• What am I ‘really’ doing in the garden today?

    by  • September 1, 2010 • Summer

    Cynosurus echinatus Dogtail grass

    Cynosurus echinatus, Annual dogtail, Dogtail Grass, bristly dogstail grass, hedgehog dogtail grass

    What I’m really doing in the garden today?  Coffee, then raking paths, clipping faded flowers. Deep watering the new-ish rock garden plants…always a risk to plant in the summer heat, but I hope for their survival!

    I was shocked to see half of my cherry tree eaten by worms, so stopped to hose the off.  One of the scrubby oaks was cut down on a bank and I stopped there to trim all but one strong trunk coming up. If you have to cut an oak down, they will come up as a bush if you don’t pull the stump out or spray it. Some can start over as smaller trees like this one.

    Some of the Indian blanket wildflowers were dry enough to pick and save the seeds. You wait until the stem turns a bit brown and then they’re ready.

    With help from experts, I’ve ID’d the grass growing everywhere in the fields below the garden, as dogtail grass, I was hoping it was a native, but no.  Cynosurus echinatus, Calflora says, is an annual herb that is not native to California; it was introduced from elsewhere and naturalized in the wild. It’s an attractive grass, with tipped seedheads and turns a mellow gold in  late summer.

    Saw a tiny, but long snake.  Was it a rattler, my husband asked hopefully? No,  I said, but noted that it crawled quickly, I mean lightning fast into a flower bed that I often walk into. I guess I make enough noise to scare them away.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.