this and that

Well this year has been quite a busy one for me in terms of paying attention to the garden. Over the last year or so I’ve been slowly adding stuff to the front of the house, a hanging basket here and there. But it was several months ago when I put in a *really* functional watering system that I’ve stepped things up.

My house has a long porch that runs the length of it, maybe 60-70 feet long? I should measure it one of these days. It sits back about fifteen feet from the street (no not very much; the previous owners evidently meant to maximize the backyard as much as possible). So there’s a planter that runs along the length of the porch, then a strip of lawn, and then the street. The uphill end is rather shaded, since it’s north and also there are two liquid amber trees in the lawn on that half. The downhill end, the south end, is dry and sunny. This gives me quite a variety of microclimates to work with.

I’ve got hanging plants that run the length of the porch, between every set of porch roof supports. From north to south, I have: a fuschia plant, since this is the cool shaded end, with a pair of white double impatiens framing the front door entry. Then that’s followed by a pair of other impatiens variety, one white and one pink, which are basically single giant impatiens flowers. Then there’s a pink double impatiens in the full sun, and then a cherry tomato plant at the south end. I plan to replace the white giant impatiens with a begonia since it’s not flowering but its pink cousin is and the only difference here is that hte pink one is getting the sun. So the giant white will move to a sunny spot in the planter and a red begonia will replace it.

Then along the bottom of the porch, I have, from south to north: a (new!) roma tomato plant under the cherry tomato, then a strawberry pot that is still empty (no luck finding strawberry plants on today’s shopping trip) then my very own colour pot, mostly in shades of pink, blue and purple (with the silver dust in the center). Then we have my red-yellow calla lilly (in the shade now), followed by my red wine geranium (under the giant white impatiens). Then we have fern central, with three different ferns clustered together, then there’s a white kalanchoe pot and a pink/yellow begonia pot. Then a birdbath and that’s it for on the porch.

The planter, from the north end, starts out with a short end (on the one side of the front door entrance) and that has mint and old freesia in it. I’d like to plant some sort of fern as well for the rest of the season, but the mint takes over pretty well here. On the other side of the front door entrance is the long planter. The north end of this has some cyclamens and impatience (freesia throughout; at the moment, it’s dying back so not very interesting). I have mums, both white and purple, some interesting plants I planted last year and haven’t come back yet. More south, there are the herbs: I’ve got three basil plants, one pepper (hot) plant, a bell pepper plant, sage, thyme (more freesia) and cilantro (which is mostly just going to seed, it’s too determined to do that than grow cilantro leaves).

There used to be three more trees in the front yard (I know; that’s why I cut them down, plus a fourth one on the far north end) and at the moment the stumps are still (I’m too cheap to pay for digging them out). I plant flowers in “fairy circles” around them. One has delphinium and something else around it, another has cosmos around it (very good looking) and the third has zinnias (also a great, colourful choice).

Then along the side yard on the north end (the south end is just paved over and theoretically goes to the detached garage in the back yard so nothing interesting on the south side yard), there’s a small apple tree (who the fuck plants apple trees here in southern California?) then a grapefruit tree (awesome), another apple tree (ditto WTF), a plum tree that died :-(. There was an orange tree but that died a long time back and isn’t even there as a dead tree anymore. Then there’s the back yard fence and I’ll leave the backyard for anotehr time, although the apricot tree is back there 🙂 as is the new tangerine tree.

I need to take out the two apple trees (WTF, redux) and the plum tree, and I’m trying to decide what I want to put in. I’m thinking maybe a japanese plum tree this time? Hrm.

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