Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Garden Bloggers' Almost Bloomless Day

Many California native plants lose their leaves in the summer rather than (or in addition to) the winter, in order to survive the fact that we usually receive no rain at all from approximately April to October. The native plants that don't lose their leaves still don't usually bloom in August or September, although there are a few exceptions. Of the plants in my own garden, California fuchsia and California aster are supposed to bloom in August and September. Nobody seems to have informed my California fuchsias of this, though, because they still haven't shown the slightest interest in blooming. My California aster, just planted at the end of July, is the only plant in my garden that's sort of blooming today. But it's only barely beginning to bloom, so all I can see is green buds with, in a very few cases, just one or two tiny purple petals beginning to poke out. My camera is unable to capture such tiny bits of purple, and the plain green buds don't look like much, so I'm not going to bother with a photograph.

What I've actually been hoping for from my plants this month is not flowers, but fruit. Specifically, I'm hoping my golden currant (which flowered prolifically last March) will produce some fruits for me to eat. So far, though, no sign of fruit.

I've been trying frantically to dig out the bermuda grass before the winter rains arrive, because exposing the roots to summer sun and drought can actually kill the stuff, whereas digging the stuff out in winter when the soil is wet would just produce more bermuda grass than ever. Over the past several months, I've successfully cleared the bermuda grass from the majority of the yard this way, but one corner (where the golden currant is) is still horrifically overrun with the stuff, and I don't think I'm going to succeed in clearing that corner before the rains come. In fact, we already received a very tiny amount of rain Sunday night, so I've pretty much already failed at that goal.

Just before we left for our geology class camping trip at Lassen for the weekend, I heavily watered the section of the yard where the golden poppies had been last spring, because the silver bush lupine in that corner is threatening to die of drought. I don't know whether the watering helped the silver bush lupine or not, but the watering combined with the rain has caused millions of tiny baby golden poppy seedlings to sprout. I'm concerned that it's too early in the season for the winter rains to be able to keep them alive yet, so I may have to continue watering them for the next month. I guess I would need to water that area anyway, since I'm still not sure whether my silver bush lupine will survive. It's supposed to be evergreen, but every single one of its leaves is now brown and shriveled. However, its stems are still bright green, so it's not entirely dead yet.

Many of my plants are sprouting new leaves lately - notably the blue elderberry, the coffeeberry, and the serviceberry. I guess this is Berry-Bearing Shrub Growth Month. Oh, and the white sage is also sprouting new leaves. Maybe it thinks it's a berry.

I really want to hurry up and post my pictures of our geology class camping trip at Lassen, but it's taking me a while. Maybe later this evening.
Tags: native plants
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