• October First Views-California’s Fifth Season

    by  • October 5, 2011 • Fall, Garden, Sierra Foothills

    First Views is a meme that Town Mouse started to show seasonal view of larger areas
    of your garden, rather than more focused photos of certain plants. She has a Mr Linky widget on her page so others can enjoy this idea, and add links to their blogs. Please visit her page to see her views and add yours: October First Views (Town Mouse)

    Path view through the garden

    Path view through the garden

    In California’s ‘Fifth Season’, what Judith Larner Lowry calls the time between August and October, the iron hardy tarweed blooms and sets seed in our fields, there’s no hope of rain and most everything has bloomed and dried.  The primary color is yellow.

    Holocarpha heermannii, Heermann's tarweed

    Holocarpha heermannii, Heermann's tarweed

    After the Rudbeckia fades, after the wildflowers have seeded, the bright yellow tarweed seeds are beginning to attract the goldfinches by the hundreds. The oak trees are filled with them and the raucous Acorn Woodpeckers and Scrub Jays compete for the most noise. The low chirp of the quail bubbles up every afternoon and the deer appear,…hungry.

    Endemic Goldenfleece Ericameria arborescens and planted Deergrass, Muhlenbergia rigens

    Endemic Goldenfleece Ericameria arborescens and planted Deergrass, Muhlenbergia rigens

    I’m delighted to see that the deer grass above  has throw off several babies and those can be transplanted further out this Fall.


    During these last summer months and September, indicative of this ‘fifth season, ….until today, ….has been without rain, and the hand watering has grown to be a chore hopefully ending with today and tomorrow’s rain storm. I’m ready to go on to the next season of Autumn and begin planting bulbs which are waiting in their box, arrived last week. 

    Patio View

    Patio View

    We’ve had a last barbeque with all our friends and it’s seems time to make soup and put away summer worn out gardening jeans.

    Monster Ceanothus, tamed. I collected the fence posts, found around the place, to make a zig zag 'fence'

    Monster Ceanothus, tamed. I collected the fence posts, found around the place, to make a zig zag 'fence'

    In the garden, I’ve tamed the monster Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ into a tree form with loppers cleaning up the lower two feet so sun can allow plants to grow underneath. It now also reveals the rustic ‘fence post’ fence I haven’t seen for a year. Last year, I thought I had it trimmed enough, but it will grow big, to 15 feet!

    Natural meadow, planted with only CA natives, sage, Needle grass, CA fuchsia and monkey flower

    Natural meadow, planted with only CA natives, sage, Needle grass, CA fuchsia and monkey flower

    This year I planted three more, C. thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ but further out around the natural meadow where they can attain their natural size and shape.

    Patio bed

    Patio bed

    Mullein in my favorite early form

    Mullein in my favorite early form

     The mulliein from last month has been cut down and new early rosettes are forming here and there in the garden.  I’ll keep the ones in nice places, such as this one by the steps.

    East bank has Rosemary, Thyme, Euphorbia, Artemsia 'Powis Castle', a Rose 'The Gift', Asters, and Lavender.

    East bank has Rosemary, Thyme, Euphorbia, Artemsia 'Powis Castle', Rockrose 'Orchid Rose', a Rose 'The Gift', Asters, and Lavender.

    South bank, planted with gum plant, Carex buchananii 'Red Rooster', Salvia brandegei and Ceanothus 'Carmel Creeper'.

    South bank, planted with Gum plant, Carex buchananii 'Red Rooster', Salvia brandegei and Ceanothus 'Carmel Creeper'.

    Most everything that needed trimming back has been done, the Euphorbia (carefully, using eye protection), the Shasta daisies I have left, Black-eyed Susans, Salvia, Penstemon, Lamb’s Ears, Yarrow, Lavender, Santolina and Artemisia, Redtwig Dogwood,…all cut back and neatened for Autumn.

    A path, steeper than it looks, needs some steps, knocked out of place when the tractor went down.

    A path, steeper than it looks, needs some steps, knocked out of place when the tractor went down.

    Mulched bank, needs planting, something for dry shade.

    Mulched bank, needs planting, something for dry shade.

    Salvia bed gets afternoon shade

    Salvia bed gets afternoon shade, shows trimmed ceanothus. Now there's room for more salvia!

    Current and “Coming soon” bloomers: The new Anemones ‘Pamina’ have bloomed, the Asters budding and the Copper Canyon daisies are surprises that sit and wait until November.

    Reading: The Landscaping Ideas of Jays by Judith Larner Lowry

    About

    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.