovered!

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  10. I didn't realize you had a cutting garden. That explains why you always make such lovely bouquets for the house. I love that view with the lath house. If I was standing there looking at that house in the distance, I would sure be heading down there to see what you had planted and I would be treated to your new window boxes.

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    1. I gave up my vegetable garden in favor of a cutting garden, which I've had more fun with, Jenny. My lath house is a joy too, even if it is very small.

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  11. That Lisianthus is beautiful and so are your windowboxes--wow! You've been busy! Cheers!

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    1. I got my winter "crop" of flowers planted today, too. Now, I just have to hope that the safeguards I put in place keep the raccoons and other critters at bay until the seeds and tubers sprout!

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  12. Those Eustoma buds are gorgeous. Like glass sculptures. Your garden looks fantastic.

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    1. Thanks HB. There are still various holes in the back but filling those is the next focus of my fall plant shopping expeditions.

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  13. Oh dear, my comment disappeared. I'll try again. I love your planters with the gorgeous lisianthus, I wish I could grow it. Sticks on Fire is most unusual and new to me.

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    1. 'Sticks on Fire' has become one of the "in" succulents here, although the plants have been around for as long as I can remember. As I've been cutting pieces off that specimen in the strawberry pot for years now to plunk into open spots, I may have much more of it than anyone needs in the years to come.

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  14. Oh you have been busy Kris. What fabulous winter planters. Am I right in thinking that you can leave lemon verbena to overwinter outside? I'm most envious if that is the case :)

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    1. Yes, lemon verbena can remain outside all winter here, anna - if anything, it's our summers than cause it the most stress. It's semi-evergreen but does get gangly if not trimmed regularly.

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