The California irises in the Oakland back yard are having an extraordinary year, like everything else in the plant world. An abundance of blooms from the large white (Snowy Canyon) iris and the smaller pale butter yellow iris.
Life in Oakland would not be complete without a weekly trip to the Berkeley Hort. I found a dwarf lime tree that is billed as the best variety for Western gardens. It prefers soil that is moist but not wet, meaning that it may survive on drip irrigation and occasional supplemental water. With a projected of height of two to three feet, it promises not to block the sweeping view of the countryside at the edge of the back lawn.
In the Dry Ideas section I found a teucrium (germander), with silver green foliage and blue violet flowers. Drought tolerant and deer resistant. I plan to reserve a large slice of the circle garden at the barn for the germander. Once established, it can grow to six feet tall and three feet wide. Fortunately, the plant description at the nursery said that it responds well to pruning.
Skies were overcast skies coming into the ranch in the late afternoon. On the way in I bought six cubic feet of herb and vegetable soil from the Ione Ace Hardware. With the blessing of a long afternoon, I had time to plant the dwarf lime. As my usual practice, I filled the planting with Quick Start fortified water, covered with soil and watered from the top. Six cubic feet of commercial soil was enough to fill the half of the planter box kept aside for the lime tree and to top off the lemon tree in the other half. I also applied fortified water to the kiwi aeonium before quitting for the night.