Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Not the Bog!

OK, I will skip bog and pond pictures this time, and show you the colorful strip beside the driveway. It is a narrow strip, and I have gradually been adding raised beds and improving the terrible clay dirt, and it is rewarding me with lots of color. The first picture is looking up towards the street, and you see red-leaved Swiss chard, cannas, daylilies, larkspur, artemesia, poppies, and cactus. It sort of fades off into the strong afternoon sun on the street.

Going toward the street, there is a poppy plant which today had over a dozen blooms open. In the past, I have had many poppies, but I let them reseed as they will with the larkspur, and this year there was only this large plant and a couple of tiny ones. From left to right the artemesia, larkspur, a few pansies at the end, yarrow, poppies, cactus, widow's tears, and the four o'clock that I finally have a name for. Last year I got a tiny plant at our pond society plant swap, and never knew what it was - annual, perennial, frost hardy or what. After it was almost eaten up by snails in a pot, I planted what bare remains there were in that still clay-heavy bed, and it prospered.

It gave me lovely little flowers that were yellow, red, and striped mixtures of the two. I really hoped it would come back, and so it did! large and robust, with two more beside it. It is covered with tiny buds, and I should be able to take some colorful pictures soon.

I love daylilies. As the larkspur gradually begin their decline, the daylilies are starting to open up. As you can see, there are many to come!

Swinging back to the side, I do enjoy the color palette of this bed of larkspur, artemesia, and yarrow, the soft colors and feathery foliage with that little punch of yellow. It always looks light and cool.

I am going to have to plant more poppy seeds for next year, just in case. I'll try to save seeds from this one. I love that red with the black center. I have a packet of California poppies, too, that was given to me by the owner of the B&B I stayed at in San Diego. I will have to write about that soon and show some pictures. It is amazing. If you love courtyard gardens, Mexican and vintage folk art, colors and tiles - check out Vintage Sol. 

And a teaser - my current progress on the wicking garden. It went on hold when I went to California to give a talk at a conference last month, and remained so with all the catch-up that happens when you go out of town for almost two weeks. And the bog took precedence. Now I am trying to rotate tasks a little more.

I need to buy more bags of rocks. I am using perforated drain pipe and river rocks in a hole with pond liner. I am leaving the middle cinder blocks, and the others are to keep the pipes submerged for now, until the next layer goes on. Once I fill in with some more rocks, I will put a layer, doubled, I think, of the landscape fabric from that big roll. Then something I picked up at the wicking garden talk at Emerald Garden nursery - a layer of sand, then another layer of landscape fabric. Then I get to shovel all that dirt back and build the raised bed sides. It is coming along slowly. I have limited energy and time. But there is progress nonetheless.

Garden on!

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