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Autumn 2017 Garden
- • Back. Minor adjustments here. One new Epilobium canum (California fuchsia) to replace the Galvesia that didn't survive a June hot spell. Four new Festuca californica (California fescues) to patch holes in the meadow under the oak, and, in one case, to improve the curve and definition of the back path a bit. Three new Penstemon 'Margarita BOP' (probably an F2 hybrid of P. heterophyllus and P. laetus) scattered along the path and next to the patio (in places otherwise filled by strawberries), sort of as experiment to see how this one does
- • Maple Bed. Even less here. A new post at the SE corner of this bed to serve as a hose guide. A new Saliva spathacea next to it to fill in that corner.
- • Fountain Bed. A near-full re-do of a modest area between the fountain and infiltration bed in front of the dogwood. Some moves, some removals, and several new plants. The latter includes 3 Mimulus guttatus, 3 Helenium bigelovii, 2 additional Struthiopteris [Blechnum] spicant, and 2 additional Epipactis gigantea. The changes seek to fill gaps, put the Epipactis on better display, make better use of all that moisture from the fountain's spray, remove plants that were getting too much sun, and provide a more focused view from the house. Elsewhere a Juncus replaced a sword fern and an Aquilegia eximia went into a spot otherwise populated by strawberries.
- • Rose Bed. Continued work on the significant bed-wide replanting begun in June. The combination of realigning the bed on the west side, removing the lupines (unsatisfactory), and removing the Galvesia (died) produced a fair amount of open ground that needed rework. The new plantings -- those from June and these -- also aim to provide more coherence of color and form than I had this year. More moves. This month's new plants: 10 California annuals (poppies, baby blue eyes, Collensia), and 3 Aquilegia chrysantha. This rework also makes way for the addition of two roses when they become available.
At the end of October, I also began to pay more attention to the front garden. Years ago, I planned it to have year-round interest but be best in autumn and winter when the back was least active. Its early autumn peak this year was quite impressive. I spent some time in early November reviewing where things stood. Part of that included this retrospective look at the back from my photo archives. I then began some overdue maintenance: heavily pruning the junipers, dividing the Algerian iris and Amaryllis. There were a few planting tweaks too. More pruning, division, and tweaking will likely be coming in 2018, but I think the basic outlines are fine. Previous gallery.