On Monday afternoon, I headed down to the succulent bed on the front slope I partially replanted last year to tuck in three small plants I'd picked up during my last spin through my local garden center. As I rounded the corner, I immediately noticed that something was off. On closer examination, a task I thought would take a few minutes turned into something much more time-consuming.
Here's a look at the area of concern shown in a photo taken earlier this year:
|I featured this combination of Aeonium arboreum, Aeonium 'Kiwi' and Crassula lycopodioides in a February post. I liked it because the plants had knitted together so well.|
Here's a photo taken shortly after I realized something had happened:
|The sharp contrast of sun and shade makes this a poor photograph but it's the best I can offer to show what I saw when I first noticed the damaged Aeonium stems|
As I pulled out broken Aeoniums, I recognized the damage couldn't be put right with a few well-placed pruning cuts. I don't know what happened. Maybe a raccoon jumped or fell out of the tree above? Maybe a coyote chased a cat or a rabbit through the succulent bed? I was just grateful there was no blood in evidence, nor any furry bodies to bury.
|I'd cleared up this much before taking a break for lunch, already recognizing that I was going to need to take out more|
|This is just a sample of the broken stems. I filled 5 plastic trugs with debris before I was done..|
|I took cuttings of the rosettes and stems that still looked presentable|
By the time I got around to replanting, I'd pulled about half the succulents in the corner area.
|This is the area after I was done cleaning it up. I removed Aeoniums growing under the self-seeded white-flowered Osteospermum, as well as some that had obscured the Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty' on the upper right.|
|I replanted the area, using some of what I'd saved during the cleanup process, as well as fresh cuttings from other areas of the garden|
Perhaps I should've pulled all the Aeoniums and started from scratch but even Aeoniums take awhile to bulk up so I left what still looked good and crossed my fingers that the new cuttings will fill out quickly to blend with the older plants.
|The photo on the left shows the front slope area I replanted in November. The photo on the right shows the area as it looked on Wednesday evening after rehab of the corner area on the right. |
I've noticed that most of the cuttings I used when replanting this south end area of the front slope late last year are growing more quickly than the tiny succulents I purchased to flesh out the bed. One notable exception is what I think is Sedeveria 'Fanfare'.
|The growth of this Sedeveria has outpaced its cohorts. I love its semi-spiraled shape too.|
Other projects this past week included finishing up the interface between the back patio and the flagstone path.
|I dug in the additional flagstones, removing more of the awful asparagus fern roots in the process. This photo reveals the problem I have with self-seeded alyssum (Lobularia maritima) but I'm not going to do anything about that until the Ginkgo tree I've ordered is in place, at which time I can make a decision about what I want to grow beneath it.|
|I cleaned up this area, adding another Yucca 'Blue Boy' in the process. I'll probably pull out the Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde' behind the new Yucca after that succulent finishes blooming, replanting from cuttings to give it a fresh start. |
|I've already replanted the Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde' on the this side of the flagstone path using cuttings. I also added plugs of creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin') between and around the newly laid flagstones.|
I gave myself the gift of another Japanese maple last week and got that in the ground this week. It seems happy thus far.
|I've learned the hard way that Japanese maples require protection from the strong winds we routinely experience here. I think this coral bark maple (Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku') should be well protected behind the hedge. I have another of the same variety planted alongside the garage in my cutting garden area, which offers a similar exposure.|
I have two more plant orders due to arrive within the next couple of days, which should keep me busy this weekend (if they actually arrive on schedule). As I'm now considered fully immunized, I may put future mail orders on hold while I reacquaint myself with the garden centers I haven't visited in over a year. I'm looking forward to a little retail plant shopping therapy.
Best wishes for a pleasant weekend.
All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party