Monday, April 2, 2012


Look at him, pleased as Punch. He now gets to shine in the Spanish Oak garden. So, I thought it fitting to put this plaque on the wall where once a shade loving plant grew.
The fierce heat and drought of last summer was responsible for the demise of the clump of five Spanish oaks that have shaded this small garden for the last 10 years.

You can see the trunks of these oak trees above the retaining wall. Their leaves used to cast beautiful dancing shadows on the walls and floor.

There will be no more. David is taking the trees down little by little as they hang over the house. We would also like to do as little damage to the surrounding trees as possible. These aren't the only trees to die. All over our lot are oak trees in a state of decline. The Spanish oaks seem to have been the hardest hit.
This is not the only change this little garden has seen over the last few weeks. When we discovered water leaking from the base of the wall into the garden, it wasn't long before the wall was opened up and jackhammers were pounding at the slab in search of a leak, in the copper pipe, deep in the foundation. It resulted in some damage and loss of plants in this area.

I had replaced a large butterfly iris, in the fall, with an Anacacho orchid tree, Bauhinia lunariodes, and was fearful for its life when scaffolding was erected to repair the wall.  I wrapped the tree in cloth to protect it as best I could. The men worked really carefully and a week later, with new plantings in place the tree came into full bloom. I did have to get over the loss of a large clump of the blue gilia which was about to burst into glorious bloom, replace for now with an A. desmettiana.

Bees have been hovering around the flowers and an overnight visitor hung around until the air temperature warmed up.
This is my easy care garden. The only real job being the clipping of the 'hedge' the creeping Ficus repens, which covers the retaining wall.
But all this means that we shall have to re-name this garden. Any ideas?


  1. Ouch...that's so hard, to lose large trees like that...especially since they offered so much shade! I'm a nervous wreck whenever anyone has to work around my plants...I'm a bit of a mother hen.

  2. It's so sad that you lost those trees. Last year was vicious, wasn't it.

    And, sorry about the leak. I'm glad the Anacacho wasn't hurt. They are so pretty.

  3. You are describing my worst nightmares! Just earlier today as I was cutting on the Rhodie we're having to remove and I was thinking how lucky I was that it is not a plant I love...also remembering all the digging I did last year to ready fore the house being painted. I would imagine loosing trees is the worst.

  4. Such a shame losing those fabulous trees. Perhaps the garden should be called Shade-No-More! Love those fabulous Bauhinia flowers. Great form. How lovely to hear that the workmen took such care. I know when we were having cyclone repair work done, the workmen had absolutely no respect for any of the plants that got in the way.

  5. I'm terribly sorry about your Spanish Oaks. Some of the native oaks here have a type of blight which is killing many of them. Also, the pine trees have a wilt passed by an insect. Sheesh, between that and Rose Rosette, it makes one rather sad. Oh well . . . gardening is all about change isn't it? I just do what you do . . . replace and move on.

    Happy Spring. I hope we send you some rain.~~Dee