Monday, September 23, 2013

After a Lengthy Hiatus...

I haven't posted anything since August 12 because I was in Reston, Virginia visiting my older son and his family. While I was there we did a lot of work in his garden, planting species that are native to the Piedmont region. It was very fun and educational to note the differences between east coast plants and west coast plants.

Now that I'm back in SoCal, the primary order of business is getting ready for Fall planting. I have made a list of the places in the garden where plants are needed and species that I want to buy. Most of them are ones that I already have and want to have more of. At this time, my wish list is as follows:
  • Allium haematochiton - Redskin onion
  • Aquiligia formosa - Western columbine
  • Asclepias fascicularis -Narrow leaf milkweed
  • Eriogonum arborescens and E. gigantea - Santa Cruz Island buckwheat and St. Catherine's lace
  • Lysiloma candidum (not sure about this one) - Palo blanco
  • Monardella linoides ssp. viminea - Willlowy monardella
  • Rosa minutifolia - Small-flowered rose
  • Salvia brandegei - Santa Rosa Island sage
  • Clinopodium (Satureja) chandleri - San Miguel Savory
  • Solanum hindsianum - Baja nightshade
  • Ribes malvaceum 'Dancing Tassels' - Dancing tassels currant
  • Hazardia dentosa - Island bristleweed
  • Styrax officinalis - Snowdrop bush
  • Cneoridium dumosum - Spicebush
  • Penstemon sp.
  • Trichostema lanatum - Woolly bluecurls
 I also have a few annual seeds that I plan to spread around the garden. At this time I have:
  • Acmispon americanus (formerly Lotus purshianus) - Spanish lotus
  • Hulsea heterochroma - Red-rayed hulsea
  • Phacelia tanacetifolia - Tansy leafed phacelia
  • Clarkia amoena - Farewell to Spring
  • Clarkia unguiculata - Woodland clarkia
  • Castilleja exserta - Owl's clover
  • Gilia tricolor - Bird's eye gilia
Last year I had good performance from a number of annuals that I expect to re-seed themselves. These include:
  • Eschscholzia californica - Calif. poppy
  • Lupinus succulentus - Arroyo lupine
  • Layia platyglossa  - Tidy tips
  • Phacelia grandiflora - Large flowered phacelia
  • Clarkia bottae - Botta's clarkia
  • Cirsium occidentale - Cobweb thistle
There isn't much blooming at the moment, but I have one container plant that is extremely happy right now. It is a Baja elephant tree, Pachycormus discolor. I have seen some large specimens of this in Baja but I have never seen one in bloom before. In addition, it has a light, pleasant fragrance. What a treat!

I have been watering it every 2 weeks during the summer to simulate the kinds of rain it would get in central and southern Baja. Lately we have been having some clear, warm days which made this plant feel right at home. I have it in a fairly large pot where it will hopefully be happy for a long time.

The other plant that is blooming (profusely) now is Epilobium canum (California fuchsia). It is a very reliable late summer bloomer that spreads itself readily by rhizomes and seeds. In fact, it is a bit too aggressive in its spreading, and I am always having to pull it out of places where I don't want it to take over. Aside from that it's a great plant that is much appreciated by insects and hummingbirds at this time of year.