Whoa....I did an initial run with my new clawed hand hoe. Shazaam! It's just the tool for tackling the bunched grasses and weeds on the brow of the eastern front slope.
I'm still chipping away at all the pathways through the back garden. I managed today to finish off the stairwell walk and cleared away the rudies blocking the sun to the iris rhizomes in the 'mater bed. Today, I also managed to continue the front walk to the eastern front boundary and the back walk behind the fenceline iris bed in the back.
Next up should be the rudie/iris shuffle and breaking out the chain saw to finally take down the lilac snag in the southeast corner, a finally exposing the abomination of the shitty back of the back neighbor's garage to full, unimpeded view. I'll prolly lean the downed limbs against it as an attempt to provide visual distraction, but I'm not convinced it is going to work. I have already planted a climbing hydrangea, but that will take years to cover the wall my back neighbors made in to a majorly FUGLY expanse.
I'm waiting for the box of new iris rhizomes to arrive. Now, I'm ready. I have locations along the back fence, and in the front, thanks to clearing. I even have a spot or two in the 'mater patch. I'm hoping to get the shuffle of my existing iris completed before they arrive.
Also, I have to de-rudie from around the new 'Double Delight' rose I planted in the balcony rose bed. That should also bring more light to some iris rhizomes already there.
The hanging fuschia basket is still a basket case, but there are a few more blooms. The heat dome did it in.
The hunt for woodbine nightshade has now netted two vines. The first came out of a clump of iris in the front slope; it was wedged in in front of one of the decorative boulders that makes up the front slope. The second came out of the midst of Cecile Brunner, the huge fairy rose next to the back fence.
I still have two more. The one growing along the back fence (and up the back of the hideous garage wall) will be easy. The other grows up from next to Sweet Surrender in the back (the most difficult to reach) portion of the balcony rose bed. It will require 'tunneling' through the biomass to get to the root. The biomass is festooned with thorns. It will not be fun.
Sounds like proper overlording. Are you a good servant though? I must say ours are behaving themselves at night most of the time. By now they know they'll get hell if they dare wake us at night. Especially on a night the kids finally don't wake us up.
★ Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. ★
The Earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"...
As it happens, I was rudely awakened just last night. I had one overlord asleep on my torso and another trompling over my body. I had failed to fill the food bowl before retiring for the evening. It seems that 3 am is a snack time.
Ho! The waning hours of daylight finally works to my benefit.
I am a sun-dodger. I avoid direct sunlight like a vampire. I am short, pale, and goofy-looking, and I'm susceptible to the wild melanoma. In the depths of summer when the daylight runs long, those early morning hours which allow me to work in the shade in my back garden are often ones I'm reluctant to either leave my bed, nor rush my morning rituals for. But, with the loss of hours of light, I've revived myself before the sun arises and I make use the long shadow hours to do work in the back garden. (The best work in the front is in the long shadow hours in the evening.)
So, today looks bright and clear and I've been driven from the back garden. Yesterday, the clouds rolled in midday. I don't think I shall be so lucky today.
Today, I finished the Val de Loire shuffle. They were trapped behind the rhubarb tub and so close that the huge leaves of the rhubarb were shading them. Now, they are located at the front, easterly, corner of the garden shed. And, now the track is clear to shift the rhubarb tub southeast toward the birdbath/bee beach. I'll leave that to when all the vegetation is gone.
I emptied a pot along the patio that had marjoram and what I think were rhizomes plugged in from an earlier thinning of yellow and white 'Tulip Festival' rhizomes. Since I replanted the best rhizomes in the 'mater patch, I have no need to continue the pot. I transferred the three best rhizomes to the crest of the eastern front, near the rose rugosa, and set the remainer aside for gifts.
And, my box of new rhizomes from Schreiner's Iris Farms arrived this afternoon. That's five 'Here Come the Sun' rhizomes (yellow self), 3 'Hollywood Nights' (deep purple self with a light throat), one each of 'Black Suited', 'Immortality', and 'Starring' (black self, white self, and black & white amoena, respectively), and a bonus bright yellow called 'Garden Time'. The black & white trio are intended to be planted as a group.
I have checked that the three iris rhizomes can fit in the former marjoram pot, with considerable room to grow. This means that I shall proceed with my original plan to interplant some spring bulbs in the same pot. The problem is, most spring bulbs are not yet on the market and I may have to wait for them to arrive, because the bulbs need to be under the rhizomes.
The screamin' yella rudies are now fading to muttering burnt umber and losing petals altogether. The rudies are done. They are now making winter chow for the bushtit clan. The towhee family has already stopped by and will prolly be back and I notice that I'm getting regular short visits from the goldfinches. I compare it to coming by to open the oven and see how the bake is proceeding. Just checking.
I have continued with a culling of the crocosmia on the eastern front slope. This requires I revert to my younger goat days, climbing the hillside with a hand adze. I'm not yet done, but it looks a lot better and has some real promise for relocating misplaced volunteer ferns from the back, along with a healthy dose of rudies.
The cornus kousa in the western front plateau is producing its fruit, which looks vaguely like a strawberry (right size, right color, wrong place, bad taste). The katsura at the street is producing yellow leaves. It will be first to shed its leaves for dormancy. The Persian ironwood across the street may precede my katsura.
Oh...I'm finally getting a decent bloom show out of my ragged hanging fuschia basket. I've prolly about two dozen blooms and more on the way.
ETA: Ooooo...oooo...I got online notice that my fragrant mix of daffodils is on its way! I won't have to delay long on the iris and daffy tub project.
Yes, daffodils are perennial. I also found out that most vermin don't eat the tops of daffodils. They've evidently some element which upsets tummies.
I finally got my parcel of 'fragrant daffodils' (cursed be FedEx!). It took nearly a month to ship the damned things here from Ohio (while a larger parcel of miniature bulbs, starting from Utah, got here in three days, via USPS), and just in time to be included in the pot of black & white iris, so my plan was not foiled by shitty parcel delivery services (I'm looking at you, FedEx).
Now, I've the second bag of miniatures to plug in wherever I damned well please. I plugged the first bag into the eastern front slope and parking strip. I'll prolly put more in the eastern front slope and make sure I manage to get a cluster down in the western parking strip. Then, I've a couple of deep, dark purple "Sultry Challenger" iris rhizomes I plugged in to a pot pot in the back, which are now ready for the move to the front, where they'll take a place along the upper eastern walk, near the top of the front steps. They should go well with the pastel purple selfs now there. Then, as I can, I'll selectively move rudies from where they are unwelcome in the back to a preferred new location in the front, usually where I've just put in miniature daffy bulbs. That way, the rudies will be a marker for me not to dig at that spot and overturn miniature daffy bulbs.
The third bloom of the roses had gotten off to a decent start (just as I was taking down the last few stalks of second bloom stems) when the rains hit. This means that although 'Sweet Surrender' missed its usual bud blast session at the beginning of the bloom season (during the first, June bloom), but has now compensated by suffering autumn bud blast. I'll take down about half of the blooms now open thanks to rain-induced bud blast. Luckily, most of the buds of the rest of the roses are still closed tight and not susceptible.
So...The bulbs are all in. The frag collection is in the pot with a few miniatures and topped with the three iris rhizomes. I finished it just in time for it to be watered in by a day's rain.
Today, being a dry day after a day of rain, was excellent for transplanting, so I shuffled the saved "Sultry Challenger" iris rhizomes out of the cannabis pot it had been parked in and moved the best specimens to the brow of the eastern front slope, near the stairs. I'm hoping they'll produce decent blooms next year. I'm also hoping it will rain tomorrow...or, even today. It left me with twin fans of that variety to pass on.
The garden store on the major thoroughfare to the south, Naomi's, which went out of business at the beginning of the growing season (April-May?), seems to have been replaced. Today, I just noticed that there is a new garden store in the same location. Strange timing, but this is promising. I'll have to see if there are familiar faces or an entirely new crew.
ETA: Their online page lists them as 'LGBTQ+ friendly' and 'woman-led', so I'm guessing it is now communally run and Naomi has moved on or within.
I hope so. SymbiOp is the new name. I'll prolly have as much trouble remembering it as 'Naomi's'.
Another drippy day. Good for transplanting, but cool and damp. A closed door day for the felines.
I am resisting the temptation to deadhead the blown rose blooms. They need to go dormant and hipping out does that. Ergo, no more deadheading.
The katsura in the parking strip is going to drop all its leaves here in the forthcoming fortnight. So, I moved my minivan forward to under the shitty maple. Once the leaves are removed from the katsura, I'll return my vehicle to its usual spot on the street. I have finished with the weeding of the strip and have only to transplant some more rudies along the strip, particularly over the miniature daff bulbs I just plugged in.
I'm still waiting for the storm that drops all the leaves from the katsura. The top leaves are blown and the rest of the leaves are all yellow. It'll just take a decent windy day to strip it to stems and branches. I'm still parking the van under the maple.
The 'bomb cyclone' event that just slammed northern California with shiploads of rain and snow (depending upon elevation) brought excess rains and gusting winds in these parts, as well. Actually, the 'bomb cyclone', an extreme low pressure cell developing within 24 hours, was directly off the northern coast of Oregon. Surface air tends to shift from high pressure areas to low pressure areas, creating 'wind'. The greater the gradient, the higher the winds. If you've heard me talk about 'the Gorge', the Columbia River gap through the uplifted Cascade mountains, allows air to funnel from higher pressure cooled air from the upland plateaus to the east to flow west in to the valley where I live, and on eastwards to the ocean. These are the infamous 'East Winds of the Gorge'; hot and desiccating in the summer, frigid and lethal in the winter. This is why the interstate highway which runs through the Gorge is erratically and sporadically closed by ice on the roadway during the winter months.
So, we had gusting winds. The katsura tree is now entirely stripped of all leaves. I have moved my vehicle back in to its usual spot on the street under the katsura tree.
Despite all the rains and gusting winds, my felines are insistent upon spending a fair amount of time outdoors. With Murray, I expect that, as he is largely impervious to the rain. But, generally Cleo is ticked (it's genetic, I'm sure) and cranky about the weather. She's going out a lot and staying out a fair amount of time. When she is in, I'm getting lectures about what a failure I am as a hoomin. So, when I finally stepped out the back door (rather than just the balcony), I noticed that a LOT of little birds, both stem feeders and ground feeders, fluttered up out of the garden. It seems that the back garden has gotten some decent Yelp ratings in the local bird population. That, in turn, engenders an increase in the attention span of my felines.