December 31, 2018 – New Year’s Eve

And so the year ends where it began.  I can now refer back to my posts and see what the garden was about at the same time last year.

I flew back from San Diego last night having spent a week sampling all the pleasures I had foregone in thirty-seven years of my working life. Year-end tax planning is becoming a distant memory.  Judy and I are developing our working knowledge of the shrubs and  plants that thrive around San Diego.  We also walked the Farmer’s Market in downtown La Mesa.

Nighttime temperatures hover near freezing.  On the road home from the airport last night the snowflake in my car activated. Today was sunny and bright, and no rain is forecast for the remainder of the week.  I watered all the established plants and shrubs heavily on the theory that plants withstand colder temperatures better with plenty of water.

The fringe flower has a few more blooms.  The pink salvia in the border garden along the front sidewalk gave us one last brave burst of color.  The roses continue to bloom.

I moved the potted camellia that I inherited from Judy out from under the shelter of the front porch and into the bright sun.  Hopefully, it will catch the rain that will eventually come.  I also maneuvered it into a plant trolley so that it can be moved in and out of shelter easily, as the seasons require.

I wanted to take advantage of a bright sunny day to remove more of the thistle off the back slope.  At this time of year the thistle comes out in handfuls, to my infinite delight.  I pulled the truck into the fire lane at the bottom of the slope as an easier alternative to hauling the thistle and brush away by wheelbarrow.  A fine plan as far as it went, except for the steep slope when the fire lane exits onto the driveway.  I nursed the clutch, backed and filled the truck and spun the wheels until finally emerging onto the driveway.  I left a fine set of tire tracks as reminder to self – next time drive the truck on the downward slope of the fire lane.

I also dug up grass and applied Roundup to what will be a new bed on the far side of the flagstones in the back yard.  Last year I removed all the grass from that area in search of the third crape myrtle. The Preen that I scattered a few weeks ago has had almost no effect.  The new bed has a downward slope that will eventually be filled in; applying Roundup to clear the grass should result in no permanent damage.  I am determined not to be clearing waist high grass in search of the crape myrtle this year.

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