Thursday, October 26, 2017

Front Arbor Remix

The lath house is now filled with plants and in that post I mentioned the pieces I reused in it from the old front arbor. I also mentioned that parts of that old arbor were reused in the new front arbor and I was asked to have a look at that. So...

The original arbor was bought at Lowe's and had metal supports on the bottoms of the side supports. Those were mounted in concrete and the idea was that they had a little give so could move in the wind and not break. Stop made sense at the time. And actually worked for a number of years until the metal rusted and that arbor started to lean. So last spring I took the arbor apart and used the side pieces for the top of a new arbor. This one has 4x4 redwood posts for the supports, mounted in concrete. 

There are three posts set in a triangular shape so each part of the arbor crosses a different part of the path that turns at the corner of the garden.

So now the clematis armandii gets one section and rosa 'Flower Girl' gets the other which will help with pruning issues that arose when they were jumbled together on one arbor.  I am cautiously optimistic that this arbor will last a long time!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Lath House For All Seasons

Sometimes garden interests get a little out of hand. One could hypothetically develop an interest in a certain kind of plant, for example, rex and cane begonias. So one buys a few then a couple more and pretty soon the best spots for them are crowded and then there is no more room. So the gardener has to stop buying them. Just kidding! What the gardener has to do is cut down an old decrepit privet (that needs to be pruned several times a year to keep it out of the electrical lines) and build a lath structure. 
First 4x4 posts are cemented in place. Then paint chips are hung so a decision can be made. One by one they were eliminated...

If the gardener is lucky they are a pack rat and have the cross pieces from an old arbor (that was already partly used for a new arbor). The posts are not straight across from each other because that would have meant taking out a camellia that provides beautiful spring color easily seen from the house.

Then many strips of lath are painted before being nailed up. Many strips. Taking longer than the gardener imagined it possibly could. 

Until finally it is time to move the begonias to their new home!

When winter comes and the begonias need to be moved to the nanogreenhouse this space will be converted to a shelter for succulents. A fiberglass cover will be installed part way up the posts to keep the succulents dry so cold-hardy but rain averse succulents will be happy as can be. And the best thing is that there is still room for more begonias. Because the gardener would never build something without planning for that possibility. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Garden Blogger Bloom Day October 2017

Fall is slowly arriving in my Central California garden. The fires less than an hour from here are closer to being contained and the air is not as smoky as it was. It is, however, still less than clear...the winds have stirred up dirt from a long summer of no precipitation and tomato and sunflower fields that have been harvested and tilled. Lots of dirt and dust. Any rain that shows up later this week will be very welcome. Although at this point it looks like .1 of an inch. As for are a few!

The species cyclamen have started to pop up showing their sweet blooms just before their leaves join them.

Gaura is still blooming and still flopping into the path. 

The lavender that was cut back has put out a second flush of blooms.

Zinnias planted in with the tomatoes are still blooming...I guess when the tomatoes go the zinnia will too...

The ornamental oregano 'Hopley's Purple' keeps going and attracting pollinators. It will keep going until we get a frost at which point I will cut it back to the ground. It is a bit invasive but not that difficult to keep in check and I love the way it weaves through other plantings. I haven't been doing much in the garden in the way of plants although I have planted peas, carrots, favas, parsley, cilantro, dill, and radishes that have all begun to pop up. Instead I have been building a new structure to house my growing rex and cane begonia collection in the summer and that will double as  succulent protection in the winter. It is still a work in progress but I am having fun and it is taking shape. I am however pretty tired of painting lath strips....stay tuned for the big reveal, hopefully soon!

For more Bloom Day posts visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens...!