Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up: Quiet Summer

It's getting to the end (let's hope!) of a quiet summer - between the heat & travel, not much gardening got done. Before diving head first into the problems (why are all my sprinklers misaligned at once, what is wrong with the agave in the front, and FML, gophers), let's look at a random collection of things I think are pretty...

this pink muhly catching the light
a baby agave!
That one was eaten by gophers in the spring, then covered with rock by the landscaping crew... but it's coming back!

the front garden
 From that angle, you can't see the new gopher mounds... but in general, the front garden redo has held up really well over the summer! The new rock mulch means the xMangave Macho Mocha could finally grow without slug damage..

In the back garden, some things have made it through the summer well also. After adjusting the sprinklers (...they work better when the controller is on, who knew!), all three of these xMangaves came back from the near-dead
Mayan Queen, Catch a Wave, Inkblot
As long as you don't look too close, the entire back garden looks like it made it through summer ok - Mr. Ripple holding court, as ever.
there are 3 summer projects visible in one picture!
Before talking about projects - this Yucca 'Blue Boy' is rarely featured in pictures, but seems to be enjoying the hillside.
 A fourth summer project was the pots on the top of hill side - first time i've successfully found something that wants to grow in them. In this case, it's bougainvillea.
this is Thai Pink - i think our cooler weather + shade makes it this white-lime color
Watering these once a week became one of my summer gardening rituals, marking the start of my weekends.
barbara karst here - hopefully they make it through the winter!
 More xMangaves - i may have a problem. This one is growing in a pot on the hillside. It seems to be working... the plant looks good, it's not getting eaten by gophers (they got my xMangave Kaleidoscope!) and it adds some interest to hillside.
i lost the tag - i'll have to play process of elimination later to remember which one this is.
 Back to the summer projects - project 1 was replacing the path at the bottom of the hillside with gravel. This used to be compacted decomposed granite (DG), which was brown. It looked like dirt and eventually, lots of weeds grew in it.
the gravel looks much better
The plants are starting to grow back over the edges. I'm also hoping that the gravel will make it easier to trim everything back in the spring. It now also matches the path at the top of hill, which makes my engineer-brain happy (symmetry!)

Summer project 2 is not completely done yet, but has been very exciting!
I got a stock pond!
It's only a little one (3ft diameter) and i'm still trying to figure out plants, and water quality, and lots of other things, but I am very excited. All the basic stuff seems to have settle now, and i'm trying very hard to wait until after winter to experiment more with plants.

A few last pictures before i wrap this up...

Little John is starting to bloom
Sometimes, i think it's funny how plants take their own sweet time deciding whether to live or die. At least for now, my acacia baileyana purpurea has decided to live, and actually grow. 
which means i should probably trim back some of the scrubs?
And finally - agave ovatifolia continues to appreciate the fact that the Palo Verde got limbed up. This is still one of my favorite views in the back garden, even if it needs to be tidied up a lot!
picture carefully cropped to cut out the weird sprinkler situation...
I think i enjoyed this summer in the garden more than any other summer, even though it wasn't any cooler (if anything, it was hotter!). Maybe a sign that i'm starting to get somewhere that makes sense in our climate? Now let's hope everything makes it through winter, and that we get some rain!


  1. You've gotten a lot done, especially with all the travel you do. I'm very envious of the stock tank. It immediately had me thinking that maybe I need a stock tank but then I remembered the raccoons and so that dream was brief. All your succulents look good. Fingers are crossed here for rain too!

    1. Yes, the raccoons would probably appreciate their new pool! i think everyone has their fingers crossed for rain!

  2. Oh my gosh it looks hot there! I find it encouraging that your Mangaves are doing so well in zone 11 AND in places like Portland (as I've seen in dangergarden posts). It means I need to find more for my yard.

    It looks like your Palo Verde tree offers a nice respite from the noon day sun.

    1. My garden is sunset zone 11, USDA zone 9a(-ish - the desert gets cold and hot and dry compared to most zone 9a areas). And definitely, you want more mangave!

  3. Your Mangaves are marvelous...and that Agave ovatifolia, a superstar! I'm jealous of your Bougainvillea and wish you much success.

    1. Thank you! We'll see what they look like after winter! This is the first time i've successfully gotten them through summer... fingers crossed!

  4. You are probably as happy to have summer over as I am every year to have winter over. I think your mystery Mangave is 'Chocolate Chip'.

    1. I'm 99% sure it isn't chocolate chip (i have 2 of those also!). And yes, summer here is like winter elsewhere, expect at least snow provides insulation!

  5. Lots of fun stuff happening! And it's so nice to see Mr. Ripple thriving in your garden. I miss the old guy!

    1. Thank you! Mr. Ripple is my favorite - i really wish i could find another one for the front garden. Although when he blooms, i'm going to be cursing him/me for planting him, i think!


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