May 6, 2021

I am back at the ranch. Coming across the San Joaquin Valley yesterday afternoon was like hitting a wall. Temperatures into the 90s will abate today. The tile keeps the house cool, and I do not expect to turn on the air conditioning until mid-July.

The Triangle Garden has become the land of tall plants. The native columbine has orange blooms at the end of a forest of tall center stalks. Same bloom in shape, just not columbine white and blue. The brave little columbine is also back, sheltered under the wings of her native sister, with the traditional white bloom.

The native verbena has long slender stalks with the traditional purple-pink cluster blooms at the ends. Just not a ground cover. The flashbulb lotus in the container is beginning to show its orange blooms, like tongues of fire. A candidate for the current most interesting Dr. Seuss plant. The deep crimson petunia with yellow centers will be the Cinderella hit for this year.

I checked the photinia to confirm that it was receiving plentiful water from the drip. I reduced the flow a turn or two, hoping to find a sustainable irrigation level through the next six months.

I cleared the dead leaves and clover around Grandmother Camellia, followed by the usual program of supplemental water, mulch and water on the mulch. No fewer than four irrigation feeders should be sufficient to sustain Grandmother through the upcoming season. I will need to feed all three camellias soon.

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