Sunday, February 23, 2014


Over the past week I have been working in the sunken garden. Things are finally starting to look a little tidier.

Let's see what grows here.
Skullcaps- Both the pink skull cap Scutellaria suffrutescens and the purple skullcap, Scutellaria wrightii. All have been pruned.  I prefer them to have a rounded appearance although some will never achieve the pretty ball shapes. this one is certainly looking like it has the potential to make the grade.

Pink crystal grass, Melinis nerviglumis I may finally be over my love affair with this grass. It seeds everywhere, in among the plants, and its wiry tufts are almost impossible to remove. Having said that I have cut many of them back to see how well they come out of winter dormancy. I used to think that Mexican feather grass was a heavy seeder but it is no match for crystal grass. It's going to be a big year for the blue eyed grass. I have never seen so many, some in beautiful big clumps. Some not well placed but I won't be moving them.

Asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus 'Srengeri'It begins to look as though the asparagus fern has finally won out over the Salvia greggii. And no wonder. The ground is bare around the plant and is filled with its bulbous roots. I have to decide whether to let it remain. It lost all its needle-like foliage this winter. I cut it back to the ground and now new leaf strands are shooting out of the ground.

I see a gopher plant seedling in one of the cracks. Not sure whether to try to remove it.

These two little iris, Iris reticulata, are the earliest of the spring bloomers and it is only by chance that I saw them today. They are almost buried by poppy foliage. I think they deserve a more prominent place in the rockery.

Here's the first bluebonnet flower. It's growing out of a hole in one of the ledge stones so its growth is a little stunted.

I had to redo the thyme bed this year. All the plants had become too woody and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. This time I planted, silver thyme, lemon thyme and German thyme. The gardener at Highgrove was not wrong when he talked about how much work it was to maintain the thyme walkway at Highgrove!


  1. Your sunken garden looks splendid and the early blue blooms strike a cheerful note. I spent the day puttering about in my backyard as well, feeding, deadheading, and cutting out dead matter - it was very therapeutic (and, hopefully, good for the garden too). Our spring in SoCal is already well underway, although some plants seem much less robust than they would normally be at this point - probably due to the lack of rain.

    1. I always have a great sense of satisfaction after doing a good clean up. I hope you get some rain soon. We are praying for rain this week too.

  2. Looks like you've put in a lot of work already! Looking good! I love those little irises.

  3. I spotted my first bluebonnet bloom yesterday afternoon. It gives me a bit of a thrill to know the wildflower season is getting underway again, though I know if we don't get some sort of measurable rain soon they'll struggle.

    Cleaning out the dead stuff and pruning perennials into shape can be so satisfying - I agree. Though I'm always behind the 8 ball when it comes to weed removal. That one season I was laid up with a bum ankle the weeds all got ahead of me and I've never caught back up. Weed, weed, weed and weed some more. Some days I wonder if I'm encouraging exactly the opposite plants - the ones that require this and that to thrive and discouraging the real survivors in our beds - the weeds!

  4. All is beautiful in your garden! There's something satisfying about having the tidy, little-plants-as-balls thing in the garden this time of year. I also like my skullcaps rounded, though they don't always want to cooperate. Personally, I'm hoping for a cool March--we have enough warm, so I'm not particular eager for that.

  5. Looks so tidy and beautiful. Irises are wonderful. I would love to have such a big garden.

  6. Your garden is looking so fresh and renewed even with our bigger than usual cleanup year.

    Much of the crystals grass in my garden is getting yanked this year so I guess I'm over it too.