January 23, 2019

I cleaned all the ashes out of the fireplace and applied them to the cleared slope on the west side of the house.  Consistent applications of Roundup seem to have kept down the grass and certainly the thistle on that defensive perimeter.  I will see what happens as the rainy season progresses.

I prune the two rockroses on the front slope, as I have in January the past two years.   Why the two rockroses were planted together at the far end of the front slope remains a mystery, but they have different growth patterns.  The upper rockrose had a thick tangle of dead wood in the center.  Removing the dead wood left a very spare plant.  The lower rockrose was healthier – I cleared the dead wood off the base and trimmed back the new growth off the top.  Spots gratefully received two large wheelbarrows of rockrose, one of this favorites. The question for me is whether the pruning will help with water conservation this summer.  The rockroses suffered with the barberry and lantana on that far edge not having sufficient water pressure in the irrigation line.

I watered all the plants inside and out because I will be in Oakland for a week.  The plumbago received extra water.

Back in Oakland by late afternoon, I was greeted by a beautiful blue iris.  The traditional irises appear to bloom in January and September, if I am lucky.  The daphne was in full fragrant bloom, and the tangerine tree continues to bear generously.  I pull two to three tangerines off the tree each day to keep me healthy through the winter.

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