Sunday, October 5, 2014

Californian Yard

 I've been back here in Palm Springs for over ten days now, so it's about time I told you about my little yard here and how my new plantings  have fared since I went away in May. Philip has been watching the irrigation, which despite being a simple system has worked without fail all through the heat of summer. A contractor has kept it basically tidy with strict instructions not to prune anything!

First four pictures, the yard now, October 2014

This last picture May 2014

As with all gardens there have been successes and failures and a few just simple disappointments. My original plant of Grevillea 'Red Hook's split in a spring wind and then Jim gave me one from his garden which has also failed. Pity I'd have liked to see that grow. The other total failure was Alyogyne huegelii - a pale blue mallow from Australia. This was doing fine, flowered like crazy through spring and most of the summer and then suddenly died. No idea why, although I have to say I have not seen others thriving in this area. The greatest disappointment is our plant of Strelitzia regina, bird of paradise, which at $48 was the most expensive plant we bought last spring. It is growing (barely) in a large clay pot but the foliage is badly scorched and flower spikes withered. I think the location may be too exposed to both full sun and wind, so I shall move it nearer the house.

Alyogyne - lost but not forgotten
Newly bought Strelitzia last spring

Strelitzia now - with the worst of the dead foliage removed

Otherwise plants have grown well. My three plants of purple fountain grass that came out of small pots in the spring are now a huge waving clump of purple foliage topped with pink flower spikes. The bougainvilleas that I brought from our last home have finally recovered from the touch of frost that burnt them last winter but are slow to flower.

Lazy bougainvillea!
Our original three citrus planted when we first moved in two years ago are still alive. The ruby grapefruit is thriving with four well formed fruits. the tangerine looks OK but is smaller and the Meyer lemon is struggling. The latter is now surrounded by a huge bush of a self-sown lantana that I probably should have removed but it looks good where it is so I may well abandon the lemon.
Breakfast later in the year!

You can hardly see the lemon amidst the spreading lantana to the left of the picture

 My pots of Calycanthus, Madagascar periwinkle survived the summer heat well and have seeded in the surrounding borders. This is a common bedding plant here looking very much like Busy Lizzies with a similar colour range but very heat tolerant. The UK summer is too cool for it outdoors. They are straggly now, so I will replace them with some winter colour - maybe petunias - always seems odd planting these things in the autumn.

Is it a weed or a calycanthus?

Finally, the big Agave that came from our old house got rather battered in the move but has now produced lots of new leaves, so Philip has tidied it up leaving a very presentable shapely plant - and yes it was Philip who found the pruners and did the work! Maybe I'll make a gardener of him yet!

1 comment:

  1. Philip has done well with the agave, looks very neat and in good health. The rest of the garden looks well too. Progress will fast track now that you're there again.