sábado, 16 de marzo de 2019

Bloom Day - March, 2019

Frustration has reigned in my garden this month.  We have had exactly 1 day of rain this entire winter.  As a result, certain areas of the garden have turned hard as cement, and NOT A SINGLE daffodil has come up this year.  I gave up on crocuses and tulips years ago, and now I have to say good-bye to daffodils, too.  Frustrating.  If I ever plant them again, it will be in pots.

In addition, I have had to switch on the drip irrigation system every few days since mid-February so I don't lose my larger bushes and trees.  With the added water, the pyrus calleryana is looking spectacular today, and it is quickly becoming the largest tree on our property.

Pyrus calleryana

I am absolutely thrilled at the progress of our wisteria.  On the backside of the house, we have two large 5 x 6 meter pergolas that were installed 2 years ago, with 2 established wisterias and 2 new purchases.  Last year, the older wisterias offered up a few blooms, but this year they are ready to explode!  Even the Little 2-year-old specimens are top-heavy with buds.  I am so excited to see them take off and hopefully provide some much-needed shade.

Finally, my loyal freesia and iris are in bloom early this year.  Well, of course!  It was 27ºC / 82ºF today!

 A bit late, I am linking with May Dreams Gardens for the fun Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts.  Stop on by!

lunes, 11 de marzo de 2019

Almond trees in bloom

Over the years, I have found that our almond trees can bloom anywhere from late January to early March.  I attribute this year's March bloom to our excessive drought this year.  I have also found that 'native' trees and nursery-bought specimens do not flower at the same time.

Native almond tree
A garden center almond tree
The native wild almond trees bloom first, yet their blossoms can often be affected by a winter freeze, or their flowers open before the pollinators are out, which is what usually happens in my garden.  As a result, my natives hardly ever produce much of a harvest.  The nursery-bred trees, however, flower anywhere from one to three weeks later, and they give a much better crop.

This year, though, our temps have been high, so some pollinators are already awake.

Will I have double the almonds this year?

sábado, 2 de marzo de 2019

Marvellous mimosa

Once again, the mimosas are in bloom.  And, once again, it's that time of year when I dream of having one of these beauties in my garden.

Acacia dealbata

miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2019

Saying goodbye

I have just buried my cat, Luna.

Those of you who are followers have probably seen photos of her on this blog before.  She was my true gardening companion, never venturing outdoors alone and always staying close by.  Her favorite parts of the garden were the sunny patio where lizards were often hiding, and the north side of the garden where mice and moles were to be found.  The ivy-covered wall in the front garden was her favorite perch, and the warm granite stones of the front walkway and back patios were always the best places to roll around in the sun.

She was diagnosed with lymphoma the week before Christmas, so we were lucky to have more than a month to spoil her with her favorite foods, cuddles and ear-scratching.

We laid her to rest in the place where she spent her last moments in the garden, under the gingko tree, where she sat to watch me, the dogs and birds flitting around the garden.  Her grave is protected by a large stone, and I have planted a memorial garden around it, with white iris, dusty miller and sempervivens.

Of course, I still keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye everywhere I turn.

domingo, 13 de enero de 2019

Oh, sh!t

I hope not to offend anyone with this post's title, but it really is apropos.

The Friday before Christmas, I came home in the evening to find the town-owned property in front of our front wall absolutely swamped.  We have a prunus serrulata, a cupressus sempervirens and a walnut tree planted there, and they were all standing in a good 6 inches of water.  I called the water company's emergency line, and decided to rake back all the river rock gravel that I use to keep the weeds under control.  However, the leak was not near the street; instead, it was gurgling up just 8 inches from our front wall, walkway and gate.

Fearing for the integrity of the wall foundation, including the column holding up the large gate, I dug a drainage ditch to drain the water away from the wall and down the street towards the empty house lot next door.  Our 18-year-old son was home from college for Christmas, and he gave me a hand with the digging.

By the time we got the water draining away from the wall, the water company technician had arrived and immediately told me to step away - "That's not water," he said.  WHAAAAT?!  It was night, dark, and some water was running into a storm drain, so I thought the smell was coming from there.

Apparently, our gated community has a very superficial sewage system that has a number of faults.  New pumps were installed about a year ago, and leaks have been popping up in several áreas ever since.  We had no idea.

So, the following day (yes, the FOLLOWING day), the municipal workers came out to turn off the pump for our street.  The leak continued for another day, as gravity made the whole street drain at my front gate.  Lovely.  Merry Christmas.  Bah-humbug.

So now, three weeks later, the water has finally been absorbed and the stench is gone, but no repairs have been made and the pumps have not been turned back on.  So, where is it all going?  Well, remember that lovely stream and reservoir we have behind our property?  Yes... Oh, sh!t.