I started in the front garden, clearing out masses of dead peppermint geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum). The heavier-than-usual winter and spring rain promoted a major growth spurt, with the vines tumbling down the moderate front slope to mingle with succulents. When the rain stopped and the summer's heat came on, a lot of it died.
|I didn't take a "before" shot so you'll have to take my word for the fact that there was a tangle of dead peppermint geranium engulfing the base of the Arbutus and several feet beyond where the area slopes down|
After 2 nasty run-ins with fire ants on my back slope I'd completely avoided the area for well over a month. When I ventured down there again this week, I could smell molding lemons when I was just half-way down the stairway. Once again, I failed to take any before photos. Although I did take precautions against fire ants, these were ineffective and I picked up a couple of dozen stings for my trouble but at least the moldy fruit is gone.
After more than 2 years in place, the parrot's beak vines (Lotus berthelotii) I used as a groundcover along the pathway extending from the south side of the house into the back garden were overgrown and twiggy. I pulled them all out this week.
|I took this "before" photo when I was already part way through the process|
|You couldn't even see many of the flag stones here before I went to work. I've also cut back the shrubs on the left (Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'), which appear to be suffering from thrip damage.|
|I cut out some of the dead undergrowth and trimmed back the Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' on the right|
|I pulled the grasses (Sesleria) I'd planted under the rosemary years ago and made a first stab at trimming the rosemary|
In all, I filled 3 jumbo green bins and, since that was picked up yesterday, I've almost filled another bin. A friend and I have plans to make the rounds of at least 2 nurseries in Santa Barbara this weekend so I'll be on the look-out for fresh Lotus bethelotii, among other things. I have a list of plants I "need" but I'm not going to lay any odds on the prospect of my sticking to that.
I hope you have something nice planned for your weekend too! I'll close with a photo of our new roof, which was finally completed yesterday.
All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party