Sunday, April 19, 2009

Night Garden

I don't garden as much as I once did but I still enjoy the beauty of a well-planned garden. We live in a planned community in the country. This is California so land is at a premium. I have a half-acre but that still leaves me with some bit of nature outside all my windows. We have a problem with gophers in our community. I've lost over 300 bulbs, Allium, Lilies, Paperwhites, Daffodils and Amaryllis to these voarcious eaters. We also have some weather considerations that factor into my garden plan. Due to the winter lows, sometimes 30's and the summer highs, I had to be careful about plant selection. It doesn't sustain the cold so most bulbs do not propogate well. Tulips will not bloom a second year but Daffodils, Lilies and Amaryllis are willing to bloom and thrive but must be planted in pots to protect them from critters. I wanted the Clematis and Peonies that you find in New England. I wanted the Rhododendrons that I have seen in the Pacific Northwest.

I have a Sweet Autumn Clematis that is a huge mane of white flowers on my back fence. I nursed a Peony for 4 years and only got leaves. sigh. I found a Rhododendron (Anna Kruschke) that will bloom in our area as long as I keep it shielded from the summer sun which will toast its leaves. I have had flowers on one of my Rhodies for 3 years. This year my potted Rhody rewarded my diligence with blooms. There must be 20 blooms on this plant. The color is not my favorite, I love the ones I have seen in Washington state. But it makes a large long-blooming flower that opens a bit every day for over a week.

A few years ago I planted a giant Angel's Trumpet vine (Brugmansia). It blooms 4 or 5 times a year with this huge white fragrant flowers. The entire plant is toxic so I planted it with my grandchildren and pets in mind.

I love the spreading waves of lavendar and have it planted in several places in my garden. Blue is not an easy color to plant in a garden so I was pleasantly surprised to find Ruellia (blue flower) in the Native plant section of my local garden shop. It does not need constant watering which is good sine we are always in or on our way to another drought in southern California.

I have 3 vines planted on my patio fence, only about 12 feet long. The first vine to bloom is the Potato Vine which covers the fence with profuse pinkish white blooms starting in March. Some people like the fragrance of the Potato vine, I am not one of them. But they put on a great show. When they are done blooming, I start getting Honeysuckle vine. The Hummingbirds love this flower and the fragrance is lovely. The Hummingbird Moth also loves the Honeysuckle vine and stops by for night-time drinks of the nectar. Sometime in May, the Passion Vine that hosts my butterfly garden starts blooming and continues to bloom until October. No fragrance but what a show of purple.

As summer approaches, I will have white Rock Roses, Cannas, Cleome and Queen Anne's Lace, coneflower, Butterfly bush, lantana and many more flowers.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks