|Today I planted the entrance garden bed. I also planted the old wheelbarrow. Photo from early evening.|
It's been a while since I complained about the entrance garden. That's partly because it's starting to look a little better -- but still, it's just a few inches of sandy chaparral soil over something very close to hard-pan. The coffeeberry is barely clinging to life but the wart-leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus papillosus, while just two feet tall, is leafing out. The Artemisia californica is similarly dwarfed but looking much better now. A couple salvias I put in there are giving me cause for hope too.
But after today, all being well, or even 50% being well, I won't have cause to complain any more. With a ton of tough plants a-growing in the greenhouse, and today's slightly warmer temps (mid fifties Fahrenheit) -- and the promise of a bit of rain in the forecast -- I got busy.
|Coyote mint, California fuchsia, etc. growing in the greenhouse.|
I decided to put in:
- Lavender bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus), maybe five plants, near the center, since it gets tall.
- Coyote mint (Monardella villosa), planted several around the edge of the bed in three places.
- Bladder pod (Peritoma arborea -- it's been renamed from Isomeris arborea), which I grew from seed Ms. Town Mouse kindly suggested I gather in her garden.
- Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis probably), along with its companion plants, here and there.
Except the bladder pod, they're all local natives grown from seed gathered one or two generations ago from nearby wild plants.
|Paintbrush (slender leaves), with coyote mint. I've also grown it with bush lupine and Torrey's melic grass.|
I have to say I'm very enthusiastic about the coyote mint. It grew really well in the south garden - just farther along the side of the house from the entrance garden.
|Monardella villosa, coyote mint growing in June 2015 in the south garden. Parent of all the current young plants. I was lucky to find one wild plant I hope to find more wild ones so I can widen the gene pool!|
I'm also excited about the bladderpod. A southern native, it can grow up to 5 feet tall. But I don't expect it to achieve such giddy heights in the entrance garden. Here's a picture of the flowers and interesting pods (Wikipedia):
"Bladderpod, Cleome isomeris" by Dawn Endico from Menlo Park, California - Bladderpod Uploaded by PDTillman. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.
Today I had help from a young gardener!
|My granddaughter, 4, did a great job as my garden helper today.|
|She dug, planted, patted, and watered the coyote mint! And all in her special dress and fancy shoes!|
|The bed is looking good! Though if these salvias take off, to say nothing of the little oak seedlings, I may have to transplant them! Too much of a good thing I can deal with.|
Of course the big question is whether the paintbrush will survive transplanting. I hope at least a few of them will -- cross toes!