Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sailing into Fall

After returning from vacation with a chorus of weeds singing their praises I went into Christopher Cross mode. Christopher Cross is a very talented musician. He wrote a song titled, “Sailing.”

if the wind is right
You can sail away and find tranquility

And if the wind is right
you can sail away and find serenity

For hardiness zone 7b-8a

Don't tell anyone but on August 20 I took a hedge trimmer to the lantana taking it down to about 15" and rounding it up neatly. Within two weeks it was reblooming and now, three weeks later it looks fantastic and the pollinators have a robust flower to visit.
Two weeks after a mid-August trimming and good rain the lantana blooms are proliferating again. In front, J. Fisher greets visitors in this newly planted bed of Cora Vinca. 

We grow Asian jasmine on a slope. In the spring, all the jasmine is trimmed at the highest level setting on the lawn mower. This removes any browned foliage, provides for new growth, and keeps the groundcover tidy. Crape myrtle and an Encore Azalea (planted at my husbands request in a special acidic island of soil) add magenta splashes to this primarily foliage area. I like the mix of magenta with the "Margarita" sweet potato. Sweet potato foliage grows so well in the sweltering heat of the summer. I encourage it to grow up with a trellis placed in a large pot. 

With every gentle breeze, the three whispy muhly grasses hoist their golden colors in the ocean of jasmine. 

Sailing Scents, Hummingbirds, and Butterflies
Honey-scented blackfoot daisy loves heat, full sun, and reflective heat from surrounding rocks. Not pictured, but blooming and perfuming the landscape are five abelias receiving partial sun, planted under native shading oaks.

Red Turk's cap, penta, and blue mistflower are still enticing the hummingbirds and butterflies.

Beware the Hazards
Wear long pants and be courageous.
The yellow garden spider is an orb weaver spider, note the zig-zag stitching in the center of the web. I am curious, is the zig-zag weaving for camouflage or to reinforce the web to give it stretch? I use a zig-zag stitch when sewing like that on my knit fabrics so the stitches don't break when the fabric is stretched. I don't care for spiders but their webs are mystifying. I wonder if engineering dynamics, structural mechanics, and principles of the web design have ever been applied to sails? Probably so.

Sailors Love Salsa
New this year in our garden is the tomatillo. There are several plants because they do not self-pollinate. Tomatillo, (Physalis philadelphica) plants like full sun. 

In this photograph is the yellow flower and two tomatillos. I don't believe the fruit inside the husk has fully developed yet. Funny, I removed or better put, weeded, several Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi)  from my Mom's garden while vacationing. They look very similar.

Tomatillo are native to Central America and used in the cuisine, mostly as tangy salsa verde.

Nature is a Wonderful Teacher

Grassroots Horticulture