Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Farewell to my USA yarden

As I prepare to fly back to the UK, I am sad to be leaving my new garden/yard here just as its settling in and starting to grow. In January we did some basic  landscaping and planting - quite a simple scheme but it gives us much pleasure. We were hesitant to invest a great deal in this as we are only renters but I certainly couldn't live without plants and a garden, and Philip loves it too, even if he won't get his hands dirty! If you check back to 'Finally a Garden' you will read about the initial landscaping.   

The yard as it was before we started
After some 'shaping' at planting time in January

As it now is in late spring

Now four months later it's starting to look quite settled and compared with the earlier pictures, most plants have established. The Alyogyne has grown like crazy and flowered profusely. Strangley the yellow Mexican Bird of Paradise, Caesalpinia gillesii, has grown well and looks set to flower soon but the common orange form has sulked, so today I have replaced it with a Bougainvillea 'Flame' that I couldn't resist and moved the sulker to a gap in the front yard. My variegated bougainvilleas which were in pots and came from our previous property, suffered badly in a December frost and have been very slow to recover - no doubt also struggling to root out from the pot-bound rootballs they had made. A Grevillea 'Red Hooks' was doing well until it was snapped by the wind and had to be abandoned. Coincidentally Jim had the same plant he wanted to remove from his from yard, so we transplanted his but it currently looks a bit sad, despite hard pruning.

Tecoma stans

Leonotis leonora
Hibiscus - lost most of its leaves bur seems to be recovering

Tecoma 'Sparky' - love this!

Alyogyne huegelii
View from our patio dorrs
The wind - reminds me of trees in Cornwall!

Over recent weeks we have had persistent wind that is typical of this area at this season. I feel that whilst nothing has been killed by the wind it has slowed growth on plants like the citrus which are struggling.  So this morning I have juggled the last few infill plants, fed with a slow release fertiliser and stocked up with an emergency back-up irrigation system - some seephose and a sprinkler. Should the current system fail, a replacement needs to be in place within 24 hours or the severe mid-summer temperatures will kill everything.  Probably seems a strange problem to those of you back in the UK struggling with waterlogged soils! But gardening anywhere is usually a challenge as well as a pleasure!

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