Sunday, June 01, 2008

Late Spring still feels like Winter

Despite the warming that has gripped the Northeast, it seems to remain unseasonably cold and windy here in the Bay area. Even though its June 1st, we still are just barely breaking 60 degrees, and the wind is something fierce. The garden seems a bit stunted as a result It's either the cold or soil depletion, despite my attempts at ammending the soil organically with blood meal and a compost top dressing. This Clivia Miniata notwithstanding, it lasted forever in the shady cold against the south wall.

Further down are two images of the north wall. The Italian Jasmine (j. humilis) came down crashing through the redwood trellis, it's weighty branches snapping through finally after years of climbing with only minimum pruning.
We installed new trellis, and pruned the jasmine back, but are now wondering if the whole thing, roots and all, needs to go. A true garden quandry I have not yet resolved. On the one hand, the Jasmine grows like a weed, so it will fill the trellis quickly, but it shades all that is below and behind it, changing the climate of this bed completely. In fact the plants that were the understory here, helleborus, another Clivia and a Heuchera hybrid, I've moved to below the Antarctic fern on the East wall to protect from the sun (after first pulling out a giant red-flowered Abutilon 'nabob').

Here is the Clematis I've planted. I liked the dark red leaves and dark pink flowers. It seems to be thriving, though has a lot of die back that I think might be due to transplant shock. To the east of the Jasmine h. stump, I've crammed in a espaliered Meyer lemon. It looks pretty bad, and I have yet to sort out the composition.

I have also finally decided to remove the white jasmine in the west corner because despite the lovely fragrance when in bloom, most of the time the plant just looks like a bad hair day. Removing it will completely denude the entire trellissed North wall, at which point I may have a better idea about what to do--tabla rasa and all that.

Other troubles that plague me are the lack of citrus on my lemon and orange trees, both seen here with the orange on the left. Sometimes I think I should haul the blood orange out, but it is such a lovely tree, despite being soley decorative, that I don't have the guts yet to do it.
Despite all of my indecision and other various garden woes, I still get endless pleasure from the assortment of plants in the planter that seem to thrive despite the general neglect the receive. I think we got the dimensions just right and the depth has provided the roots of these plants, despite being very crowded and probably overplanted, with enough room to grow and thrive. I did pull out a Kangaroo paw that was hiding, not blooming, behind a euphorbia. Transplanted to under the cut jasmine, but it got fried in the 3-day heat wave we had in the middle of May.

Other new plants include two tomatoes in pots with cages, which is a first. All of these photos were taken on May 5th.