Sunday, February 21, 2010


My husband gave this little Halcyon pot to me, as a gift, some years ago. I may not live every day as it it was my last but I do garden as though I am going to live for ever. What gardener doesn't?
So, today was one of those days. In fact it has been one of those weeks. The slow realization that many of the plants that were so damaged by our incredibly cold temperatures, did not make it.

First came the star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, which grew on the trellis by the study window. Every leaf was brown. It has been cut back to bare wood. Will it send out new shoots or should I replace it. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt right now but I may just go ahead and replace it. I also removed all the citrus, which were in pots along this window. I think they are all dead. Time to replace. I simply cannot live without Meyer lemons in my kitchen.

What is really strange is that a similar vine at the front door, and on the NW side of the house, has not one brown leaf. The only difference between this vine and the one at the back of the house is that this has pale yellow flowers and the one at the rear has pure white flowers. I don't think it is Trachelospermum asiaticum but it may be.

Last week I cut back the butterfly iris at the front of the house. Today it was removed along with the rest of the planting in front of the window. The Indian hawthorne, Raphiolepis indica,
was planted along with the iris 8 years ago. When I removed the iris it left gaping holes on either side of the hawthorn. I bit the bullet and decided to have a fresh start.

I am feeling quite liberated. The area doesn't look as bare as I though it would and I am thinking about a complete change in look.

More agaves and grasses. In the meantime I have planted some Mexican feather grasses which I had removed from a planter in the vegetable garden. This week I shall give some thought to the new planting. David and I discussed replacing our home made disappearing water feature with a tall pot. I may be going shopping this week.


  1. Last summer I decided to get rid of some 25 year old azaleas because tehy blocked the view of the new Japanese
    Garden. People were shocked but I loved it. I told my husband afterwards, that they were black holes sucking up the light and color in the garden.
    I think you will be happier without the Indian Hawthorne. I like them but it was blocking the window. And you are limited in what kind of plants really go with them. I love the idea of grasses - they are my favorite structure plants.
    I keep studying your pictures. How would it look with a tall planter on either side of the window? Maybe add some succulents to the grasses and agaves. A mixture of different colors to form a mat along the edge?
    I'm excited for you and will be following your progress, so keep us updated!

  2. Hi, Jenny, I sure would give that star jasmine a little more time. If the roots made it, it's going to grow out much faster than a new one will. I'm feeling the same sort of regret but also anticipation to try some new things. It is pretty cruel that in just two days we have to make so many changes. But your garden looks lovely all the time!

  3. Sounds like fun... can't wait to see what you end up doing.

  4. I'd give the star jasmine a while longer, to see if it revives. I love the changes you made out front.

  5. Melody- Good for you. I feel so much better now that the decision to redo has been made. i'm still thinking about what to use. Last year I bought new agaves and other plants that are supposed to be hardy but of course this was the wrong year. So much in the area has died.
    Linda- I think you are right about the jasmine. It is a tough plant but I can't decide whether to cut it down to the ground. I think david is afraid it is going to take off again. You know how big they get?
    Dirty Girl Gardening- thanks for dropping by.
    Jayne- Yes, I'll give it a chance but it is so sad there will be no blooms this year. It has such a lovely fragrance.

  6. Ah, when one door closes... Right? It is interesting that small changes to our gardens can lead to big inspiration. I hope the harsh winter's damage brings us all a host of fresh new ideas like you've had!

  7. You have such superb hardscaping that I think anything you choose to do will succeed. You've got the bones and that is really the hardest part of the garden to get right. Up here, the owner of a small nursery told us to "wait until July" to pull out a small tree that we were sure did not make it through the winter. It took a long time but it came back, though the first few years there was die back each year. Now we prune it like mad to keep it in scale with the garden. And now, we also say "wait until July" every time we think something may not have made it through the winter!

  8. Ms Wis- Thanks and good advice. on waiting a while. I would be very surprised if this vine is completely dead. However, I am afraid it would be better off cutting it back to the ground rather than leaving it to shoot from such fat woody stems. I will wait though because I have too many other things that didn't make it and I need to rethink their replacement first.