January 7, 2020

I finished my work in Oakland early, and made two stops on the way up to the ranch.

First to the Berkeley shop that sells Talavera tiles. A twelve inch square was a bit too expensive, but I found four 4″ by 4″ tiles to cover the footstool about to become a plant stand.  The shopkeeper showed me how the pattern would fit when four tiles are placed together.  I will use Quakehold to secure them to the top of the footstool, which should be sufficient to prevent slippage without creating an unbreakable seal.

I then repaired to the Berkeley Hort – featuring a broad range of stock even in January.  To my great surprise I found a replacement oenothera for the circle garden.  The California Native Plants section had a native huechera rubescens, presumably with a red flower,  and a native columbine as a companion for the one in the triangle garden.  For a bonus, in the Dry Ideas section I found a blue fescue to replace the deceased gray rush, reminiscent of the pin cushion planted in a prior incarnation of the circle garden.  I also looked for a replacement matilija poppy, but only found a ten gallon size.  

From there to Lowe’s for another bag of soil amendment.  While there, I snapped up a Karo Red coprosma, deep green leaves with red tips, also known as Mirror Plant most likely because of it waxy high gloss leaves.  

On the way in, I tucked the oenothera and blue fescue into the circle garden at the barn, and added the columbine next to MJ’s columbine in the triangle garden. 

I also planted the coprosma in the east corner garden in the back yard, between the two oleanders.  It may get crowded out in a few years and have to be moved; I will need to prune the oleanders diligently.  The Plant Starter in the bottom of the planting hole drained slowly. I broke up the rock shelf down several feet and added soil amendment, sprinkling water fortified with Plant Starter over the top of the newly planted coprosma.  

The huechera is still looking for a home.  It is a small plant, and in the shaded spot in the back yard garden,it might be mistaken mistaken for a weed.

At the end of the day Mike brought up an offering of used cat litter, and celery for Spots.

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