We’ve been busy cutting things back this past month. The redwoods and tan oaks needed limbing up for fire safety reasons. Instructions say the lower branches of the trees surrounding the house need to be removed until they are at least 10 feet off the ground. Normally the branches reach the ground, looking like skirts. (See the picture below.) The trunks look quite sculptural with them removed. Before the house was built in the ’70s the area was logged. All the redwood trees on our property are second-growth, the daughters (they are clones) surrounding the mother tree.
I love the redwoods on our property, their roots stretch and intertwine under the entire acreage. I imagine them talking and giggling along their root ‘telephone’ lines, laughing at the antics of our dogs as they chase their balls into the threshold of the forest, under their skirts, tickling them. And carrying away needles in their fur, the footprints of the trees.
Our property looks quite different without the branches reaching the ground. We plan to leave the skirts on the trees that are on the outer edges. A puzzle for the dogs to find their balls.
I am currently followed throughout the garden by the chirping of hummingbirds. At a time when most of the garden is starting to sleep, the salvias are blooming like crazy. I can watch the hummingbirds sipping nector from the ‘honey melon’ “Pineapple Sage” that is throughout the garden. This is a smaller version of the much better known Salvia elegans “Pineapple Sage'” which can reach 4-6 feet in height.
Both plants, in my garden, have bloomed nonstop since May and usually continue through to late November.
This one is Salvia purpurea ‘Lavender Lace’. It’s just starting to bloom but continues till spring. A great source for nector during the winter months. This salvia can also get quite large, you can see the sunflower bending over it. I have left it so the birds can eat the seeds.
The hummingbirds also love the cupheas and they bloom year round in my garden. This one is very happy in a half barrel. Cuphea ignea x C. angustifolia is also sometimes called bee plant as they love it. The fall chill has dramatically reduced the numbers of bees so I haven’t seen many lately.
The Allen’s hummingbirds have the garden to themselves since the other two species we see in the spring and summer have migrated to warmer climates. I expect them back around March of 2023. It’s comforting in this small world of my garden to have trust in some things when so many things seem to have gone crazy and are out of my control. I try to concentrate on this when I feel dread for our larger planet and nation.
The Rudbeckia in the pollinator garden are still going strong. They have been blooming nonstop. I hope they reseed new plants for next year.
The patch is looking quite messy right now but I leave the grasses so the birds can eat the seed.
Only a quick tour through the vegetable garden is left. I have seeded arugula and some winter salad greens which are said to be cold tolerant. We will see if they actually come up. But the carrots have sprouted, also radishes. I have hope.
That’s not fungus you see but Sluggo. We have slugs, giant slugs right now!
I love comments. Thank you for joining my on this little walk through my piece of the world. What’s up in your own garden?
P.S. I know arugula is misspelled but can’t seem to correct it!
Oh slugs. Awful. I had to pull everything out before an early freeze. Some roses are all I have blooming! Your trees are so pretty.
Thankfully we don’t have slugs here, and it’s lovely to see your garden and the surprising similarities to mine. I used to have pineapple sage, but it didn’t survive a transplant, must look for another one. Yours looks lovely. Purple salvia is loved by bees and honeyeater birds here, couldn’t be without it. We are entering into a hot Summer, so it will be survival of the fittest. Happy gardening.
They are both plants that survive warmth, I hope you do try them again. Maybe with a little afternoon shade. I hope the heat isn’t too bad this year for you, we had lots of fog this past summer and are now headed into the rainy season. Thankfully fire season is over. One worry down, now I only have to worry about elections.
Looks like your fall garden is almost ready to rest up for the next season.
We once had a organic farm and grew many herbs and greens and also battled the slugs. We used a couple of domestic geese to eat the slugs. But if you let them into the garden when your plants are small they eat those too…
Geese make good watchdogs as well. When we moved to the country we had discussions about whether we should get chickens or other fowl. We decided there are way too many predators and we would be in constant grief over the loss of one or the other of our named companions.