I have not been up to writing lately. I'm still in the middle of a pretty significant family ordeal that has me here, there and everywhere…. in body and spirit.
When I'm at my own home, which is only a couple of days a week at this time, I find myself being soothed and "brought down" a few notches by my time in the garden.
I can lose myself for several hours just puttering away at nothing. I'll put my audio book on as my over-taxed brain gets the respite it so desperately needs right now.
I just had no idea how important this simple time spent weeding, watering or turning the compost pile would be to me at a critical moment in life.
So…. I just wanted to take a few moments to share the photos I've taken over the last couple of weeks in the garden. I enjoy getting up close to the flowers, fruits, veggies and foliage. It makes me feel small.
In a good way….
If you are a regular to this blog, you already know how much I love variegation in my garden.
The love-fest continues…….
|I think I now have five of these wonderful shrubs around the yard.|
Coprosma "Marble Queen". Here, I like it against the dark green behind...
|My pal Tasha gave me this fern when she divided hers.|
The ornamental oxalis was a surprise...
|This viburnum looks as though autumn has arrived….|
|The variegated plectranthus is a beast, and I love it.|
Especially here, with the burgundy leaves of the maple.
|I know…it's a whole lot of variegation going on here.|
But….is that so wrong???
Plus, this combination takes hardly any water in part shade.
In California, we are having major issues with lack of water. I have let so many water-hog plants go. When I first created the garden, we were in a few wet years, and water didn't seem to be as much of a problem. Now, it's crucial to keep the watering under control. Fortunately, most of my garden is pretty well established, so it does ok.
Like I said, I let plants go if they can't take the new water restrictions….it's not easy, but it is essential.
I started using more and more simple succulents a few years ago, and now they provide me with enough "babies" to spread all around the garden. I like.
|Ahhhhhh…succulents AND variegation!|
A match made in garden heaven.
|I have posted these bad boys before…but you have no idea how huge they are!|
Really, the size of large platters, not plates…platters. They get the benefit of
all the yummy food I give the nearby climbing rose.
|My Grandma called these "pork & beans".|
Perfect as a border in the rose garden.
|A little "garden moment" going on here.|
The begonia is another gift from Tasha's garden.
|This small aloe was left by a fan of the gallery.|
He took some of my babies in exchange. Perfect.
I'm not big on super fragrant plants… if they are too sweet, it bugs my sinuses.
I do have a couple of choice plants for the area around the fire pit, which is where our main "hanging out" takes place. This is also where we have the gigantic red pot with the fishies in it. The small bubbling fountain is a nice touch with a glass of wine in the evening.
|My most favorite fragrant flower ever…white heliotrope.|
The purple is ok, but the white variety is like cookies baking.
Really good cookies.
|The white heliotrope from the picture, above, lives on a small side table between |
the lounge chair and this fish pond/pot. A nice spot to read.
I know that inside, these lilies, below, would make my sinuses explode…. but in the outer reaches of the garden, they send their perfume wafting through on the slightest breeze.
I planted them very early on. I got an offer of fifty bulbs for…maybe it was twenty dollars? I couldn't resist. They are super easy, and tough. Over the years, they have dwindled down in number, but I'm glad. I couldn't take too many. They are so powerful!
|So pretty! So perfume-y!|
Another favorite of mine, again from Tasha's garden, is a sweet little hardy geranium which takes some shade…and has variegated leaves. It dies back in the winter, and can be overwhelmed easily by other plants, so I keep it safe and sound in a pot….being watched over by Saint Francis.
I think it's a nice little scene:
|Anyone out there know the name of this little charmer?|
Finally, after too many years to remember, I found a spot to put my Geranium pratense "Mrs. Kendall Clark".
I have tried it everywhere…and no place worked very well. Either it was too sunny or too much
shade , not enough water…anyway, she now resides in an old cement sink that came with the house.
I think it's big enough to be a perfect container, and she gets good afternoon sun here, too. Plus, I have total control over water and soil conditions in a large container like this.
Now I remember why I purchased her in the first place- The magnificent flowers, of course!
My gardening friend, Laurie, gave me a little bromeliad as a hostess gift sometime ago. We had a nice garden visit, I remember, and afterwards, I found this wire basket that was doing a whole lot of nothing in the yard….so I planted this gem in some mossy stuff, watched it get way bigger….and this month she bloomed for the first time!
|I am keeping fingers crossed for lots more spikes of bloom.|
Then, bam! They start to knock me out with color.
This is why I can get so lost in the garden, I suppose. All the surprises and wonders….
|My funny "Hebe" that no one knows the name of.|
Anyone? It was a cutting from a very old garden I took care of years ago.
|She's one tough character, for sure. And she propagates like a dream…..|
She is in a few local gardens now.
|I don't know why I have this silly fuchsia.|
But I sure do like it when she blooms.
|Must be because we had a similar type when I was growing up.|
Usually in our area, they get mites and need too much water. This one breaks those rules.
I'll keep her!
With lots of help from the awesome Pedro (best garden helper…ever), my Fuji apple is way happier than before. I am so looking forward to fresh off the tree, sweet, juicy, and crunchy apples. There is no comparison to store bought when it comes to Fuji apples.
|Getting very good. I eat an apple every day with my lunch.|
These will be such a treat.
I took photos of my tomato plants just a week or two ago. Then today….
Let's just say….I think we will be having some tomatoes with dinner tonight….
|"Supice" tomatoes do well in our area.|
|I always plant them in good organic soil with lots of my own compost.|
I plant in black tubs for extra heat. It's not all that warm here.
|These will be picked and eaten before the day is done.|
|Four is a perfect number of tomatoes for tonight.|
Here's the thing….
My garden brings me all sorts of comfort and joy. Always has…well, when I'm not freaking out about aphids, gophers, skunks, raccoons, snails, earwigs, lack of water…..
But just now, writing this post? I don't know, maybe two or three hours have passed by….? And I've been able to escape all the shit I'm going through. This is huge.
I think I need to remember that writing this funny little bloggy is pretty damn good therapy, too.
I'll be here again sooner, rather than later…..it's just the right medicine for me.