Yesterday, I talked Glenn into a visit to Yamagami’s Nursery, to check out the end of season sales on perennials. There has been a lot of pressure to plant this fall to plant trees, shrubs and perennials, perhaps for fear of die off resulting from the protracted drought this year. I was happy to help out, mostly because I have never been able to do this before! In Canada, it was ‘okay’ to plant late in the year, for most things. You would definitely have a better chance of success if planting was done in the spring, but for most plants EARLY fall was okay as well. There were definite exceptions, but those were generally ‘marginal’ plants, whose recommended zones were at the limits of the area involved. Plants like azalea, rhododendron, and butterfly bush were generally called ‘tender perennials’ in Ontario, definitely not advised for greenhorn gardeners!
The plants that we adopted were few, but will hopefully thrive and enhance the appearance of the back yard. A second bougainvillea was an easy choice. I already have two cherry red flowered boogies, one in the back and one out front beside the driveway. The new baby, however, is a brilliant fuchsia pink!
These particular plants are very popular down here, since they love to scramble up bare board fences and drape themselves over the top rail before exploding into bloom. They crawl along fence tops for up to 10 feet, and can be found in reds, pinks and white. They are singularly beautiful, with an extremely long blooming season, and very low water needs.
The next adoptee was a Plumbago, a shrub not related to plums, but an absolutely gorgeous plant. It will, at maturity, be about six feet tall, and eight feet wide. It blooms in perpetuity, and only sips water, so won’t be killed by a year like this one was. Though the photo doesn’t do it justice, it is covered with pale bluish mauve blooms, that will last till late autumn, then redevelop in the mid spring.
This was a perfect day for working in the garden. Considering the date is November 9th, this weather is not making sense to us ex-northerners, but when you can’t beat ’em…… Today’s high was 26 degrees C, with a gentle breeze. It made it less of an issue to top all of the garden beds up with rich compost and manure laden topsoil, and massage it is gently so as to not disturb the developing seedlings in the vegetable garden. My second crop of mixed green and yellow beans is just starting to protrude from the still warm earth. The dozing tomato plants are starting to bloom a bit again, so we might be lucky enough to get a few fruits there! I would appreciate getting a few tomatoes about now, since avocados are at the peak of their season, and can be purchased at the farmer’s markets several for a dollar. The wonderful health benefits of avocado is slightly diminished by the tortilla’s used to scoop up the guacamole!
Even though we have had a couple of good rains since Labour Day, the drought is not being declared over. Last winter was extremely light, making the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains far too small. This means that the level of water seeping down the mountains into the resevoirs that supply all of us here in the valley is far, far too low. With luck, the rains will start to visit more often, since the wet season is nearly upon us. When it rains down here, the snow pile begins to build up in the nearby eastern mountains. This includes Lake Tahoe (Nevada), California’s winter playground.
We also found out today that Evan, Claire and Willa have booked plane tickets to come for a visit in mid January. We can hardly wait to see them again, and show them around here! We’ll be alone for Christmas, but two weeks later we won’t be, so we’ll have to just focus on that fact if we get feeling blue!