Two paths and a patio, November First Views
As the sun comes up , I walk around the garden getting my first view of it this November 1st morning.
I start by walking out the door to the patio in back. (When you live in the country, you never know which is the front or the back until friends start to visit. They come in the front where ever it is!) In this case the patio faces the rising sun which is also the shady side in summer. Woe to those who have planned a west facing patio.
I got my first New England asters three or four years ago from a friend and in my garden notes after the first bloom in late October it says, “Get more asters!” So surprising, so thickly blooming and so welcome in this time of few bloomers they were and are. Deer do not touch these. Here they are mixed with grey lavenders.
Not much happing in ‘front’,…most all the plants have been trimmed of old blooms…lots of lavenders here that blend with the native plant colors for that muted grey-green look.
Near the roses I have more Shasta daisies to pull out. I’m in the process of removing them all …they are too much trouble for how briefly they bloom. Problem is they love it here and are stubborn about leaving for good.
Here are the two buddleias that I wrote about last summer and how they can be trimmed right to 18″ …I’ll do both this year.
Now coming around to the other side of the patio are the asters again with views of the lower patio and the garden shed. It’s very narrow here and before the plants filled in you felt you’d fall off the edge. I like all the colors of green here.
Further along you can see in the foreground Rockrose, thyme, Mexican sage, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ and Red Fountain grass. In the middle of the photo you can see the existing Sticky Whiteleaf Manzanitas I’ve kept as a screen from the lower patio. Below the bird bath and table are the choicest irises, Lamb’s ears and more asters.
Now heading down to the path that winds through most of the ‘cultivated’ garden, there is a creeping ‘Bee’s Bliss’ sage to the left, an autumn sage and some Heuchera. Our high class fire pit is a favorite with the grandkids and they all know how to start a fire, keep the hose near and put it out safely. We used to tell them we’d light the fire when they had spotted the first bat!
I’m looking down onto the next path which started out as a leach line, now the dividing line between the cultivated and semi natural gardens. By semi natural I mean I plant natives and weed,…add a bit more water.
Now continuing to the south on this same path I walk by the shady area between the oaks. I like to line the paths with these logs and reckon that when they completely decompose they’ll add to the soil.
Looking back the way I came, to the right is a ‘rain garden’ at the end of a buried drainage hose coming down off the patio. i have Columbines and a Rhododendron there and native redbuds are sprouting from the extra water there.
I glance toward the new ‘stomped down’ meadow and my heart sinks realizing that the filaree weed seeds are still sprouting thickly. Who knows how many native seeds are intermixed? What will happen next spring? I can recognize the filaree, though, and must tackle them soon…today, maybe.
On a more happy, joyful note,…here is my new CA native bed I planted with my sister, Karen, when she was here from New Zealand last month. We had a ball at our local nursery’s Harvest and Peace Festival, even wearing our hippie beads. We strolled through, enjoyed the day and at the end bought the plants for this bed at the south end of the path that runs just above the semi natural area between the two ‘leach line paths’.
We also planted double white daffodil bulbs I recently ordered from Brent and Becky’s and marked them with semicircles of rocks. Anticipation is one of a gardener’s biggest pleasures, I think.
Walking north, I’m heading to the bench where I love to sit. To the left is the ‘Salvia bed’ and you can now see the rustic split rail ‘fence’ strung together from rails and posts found on the place. Before the ‘Ray Hartman’ had swallowed it up.
Looking to the right, here in the semi natural meadow, in the foreground, are three grasses I have to move out. I planted three CA fuchsias, a Hummingbird sage, three Cleveland sage ‘Pozo Blue’, a yellow monkey flower and three Ceanothus thrysiflorus ‘Skylark’ further down by the deer grass and existing Golden fleece. This is where the wildflower plugs were transplanted.
Having paths to garden around has really added structure to an otherwise natural land. I plant to one side or the other and mark the planted areas with logs or rocks the ‘Weed Eater’ will know where not to go.
Thanks Town Mouse for this idea of First Views,..these posts of ours will be wonderful records of our gardens’ progress.