Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The KAFM 88.1 Native Garden revisited, one year on.

January 2015


Weeds and rain runoff, 2015.

Now; September 2016
Young plants planted after June of last year have only been watered once this year- in July.  
Does the Zinnia grandiflora tone down that lovely fire hydrant, Susan?  

Admittedly, a few foreigners have snuck into 1304 Ute Avenue's "Native Garden." I did not expect he mediterranean Limonium minutum, or Dwarf Statice, to not only survive but bloom unirrigated. It's 3" tall.

Interesting pollinators have been attracted. This bee rests on Sideroxylon lanuginosum, Gum Bumelia or Chittamwood, a dry Texas tree which has done remarkably well in this trial.  

We are honing in on the grass swath treatment; it's not perfect yet.  But it sure beats boxwood hedge.

The idea of a hybrid Mongolian plant dead in heaps around a native is a little ironic in memory of some of the stories of Genghis Khan's activities with Jin China.

I get a certain diabolical pleasure from chopping up and mulching my natives with plants which are not as appropriate as they are.  Here, a trial California Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca) enjoys a cooling skirt of blue mist spirea carcasses.  (Caryopteris x clandonensis)  I'll confess that the blue mist is a great bee feeding plant with a great xeric constitution, but its so over-used and poorly designed with.

The most guiltless joy was Euonymous getting chipped.  Now I'm a proper sicko.

We are adding new plants to fill in, experiment, or replace the few weaklings who failed.  
Our new system is to flag new plants within an established landscape so we remember to water them.  The flag may as well double as one of the shade-cloth's stakes.  It's easy to forget when you don't water anywhere else.

A couple corners where we took time to remove the worst of perennial weeds (Bermudagrass and field bindweed) are finally clean, so they just got plugged to fill in with the grass- Alkali dropseed.  Sporobolus airoides.  

An experiment in progress, Mentzelia decapetala in bud right of the door.
Stay tuned.  The crevice garden was full of educational disaster!