February 14, 2020

I picked up another bag of Preen mulch yesterday, advertising six months of weed control and a year of color.  The circle garden at the barn is overgrown with the current weed of the month.  I cleared the area around the oenothera and blue eyed grass, watered, laid down the mulch and watered again. Mike will check the irrigation lines to those two new plants, as he does not think they are receiving sufficient flow.  So far the new plants appear to be thriving. The large shrub that I have not identified also received a small amount of mulch.  The circle garden will benefit from more weeding and mulch.

I trimmed back the potato shrub in the triangle garden to new growth at the bottom.  The cuts from the pruning appear to show green life. I applied prune sealer to the larger cuts to protect the plant from the cold.

The radiant lantana was another welcome surprise.  When I removed the dead growth above, I found a flourishing plant underneath.  It seems to follow the pattern of the other lantanas, and would be a candidate for full pruning each year.

The two surviving matilija poppies were also a pleasant surprise.  They appear to be established now and can thrive on minimal water.  I weeded the area around the poppies and the warning track below the retaining wall, applying a healthy dose of Roundup.  I have pictures of that area overgrown with thistle two years ago, climbing above the retaining wall and blowing into the cultivated beds. Quoth the raven, nevermore.  

I trimmed more dead growth off the geraniums. The geranium in the front border garden alongside the house seems least affected, perhaps because of more sun and radiant heat from the house during the night.  I turned the water up to thirty minutes a day.

I found the Wallace Stegner novel All the Live Little Things on MJ’s bookshelf.  The story is of a literary critic from New York who retires to California. Stegner has lyrical descriptions of walks in the springtime countryside.  Even though the novel is set on the Peninsula below San Francisco, it is all very familiar to me.

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