Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Almost there

One of the projects I committed myself to tackle this month was/is to reduce the mass of Centaurea 'Silver Feather' planted in front of my mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin).  With a heatwave in the near-term forecast, I decided to get started late Monday afternoon.  It was tougher than I'd thought as the base of the plants were hard to uncover under all the shrubs' heavy branches.

After removing a mass of asparagus fern, I planted seven Centaurea here in January 2019 to hide the mimosa's scarred trunk after half the tree was cut down in an effort to rid it of disease caused by shot hole borers.  While I can say I was misled by the plant's tag, seven plants was still overkill and, within a year, they'd formed a mass that blocked the path through this area. 

This photo was taken after I'd removed four of the shrubs

The path is clear but I still wasn't happy with it

I took out a fifth shrub this morning but I'm think the one on the right has to go too.  It blocked view of the Agapanthus in bloom earlier this summer and the Centaurea still feels like it's overwhelming the area.


I've paused the project as my green bins are almost full and I need the gardeners to trim that Xylosma hedge behind the tree, which is completely out of control.

Another small project I had on my plate was to replant the Epiphyllum in my lath house, which had grown too large for that space.  I'd planned to move it into a hanging basket but when I checked the lath house yesterday, I found this:

We put up the shade screens in the lath house a couple of weeks ago as one branch of Epiphyllum 'Monastery Garden' was heading for the roof.  I understand that the plant normally wants its roots crowded before it blooms and it appears the conditions are right now.


So I've paused that project too, at least until the plant blooms.

Viewing the moderate slope outside my lath house, it occurred to me that I need to do something about a very visible bare spot.

I've got a series of Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' planted along the slope, pups of one of the two plants that bloomed in 2019

Adding more Agaves seemed a reasonable solution but, rather than buy a large specimen, I decided to use one or more of the bulbils from the Agaves that bloomed in 2019.  I'd saved only those with the best variegation.  They're still pretty small but I repotted three of them to allow them to beef up a bit further before I plant out all or some this winter.


So that's another project that's almost there...And speaking of that, I noticed that my blogger stats show that I'm just shy of one million views this morning.  As I started the blog at the end of December 2012, I expect a million views isn't all that remarkable but it was/is an informal target I'd set when considering whether or not to continue this blog.  It feels weird to be so close to that target this morning.  I've no immediate plans to shut the blog down but it's probably time to give its future some thought.  I've been posting on Instagram (at krispeterson591) for a couple of years now but I haven't yet entirely embraced that forum as a blog substitute.   Deliberations will continue...


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

25 comments:

  1. I haven't been to Instagram, but have a few Facebook groups.

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    1. Instagram is now owned by Facebook, although my impression is that the platforms are separate. Both forums are full of ads but then many blogs have those now too.

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  2. Nice to get lots of little projects done. I really like that Centaurea. Looks like the tag description needs some updating though. Congratulations on the 1 million mark. Quite an achievement. Personally would be very disappointed if you decided to stop blogging. I really enjoy seeing what is happening in your part of the world. As I don't do social media, would miss your posts.

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    1. Thanks Elaine. I'm sure I'd miss the blog too, especially now when it adds a rhythm to weeks that otherwise lack them. I worry about running out of content, though, when, as is the case for many people, my world has shrunken to a fraction of the size it once was.

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  3. Wow - congrats on a million views! That's impressive! I know the feeling of wondering when/if to call it quits. I guess I'll keep going until I have nothing more to say. It's frustrating when one's ambitions are put on hold because of things like overflowing green bins. That too, is an awfully familiar situation... sigh.

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    1. As it turned out, the gardeners only sheared half the hedge for some unknown reason, so there was still room in by green bins after they left. I took out the sixth Centaurea late yesterday afternoon, leaving just one in place. Now I only need to figure out what to plant in that spot...

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  4. I'v been "losing" favorite garden blogs over the last few years, but that is just how things go I suppose, as technology changes or people get tired: blogging is a big commitment. I'm not connected to Facebook or Instagram... maybe eventually I'll have to.
    I think adding the variegated bulbils to the bare spot will look fantastic.

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    1. Yes, I've seen lots of my favorite garden blogs disappear too, with many people switching to Instagram, which just doesn't engage me in the same manner. I was more intent on the possibility of "closing up shop" before the pandemic hit, changing everything. For now, the blog adds a familiar element to my life that's reassuring, although I do feel that I'm stretching for content these days.

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  5. Your removal of the Centaurea 'Silver Feather' looks fabulous, I would have assumed removing any of the foliage would have resulted in ugly bare spots (woody undergrowth).

    Yay for epiphyllum booms and congrats on the milestone!

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    1. Thanks Loree! I cut back another Centaurea in the front garden and, in time, it came back albeit without the graceful shape it once had. It's probably best to start the plants from cuttings as Diana suggested to me earlier, which I'm going to try. But, in this particular area, one of these large plants is more striking than seven!

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  6. Congratulations on getting so close to a blog goal. It must take so much time and energy to consistently post as you do - it's very impressive to me. I would miss you a lot if you chose to go but life is full of changes as we've certainly see this year. That was a great improvement by the mimosa and filling that other bare space will be good. I cut back a salvia this morning and also some of the Confederate jasmine, which led to a big reconsidering of parts of what I call my courtyard. Time to simplify some areas. One thing almost always leads to several, doesn't it?

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    1. Yes, any change in the garden seems to have a ripple effect! I actually passed the million mark, reaching that plus one just as I published this post yesterday. My count is shown in the right-hand column if you're viewing it on a PC. It doesn't show on the view available on my phone so probably not other mobile devices either.

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  7. Congratulations on the one million views! Your garden looks amazing :)

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  8. I am amazed that this Silver Feather got so big. Here they are annuals and don't even approach that size. ha... Love seeing what you are up to in your garden. Congrats on the big viewing mark coming up. Great for such a short time. Love your blog. I would certainly miss it, yet I would understand the feeling of repetition. I still feel like I would like to share some things that happen in the garden but doubt I will restart my blog.

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    1. Well, maybe the dimensions shown on the Centaurea's tag were meant for an area like yours, Lisa. I'd put in other plants, including several Geranium sidoides, in front of those shrubs, which were completely buried by the Centaurea.

      You might want to try New Blogger again to see if the kinks you were contending with when you first tried it have been resolved. I finally made the conversion in late July and, once I learned what the new prompts meant, I had little trouble but then I create posts from my PC and load photos directly from the files saved on my PC, which may be different than your approach. I did run into a glitch yesterday as I was trying to finish my post before I actually hit one million views (I didn't quite make it) but that problem appeared to be temporary - someone was probably tweaking the programming as I worked!

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  9. What an accomplishment - congrats for hitting a million, Kris. :)
    Bold action on the Centaurea, but needs must. I'm sure it is much improved.
    I would miss your posts terribly if you stopped blogging. Your content is always interesting (and often the object of envy ;) ). As you mentioned, we need familiar and comfortable things these days. I get so much of that from blogging. Last year, I thought of quitting, but I realized I'd miss everyone and their daily/weekly updates. Hope you stick around!

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Eliza. I was closer to the brink on pulling the plug on the blog last year, pre-pandemic. I agree that giving it up would lead a vacuum of sorts in my communication with other garden-obsessed people. If anything, in the short term, I may allow myself more flexibility on my blogging frequency.

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    2. That may work best... I can see the effort you put into your posts, I imagine it takes a big chunk of your time. While I try to post twice a week, I allow myself days or even weeks off, mostly during the garden season when I am too busy to post and give a proper follow up. Built-in flexibility gives me options so I don't feel I 'should' or 'must' post - I want to keep it fun! :)

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  10. Congratulations on your milestone! Speaking for myself, even if you feel like you're reaching for content getting to visit your garden virtually has been a real pleasure...especially when real world visits have been so sharply curtailed. Also, I agree with the comments about losing blogs to instagram, where content is unavailable to those who choose not to participate in the facebook monopoly:)

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I've been trying to clarify my own feelings about posting on Instagram. It wasn't owned by Facebook when I established my IG account but the connection did give me pause when it came under that umbrella, although my interactions thus far have all been very civil and not divisive, in contrast to what I've heard about Facebook. An exchange with another blogger helped me pinpoint my central issue with making a switch. While my blog is a chronicle that benefits me as a resource as much (or more) than it benefits or interests readers, Instagram feels like flipping the pages of a magazine in a doctor's waiting room, diverting for a moment perhaps but of little or no long-term value.

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  11. Good gracious, that's a lot of views. Congratulations Kris. Your garden is lovely and you write so well, no wonder people come back to your blog. Is that a caterpillar on your Epiphyllum in the lath house? The flower promises to be spectacular.

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    1. Thanks Susie. The squiggle you guessed might be a caterpillar was part of a dessicated leaf, possibly damaged by leaf-miner activity. (Leaf miners have left trails on another of my Epiphyllums.) I actually peeled it away after I took that photo.

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  12. Nice views of your garden. It is fun to have a project. I like the centaurea but I can see you don't want it blocking other plants.
    I have several epyphillums but they do get very leggy and ungainly and then they take up far too much room.
    Congratulations on a million views, please don't stop blogging, we would all miss you. I did start an Instagram but I can never be bothered to use it. It seems to be mainly pretty pictures and I like to read what people have to say.

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    1. Thanks Chloris. I've tried to warm up to Instagram but it still feels more like show-and-tell to me rather than a story that actively seeks to engage the reader.

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