Yardwork Catch-up

We haven't been sitting around admiring the views all that much. Though the big fat yellow moon rising yesterday evening and setting early this morning - that was stupendous. No photos: please use imagination!

Mr Wood Rat has finished reinforcing the bottom of the black wire pool fence with 1/2 inch square wire mesh. He dug a trench and made sure there were no gaps, but didn't go down 18 inches, which I hear is what it takes to really keep out the bunnies. Too difficult and disruptive on this sloping area (steep slope within 2-3 feet of the fence). So we'll see. Nice job, Rat!

I saw those clarkia seedlings grow long and lank and thought the need to transplant was urgent, but now I'm not so sure it was. Why did they get so lanky? Too much water and not enough sun? Or is that just what clarkia does? First times are always full of question and doubt.

I split them up into deep 4 inch pots, and many survived. They are just looking lanky in more pots. I lost quite a few to stem breakage. I did some pots with just one, some with a small clump, some with just two. If half a dozen survive and reproduce, it'll be just fine. An out of season experiment.

Like Town Mouse, I did some pruning, and need to do a lot more. I pruned the heck out of the large Ribes indecorum. Here it is just after I started, and realized I should take a "before" shot. It's just budding now so I wanted to get this done. It's blocking a path. Who knew it would be a giant!

I could see some bad results of my former pruning efforts (first attempts again!) and tried to take corrective action. Hope I can learn by observing what didn't work before. I will go back and do a bit more I think. Eliminate crossing branches. Make the last bud at the end be the one whose direction we want to grow in. Thin out clumps of too many branches.

Another thing I did was gather seeds from the last Ceanothus thyrsiflorus growing on our property. Actually it's just half a Ceanothus thyrsiflorus as the other half blew down in a storm a couple years ago. I do want to propagate that. I keep trying. (I would also like to find some local ribes and get some going - our last one died just shortly after I noticed it was there. Don't know what kind they were.) I got a few little bags from a party shop - the kind you put favors in for a wedding. They did a great job of catching the seeds.

It wasn't so hard cleaning them either - a bit fiddly getting the seed coverings separated. I just blew and picked and sieved till they were gone. The last batch I stratified got mold on em. This time I sterilized the damp peat in the microwave before putting the seeds in the fridge to chill for a couple months. Then - it'll be into the greenhouse with them, I hope!

Wood rat also cleaned up the beds on the black fence side of the pool garden. Clean palette. Scary! We are going to mound up a bit near the end where the old lawn is piled up into a lump, and bring the soil level up a bit generally. Need to grow a few things along the fence to minimize it, yet leave gaps to see through. We'd like to make the madrone more visible and the views down the valley - may need to prune some of the toyon to do that - not sure about that one. Ideas for this area most welcome!


Christine said…
Wow, I feel like I just got caught up in a whirlwind! So much activity out your way- but I had to laugh when I read that you only thought to take a before picture right after you started. I always end up doing that! As for against the fence, I'd say a Ribes sanguineum or something airy like that- Redbud, too? Congrats and good luck with the propagation!
Gail said…
You've been very productive! This time of year can be as much fun and as busy as spring. Not sure how your climate might differ from ours though! The fence line looks like Mr Rat had some hard work to do! Hope it works those bunnies are clever. I haven't seen many bunnies here lately, but the dear deer will be arriving to nibble on the burr oak acorns. gail
Barbara said…
You have a lot of projects going! I didn't know you could sterilize in a microwave, good to know.
Town Mouse said…
I'm so impressed by your propagation successes! I realize I didn't keep much seed from last spring's bounty, now I'm debating whether to order some more or whether I had enough self-seeding going on...
I appreciate nature for sure but I'm thrilled we don't have bunnies to worry about. It looks like you have to do quite a bit to keep them out of the garden. We just have gophers, and that's quite enough! It's nice to see your progress with the seedlings. I wonder if you'll have some seriously early flowers on the clarkias.