Monday, February 6, 2012


I spent the morning cutting back plants in the sunken garden.

Most of these were the pink skullcap, Scutellaria suffrutescens, and the purple skullcap, Scutellaria wrightii. Both are a must for the rock garden. Once you buy them you never have to buy again. Both seed readily, especially the purple one and the pink one puts down roots along the stem. The original one I planted under the bayonet yucca has moved 6 ' over the last 10 years.

I prefer them to have that nice rounded shape so cutting back in late winter and again mid summer ensures a good showing in the fall. The purple one comes in all different shades now that it has crossed with the pink. Sometimes solid purple sometimes with a white throat. They really are one of my favorite flowers because they behave themselves so well.

In early December I cut back all the alyssum and cut down to the ground all the sedum. The reward is a tight mat of sedum. A rose campion has seeded on the left just beside the path. Not an ideal place but I am not planning to disturb it.

I am disappointed to find that I am not the only one doing pruning in the garden. My pretty blue amsonia has been nibbled long with several bulb shoots, down to the ground. I suspect a cotton rat as I noticed one of the tubes on the drip irrigation system has been chewed through.
Now it's time to go and put on the kettle. Not for a cup of tea, though. To deal with these larkspur. I haven't quite got round to trying the water from the potatoes. On Gardener's Question Time they said it was good for getting rid of moss on paving.

And for those who think I have no weeds, here is a nice selection. California poppies, larkspur, feather grass, blanket flowers. The septic field would be a better place for them but that isn't where they want to grow.


  1. " California poppies, larkspur, feather grass, blanket flowers..."

    Oh, you mean those plants that many of us pay for? :-) I know what you mean though -- Rudbeckia triloba is a weed in some of my beds for sure.

  2. I'm in that phase right now as well. Prune prune prune. It's been a milder winter with zero cold snaps. Which is fine but I am always scared that there will be a cold spell between now and March. But I'm going to gamble and this year:)

  3. Were you going to douse your larkspur seedlings with boiling water? I love the flowers and would never regard them as weeds. And poppies, too, fall into your weed category? They must obviously grow like weeds where you live. Here, I'd welcome them.

  4. Your place looks great. The maintenance you did in advance of "winter" did pay off. Was hoping to do that, but this pesky work thing...

    Finally, I'm starting with your first blog posts to see all I've missed!

  5. After you pour boiling water on the unwanted plants, then what do you do?
    Do you still pull them up after they die, but the job is easier, or what?
    Thanks for more info; I'd like to try that method. Good to know about cutting the sedum back.
    You were missed!

  6. Welcome home, Jenny!! Happy to have you back...I bet your garden is too!

  7. Jenny, even your weeds look good. All I seem to have is mountains of henbit and cleavers with some thistle thrown in for good measure.

  8. have some lovely 'weeds'. I have the same as Ally...tons of henbit.
    I guess we should all be thankful there is something growing. Much better than last year.

  9. Alan- It's all a matter of being in the right place.
    Roherbot- The thought of frost makes me nervous too. So many things are way ahead of schedule. My pomegranate tree is leafing out.
    Desiree and Sandy- I did it but only in places where I didn't care if everything died. It is pretty lethal. All those plants grow like weeds here and those are in the wrong place so that makes them a weed. As long as they are small there is no need to pull them out so I usually restrict this to those that are just popping up.
    CAt- Thanks for the welcome back. SOme plants are not happy to have me back. I don't think they like being in the compost pile.
    Ally- I have some henbit too, poking its head up above the other plants.
    Linda- It certainly is a much nicer February. My citrus are already blooming.

  10. Wow, this really does look fantastic. I've never seen a "rock garden" that looks quite like this. I'm going to have to copy this on a smaller scale if I can find a suitable place. You know what they say about imitation…

  11. I hope to get the purple skullcap this year and maybe it will cross with the pink. I wish my pink ones would root like yours. They are indeed tidy little wonders of joy.