I've largely ignored the garden on the north side of the house for the last couple of years, letting it get by on benign neglect. This week, without any kind of plan in mind, I decided it was time for some tidying up. The prostrate rosemary I planted years ago was completely out of control. Perennial shrubs had been allowed to sprawl. Weeds and rampant self-seeders were swamping other plants. Fallen leaves were piled ankle deep in spots.
As usual, I failed to take any "before" photos so photos taken earlier this year will have to do.
|This photo, taken at the end of October, hides a lot|
|This photo of my two largest agaves, taken in July, gives some sense of how crowded they were|
I pulled out the Santa Barbara daisy foliage (Erigeron karvinskianus) that had formed lanky clumps more than a foot high. I yanked several sprawling Hairy Canary Clover plants (Dorycnium hirsutum), confident that they'll reappear from seed. I cut back a lot of the ivy creeping up under the hedge from the back slope (although more work is needed there). I cut back two rockrose (Cistus) shrubs that had lost all shape and lopped several large limbs of Leucadendron salignum 'Chief'. The prostrate rosemary got a trim. Tubs of guava tree leaves were raked up to be shredded for reuse as mulch. In the process I uncovered two agaves I'd entirely forgotten were there.
|Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' (left) was a pup I planted years ago. Agave 'Cornelius' (aka 'Quasimoto', right) had been overrun by Hairy Canary Clover.|
Two of my largest succulents, Agaves vilmoriana and ovatifolia, gained a little breathing space.
|Although you can see that the Aloe vera is still in danger of being swallowed up by ivy|
The "after" photos may not reflect all the work that went into the process but I can testify that my back and shoulder muscles feel the impact.
|There's more bare space but the Erigeron will certainly be back to fill in by spring if I don't find something else to plant before then|
|View from another angle|
|There's now a line of sight from the back of the north side garden looking south toward the backyard patio|
Other odd jobs done this week included replanting some pots.
I guess it's time to tackle Christmas decorations. That's my weekend project. What's yours? Best wishes however you're spending your time.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party
Wow, it looks terrific. Wish this were my garden.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the nice compliment!Delete
Looks like a lot of work to me - nice job, Kris! It's always satisfying when breathing space is restored.ReplyDelete
We put our tree up yesterday, so the house looks festive. It is a wild tree, found broken at the edge of our property... laughable, it is a true Charlie Brown tree just like you'd see generations ago. I kind of like its uniqueness. ;) And best of all, no guilt for having cut a living tree. :)
I've always gotten a live tree farm-grown tree but I've begun wondering if I should go with an artificial tree. I do love the pine smell, though, and the spray fragrance just isn't the same.Delete
The positive side of letting things go is that when you finally get around to taming it there is immediate gratification as you whack your way through the brush. Looks great but then I thought it looked good before, too.ReplyDelete
Yes, everything ached when I called a stop to the effort yesterday, Eliza, but the amount of debris I dumped in our green bins and the leaves I retrieved for compost/mulch was gratifying.Delete
I am always amazed at how extensive your gardens are and how you are able to maintain them.ReplyDelete
Well, I've had more time to devote to the effort recently, Cindy! The property is just over half an acre, big by Los Angeles standards but perhaps not in terms of other areas of the country.Delete
Love the name 'Hairy Clover'. Brings to mind some large Sesame Street type monster. You are definitely taking things off of your to-do list. I wandered around our property and collected a variety of branches and seed heads and made some pretty outdoor containers. Must say am rather pleased with the result.ReplyDelete
Hairy Canary Clover would make an excellent addition to the Sesame Street line-up, Elaine! Congratulations on your containers filled with found items. I had to really search for berries to dress up my store-bought wreath - with my Toyon gone, berries have become hard to come by here.Delete
I love me some fall cleaning... it makes everything look tidy and fresh. My fall clean up is done for now. A 10' pine tree in the garden was decked out with lights for the first time ever this year. Other than making plans in my head for next spring, searching for signs of life (Hellebores have many fat buds!) with a beer in hand and wading in the saturated soil, my garden is buttoned up for winter.ReplyDelete
I thought I spotted a hare in your garden. Turns out it's decorative :-D
I love that jack rabbit figure - I've had it for 15 years or more, and, unlike the real rabbits, he behaves himself. Congratulation on lighting up a 10-foot pine - I grumbled about getting lights on my 6-foot indoor tree yesterday so I can't even imagine decking out a 10-footer!Delete
Forgotten and buried agaves, the shame! It all looks great. Since today will be dry I need to go process the pile of debris on the patio and try to get most of it in the yard waste bin. Last weekend we cleaned the gutters which resulted in many palm leaves, shrub branches and other bits being "trimmed". Needless to say my husband and I do not share the same out look on how closely plants should be planted.ReplyDelete
Agave desmettiana was no worse off but Agave 'Cornelius' isn't looking its best, Loree - I think I'll move it somewhere rather than risk another disappearing act. Cleaning gutters is an awful chore. I'm always surprised at just how much debris settles there within a relatively short time.Delete
The before looks good but the after looks fantastic as well.ReplyDelete
I’ve been attempting to clean up my garden too and it’s so much work!
Somehow, clean-ups always look much simpler and easier at the start than they end of being. It's one of those activities that has domino effects.Delete
Once again, I am amazed how much you accomplish! Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' has a very nice shape and I love the variegation on Agave 'Cornelius'. This area looks fantastic, but it looked good before as well. My day has been filled with online shopping and I’m hoping to get the last presents purchased soon. Have a wonderful weekend!ReplyDelete
I'm glad to say I have my holiday shopping behind me, Kay. I took the easy way out, though, by ordering food items for many family and friends this year.Delete
The area looks very tidy now, refreshed, so no wonder you feel a bit sore after all that clean up.ReplyDelete
I find a garden area will look good, look good, look good--until it very suddenly doesn't anymore. The mess seems to sneak up and catch me by surprise.
Saturday project was vacuuming the house, which is a big job (two dogs who like to lay around and shed). Alan is doing his epic marathon barbecue thing, making the garden smell like smoked meat, so it was an indoor day for me.
It was cold here today and I suspect it was chilly in your area too so, if you had to spend time inside HB, this was probably a good day for it!Delete
It looks great before and after! This is the time of year when seeing your photos and those of gardeners in other warm climates is refreshing and helpful: it reminds me that winter won't last forever.ReplyDelete
Few things last forever - I have to remember that myself when it comes to our long drawn-out dry spells too, Beth.Delete
Definite improvements -and poor Cornelius free at last ! This fall I started out by removing a couple worn out perennials and before I knew it I had wiped clean about 50 sq feet of garden.'Why do I still have this plant ?" was muttered many times.ReplyDelete
My biggest issues were the weeds (mainly Santa Barbara Daisy) and the self-seeding monster, Hairy Canary Clover, Kathy. Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could rid this part of my garden (or others) of these plants. The Erigeron was here when we moved in but introduction of the clover was my doing.Delete
No need to hide this part of the garden! It looks surprisingly spacious, but you have a large lot.ReplyDelete
I was going to start sorting my stacks of plastic nursery pots but it's raining...
That's a good excuse, Gerhard ;) At this point, I'd happily work outside in a downpour, though, if we were lucky enough to get one. Based on what I've read, SoCal may not see any rain until February.Delete
Kris you are inspiration for the gardeners around the world for the understanding and knowledge about plants .Thanks for sharing at Garden Affair.ReplyDelete
That nice of you to say, Arun.Delete