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Saturday, November 03, 2007


It's been a long time since I put up a gardening post. What with all the stress around the layoff and preparation for the visit to the maternal unit, there hasn't been much time for garden-minding.

Winter's been dancing around the edges of Autumn, killing the buddleia flowers while occasional odd days of warmth and sunshine bring the leaves to life. The shasta daisies put forth an occasional white-rayed flower with a deep gold heart. The alyssum has never stopped blooming, a froth of white cascading down the hill, making silvery-green pools around the feet of the bougainvillea.
The bougainvillea (the one with wicked thorns) is blooming wildly, all magenta and light green, while the other, less thorny individual has lost all its flowers and is concentrating on growing long, slender branches, gold-leaved, for next year's flowers.
Blackberry is invading everywhere, as is the seedy wild dill. It's lost most of its feathery fronds to various depredations, but occasionally lifts flat, gold, umbelliferous heads among its silvery bluish trunks. Oddly, the plumbago continues to bloom, pale flat bluish heads peeping through the packed trunks and leaves.
The Luculia is finally blooming, with its tiny pink balloons of buds and cerulean stamens against the deeper pink of the fragrant blossoms. One can't hardly walk past the front door without brushing its perfumed daintiness. And the solanum is blooming, much more than before, every two leaves seem to be sheltering a deep purple, yellow-throated cluster of blossoms. And the burmese plumbago, low-growing and bronze-leaved, is putting out flowers of an impossible gentian violet, although the leaves are redder than usual from our cool nights. The irises did not set their second bloom this year. I wonder why?

Down on the hill, the rose is sending forth long, thorny canes, invading the space of the echium, the ceanothus, the oleander, and the manzanita - almost crowding them out, in fact. I must teach it some manners.

The last of the scabiosa, the pincushion flowers, are blooming, deep burgundy and pale pink. The whites, creams, and darker pinks seem to have gone to seed, and lots of little seedlings are springing up all over the hillside. Nigella seedlings are everywhere, too, and I expect a glorious spring crop of blues and whites. Even the blue flax set most plentifully, and here and there the glorious gold gloriosa daisies and Mexican cosmos (nearly the orange of a marigold) and calendula, gold, orange, and yellow, and even Iberis, pinks, whites, and mauves, are blooming, punctuating the weedy greens of the hill.

My blue fescue (festuca ovina) survived everything that's been hurled at it this past two years, although a more golden variety cacked hopelessly under the deck.
The dietes (scourge of my garden!) is finally cut down to the point of a single blooming mound, but continues to propel itself into spots where its not wanted. The yellow iris took quite a beating, but I think it will survive. The white oleander at the bottom of the hill hasn't stopped blooming since March! A perfect white lace veil of blooms. And here and there I find a little treaure, a Canon Wendt linaria, or other toadflax blossoms, pink, yellow, mauve, dark gold, the occasional cluster of pink evening primrose, a lonely fleabane in all its glory, dark gold hearts, pink and white rayed flowers.

A garden is a wonderful thing. I don't know how I'd survive without mine. And later when the heat and sun wanes a bit, Bandicoot will come to call me in, or simply to sit by my side, companionably staring out at all the small life from the shade of my brimmed straw hat. We'll talk in low tones, he'll lean against my side. Madu may wander in and try for a hummingbird (they're much too fast for him, thank goodness, that indolent marmalade lump!). Gustav might cry from the deck for his "substitute mamma" to come back up. And perhaps a certain tub of marmalade, who shall remain forever unembarrassed by the bruiting about of his name will come to chide me for not paying attention to him, and only him, who deserves me more than anyone.

Miss Dainty Paws is far too precious to venture into the lower garden, where some passing canine! might be able to feast its lowly eyes upon her silvery gray visage and poison-green eyes. She'll be up on the high hill, looking down at us all below, unfeared by mouse or bird. She's fast enough to hunt them, but too small and light. I often worry an owl will carry her off some night. Unlike the other lumps which would require mutant eagles of vasty wing dimension. She'd make a tasty mouthful for a tiny pterodactyl.

Luckily, I needn't worry about those. Off to the garden, then!

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