December 31, 2019

The second year of retirement, which I am becoming very used to.  I closed out the year with a trip to Lowe’s  to buy six cubic feet of organic raised bed soil for the roses.  While there, I reviewed the available winter shrubs – holly, camellias, azaleas, and larger shrubs.

I also saw coprosmas in dramatic colors, but where would I plant them in the yard?  The plant is native to grasslands, rocky areas, and forests of Australia, New Zealand, and some Pacific Islands – possibly borderline in the Central Valley.   I have grown the plant in Oakland, but the Bay Area is more temperate.  Nevertheless, it is rated to be hardy to 25 degrees.

In the end, I decided on a portulaca to replace the dead plant in the large planter box, a full 1.5 gallon size.  I removed what smelled like a society garlic, planted the new portulaca and and watered it in.

I reviewed the retaining wall proposal with Mike – a two foot wall at the downward slope of the back yard.  I would fill with top soil in front of the wall up to the flagstones or the stone border on the lawn.  The difficulty would be to find pressure treated posts to support the planks of the wall.  He also suggested ice plant for the downward slope off the edge of the back lawn – for erosion control, fire prevention and an alternative to the weeds that block the view of the land.  I may take him up on that idea in the new year.

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