Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today was the start of the big clean up. It's not easy for me to pull out plants when they are still in flower but if I don't make a start soon the alyssum seeds will not have a chance to germinate.

I made a start by removing most of the narrow leaf zinnias that were growing between the pavers in the herb garden, but not before I had collected seed for next year. I took the rest of the plants out onto the septic field where I rubbed them together so the seeds would fall onto the grass. Maybe they will come up there. So far the deer have not eaten the ones growing outside.

I rather like being able to see the pavers again. For now I have left the Mexican mint marigold which seeded there this year. A few weeks ago I went round with a kettle of boiling water, pouring it on the thousands of coreopsis seeds that were beginning to grow. It was very effective.

Copper Canyon daisy, Tagetes lemonii, is the last flower to bloom in my garden. In a haze of fine foliage the small yellow flowers are a magnet for the bees.

The flowers spill over the wall in the vegetable garden and mix with yellow Mexican mint marigold growing below.

The improved Meyer lemons will ripen early this year. The lemons are much smaller than usual, probably because many of the leaves fell off during the heat. I think they need treatment with iron chelate. I see pots of lemon curd on the horizon.

The mangave, Macho mocha, a passalong from Pam at Digging, has established itself very quickly and has put out several new leaves. It shows off its form quite nicely as the leaves drape over the sides of the pot. I am still trying to decide whether to leave it in a pot or put it in the ground.


  1. Glad to see the pup is growing well and has some nice purple spotting going on as well. I love your top photos of those beautiful pavers you and D. made, with the flowers all around.

  2. wow, this is a really nice little courtyard you've got here. i bet there is a flurry of activity from bees and butterfly this time of year. i love the copper canyon daisies. i've been meaning to look into those as an addition. i'd also like a lot more lantana as well as the mexican mint marigold. too much! too little time!

  3. Pam-Thanks Pam especially for the mangave. I gave it a little more sun and it is starting to take on some color.
    Joseph-You are right abut the winged visitors. They love this weather too. Mexican marigold is such an easy plant and likes to grow everywhere it drops a seed. Don't be buying any as I'm sure they will appear at our next plant swap.

  4. I just love the Copper Canyon Daisy. Mine has not started to bloom yet, but it is covered in buds holding a lot of promise. I have decided I like the fragrance, which for some reason reminds me of my great grandmother.

    You are ruthless in your cleaning, which I think is necessary. I am always glad when I am able to clean up the garden and start with a clean slate. The garden holds such promise then.

  5. Your courtyard is so beautiful. Normally Pyracantha isn't my favorite but it's magnificent espalied against your house. A lovely lemon crop and the Copper Canyon daisy is gorgeous.

  6. Morning glories- I also have some which are not in full sun and they bloom later. I also like a clean up too and looking for other things popping up.
    Sweet bay-I know pyracantha is invasive but i just love this look through the winter and it brings the cedar waxwings in.

  7. Yes,clean-up is hard (the boiling water interesting) but you have such a delightful area to clean up in. It all looks beautiful. The lemon and Mex. mint marigold totally enchanting together.

  8. I truely love your pavers with the plants growing around them. If you get a chance, look up Geranium Pacifica. Another late bloomer, it goes so well with any hardscaping. Not a true geranium, it has blue/grey leaves on top and silvery white underneath with sprawling stems. It's yellow and blooms about now. Not that you need any more yellow but I think you would like it.

  9. Your pyracantha looks so pretty against your wall with those pretty red berries. I have been trimming mine back like you mentioned on my blog. I didn't realize how big it can get. :) I am learning that about a lot of plants....