President's Day 2007

How did I spend it? Gardening!

I'd love to tell you about it, but some kind of massive file corruption is currently underway at Flickr, and my photostream is full of other peoples pictures. Which means I guess someone else is enjoying my private porno stash. Or not.

Heh, heh.


Here are a few pictures of recent events. Sorry they're so BLUE--it was too late in the day for me to use that setting on my camera. Hopefully Flickr will be back on its feet soon and I can tell you the whole story.




UPDATE: Okay, yes, some growing of stone paths and raising of beds is going on. The site of future vegetable garden (i.e., next month) is now flanked by stone paths. Both paths lead to future places where I can sit my tired ass down.

What else... I bought a new lemon tree because I put the lemon tree I had too close to the stairs. I kinda knew that when I put it there, but at the time I didn't have any other place for it to go. The new lemon is primed for feature specimen-hood. I would have moved the old one (that would have been its second move) but I wasn't confident about my ability to remove it alive. So it's going to stay where it is until either the Eriogonum arborescens or Trichostema lanatum that I'm currently growing from seed is ready to take its place.

If sitting down in the overhead picture above at 7 o'clock, facing the vegetable garden and casting one's gaze leftward, one sees this...


Where Sambucus mexicana (Blue Elderberry) is beginning to force its way up.


This plant will test my ornamental pruning skillz. I'm a beginner, and elderberry...seems like an advanced topic. But I can't do real harm, because, you know, it's elderberry and if I screw up, I can just cut it to the ground and try again next year.

Hydrangea petiolaris, leafing out.


Funny that pictures of my garden make the fence seem like a bigger presence than it really is. In fact, the fence feels fine. However, this plant I want to grow up the fence I share with my neighbor--you know the one--and merge with his Tecomaria capensis and Jasminum polyanthum. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Also leafing out: Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Variegated porcelainberry). I'm so glad this plant isn't invasive in California.


It's going to climb the back fence, and perhaps invade my neighbor's Ligustrum lucidum as well (not shown). Planting companions include a containerized Rosa 'Climbing Joseph's Coat', the pink brugmansia, and a judiciously pruned Philadelphus lewisii, the state flower of Idaho and a California native plant by virtue of California being a really, really big state.


Climbing Joseph's Coat started leafing out a few weeks ago.


At this point, you should be saying, "Chuck is freakin' nuts! He can't plant all those plants, along with everything else, in a 500 sq. ft. garden!" You're probably right. But I will have my gardener's head handed to me on a plate before I concede over-planting.

I am willing to let some things go. This Euphorbia millii can go.


I loved you for awhile Millii, but now it's time for you to go.

In the barrels of future vegetable garden, Cerinthe major 'purpurascens' (actually not grown from seed by me--shocking). Are you thinking, "Cerinthe major--sooo 2005"? It's true!


Also: discarded tomato seedlings, those Fuchsia boliviana 'alba' I am forever rattling on about, and a Salvia spathacea. I find it's best to wait until it's decidedly warm to plant Salvia spathacea, otherwise it can't grow fast enough to withstand slugs no matter how much Sluggo I throw down.

Last year's beets. I totally need to harvest them.


Here's the one Fuchsia I've planted so far. It's already starting to take on shape.


And it's totally slug-resistant. As opposed to this one poor Huechera. Or Tellima. I'm really not sure.


Whatever it is, I think it'll be a nice contrast with the dark green Carpinteria.


Upstairs, you can see where that yucca found a home.



In the garage: Evil clay dirt destined for the dump. (Deal with it, people.)


And tomatoes for future vegetable garden. Early Cherry and Stupice.


The chocolate morning glory (Ipomoea nil) came up 48 hours after sowing! It's like I'm God or something.


Out front, my neighbor across the street is having a pruning day. About time. She's been at it all weekend. This picture is after I helped myself to three big bags of clippings for my compost (with her permission, of course).


After I finished chopping up the green bits, I shredded the paper bags and piled those on top, and watered the whole thing. Come and get it, worms!

See you in two weeks for aeration.


(By "you" I mean the compost pile. I'm sure I'll see you readers again sooner than that.)


Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Your stone path looks to be growing again and there is some bed raising happening too. It isn't just a private porn stash that gets you excited is it?

anile said...

Love your garden! Where did you get the wine barrels?
Chuck- how often are you watering your pots right now? Do you have drip set up or do you hand water?

chuck b. said...

I got the barrels at Floorcraft (Flowercraft) for $25 each. I'm told you can buy them in wine country for $10. I'm not sure where in wine country, but that's what I've heard. At any rate, I don't go to wine country very often and Flowercraft is just down the road...

I'll write a whole post about watering sometime.

The short of it is I don't water anything very much, and I do it by hand from a can 95% of the time--usually at night. I generally fill the can five times once a week for the whole garden. Once a year, in late July or early August just before the summer fog settles in, I soak everything with a hose and then mulch.

None of the containers need much watering. I have containerized Ceanothus, Fremontodendron and succulents that want minimal moisture. Everything else is growing in 50% compost, 25% clay, and 25% container mix--which I've found to be suitably moisture retentive.

I water the compost bin more often than I water most of my plants! I end up watering the vegetable garden more than the ornamentals, but even then I'm probably using less water than the average agricultural operation.

Pam/Digging said...

Nice railing on your deck.

Pam/Digging said...

I'm not a Blogger blogger, and I've noticed recently that when I leave comments on Blogger sites, like yours, the link to my site doesn't show up, though it used to. Is that an intentional feature of the new Blogger version, intended, I suppose, to encourage people to set up Blogger accounts? Just wondering . . .

I guess I need to start adding my blog address to my comments, though that isn't as good as a link.


chuck b. said...

There are definitely some glitches in the new Blogger, but I haven't had many problems. However, I have noticed that your blog in particular, Pam, does not attach to your name. This was true in old Blogger as well, and when I saw your comments on other people's blogs. I just figured it was something *you* were doing intentionally for mysterious reasons. :)

We like that railing too. Kids can't fall through it (like we ever have kids over--not), but the eye looks right through it.

mmw said...

500 square feet! You make me feel less insane.

Pam, the blogger comment screen is a little shaky these days, but you should be able to make a link by typing

A HREF="http://www.penick.net/digging"

without all the carriage returns.

mmw said...

I love how that slug-shredded Heuchera is practically growing out of a mountain of Slugg-o.

Tell me you put that down after the damage.

chuck b. said...

lol. yeah, i read somewhere that little plants like that can withstand some huge amount of foliar destruction and still keep on keepin' on. Otherwise I would have pulled it out. Also, for whatever reason, whatever's eating it really likes just that one plant. If I removed it, the pests might move on to its neighbors and I would rather use a containment strategy. Plus, when I proagate that plant, I take off all but two or three leaves at the stem, and those will grow so I know it can take it.

I have an Illicium mexicanum I thought I'd have to abandon last year when cabbage moth larvae shredded it all to hell. But six months later, and it's about to flower.

Artemisia said...

Damn, your garden looks fantastic! Like Disneyland for plant freaks... I could just sit there & sip tea & meditate all day. Good job!