A few posts ago I mentioned I was working on a special little garden and would write more about it soon. Well, I was writing about my dad's memorial garden. My dad passed away in April. We miss him, but how can we feel bad -- 97 years of full life, and an easy passing. Can't complain.
We enjoyed having Dad live in the cottage next to our house. For the ten years he lived there, he fed the hummingbirds, gave 'em as much as they wanted -- sometimes a gallon of syrup a day! I'm feeding them now, much less, and planting hummingbird favorites around the cottage to provide lots of nectar.
As well as feeding the hummingbirds and caring for Duncan, his dog, Dad liked building computers -- lots of them! -- and also taking pictures of birds at the bird bath he could see from his window.
|Dad's photo of a visiting black-headed grosbeak. You can view an album of his pictures here: Santa Cruz Birds.|
|Dad's memorial garden - work in progress. Ribes nevadense in foreground.|
Because I'm filling the bird bath every day or so, I can give this area some extra water. So I'm trying a few plants that need more water, or can tolerate it.
|Ribes thacherianum, Santa Cruz Island gooseberry|
|Ribes sanguineum, pink flowering currant|
|Blossom of the pink flowering currant - R. nevadense is similar.|
Three different flowering currants - from this year's CNPS spring plant sale:
- Ribes sanguineum, pink flowering currant: Likes partial shade, occasional to moderate water, depending on where it's growing -- can also take regular water.
- Ribes Thacherianum, Santa Cruz Island gooseberry. Likes part to full shade, occasional to moderate water. Dark pink to white flowers. It's rare in the wild.
- Ribes nevadense, pink Sierra currant -- the high mountains version of pink flowering currant. Flexible as to water -- can even grow with its feet in water. Later flowering than the others - listed as April to July, and can take sun to partial shade.
And a mixture of other local wild flowers both just growing there, and some I had to hand from spring planting, mainly:
- Alum root - Heuchera micrantha
- Golden yarrow - Eriophyllum confertiflorum
- Ruby chalice clarkia - Clarkia rubicundum
- For late summer nectar, our local California fuchsia, Epilobium canis.
- Bush lupine, Lupinus arboreus
- Seep monkey flower, Mimulus guttatus
- I also planted a tiny coffee berry seedling just downslope - Frangula californica.
- And a wart-leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus papillosus, also on the downslope.
- Also a mystery sedge which is growing really well in another garden area. it is really nice and green.
|Some of what's just growing wild. Rough leaf aster, Eurybia radulina in foreground not blooming yet|
You'll have to check back next spring to see what all this can develop into, and its value to wildlife.
And here is Dad's great granddaughter, who used to light up his eyes with a smile. She will surely develop into a great gardener, if I have anything to do with it!
|Helping plant the garden -- my younger daughter and granddaughter|