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Monday, January 5, 2009

Evolution of drought tolerance



Well it's been a while, but school is over. I've getting a good grasp of HTML, but java script looks like a nightmare. Anyway, the Verbena 'Little Ones' were patented, the label maker left that info off the tag. 2008 was kinda rough, still trying to sell my place here in Vista, one good thing did happen though Andy & I got married on Aug 9 th, after 13 years together. Still a new home in Hawaii would be sweet. 
We've been pruning roses and fruit trees for a couple of days now. People like those, so those stay, but I am doing a reduction in perennials that take too much work. So mostly for water and maintenance issues. The trees and shrubs are really the important to provide structure, the filler plants are more like the pillows on the couch. I actually like the garden better with less. It's funny how gardeners are always adding, not subtracting. 
 I stopped watering the perimeter gardens four months ago, kinda a Darwin design method. If the plant can't handle it, I cut it to the ground and compost it. I've been surprised by the result. Some so called droughty leptospermums and melaleuca bit it, but my English oak looks great. A few of the big (more tropical) Mexican salvias definitely didn't like it, but they weren't my favorites. I told Andy we needed to get down to the 100 best salvias, or less, call me crazy. Any that I liked I took cuttings of and am planting closer to the house. 
Prepping for spring, potting up new seedlings and such, still need to make cuttings of natives, this is the best time of year. My recent efforts have been in a home made solar heat for the greenhouse, propane just too expensive. I'll let you know how that works out. It will be spring before you know it. I think a road trip to the Huntington or LA is in order.
 The Camellias are starting to bloom, a hybrid called High Fragrance is just starting now. It's highly unusual but it has a great fragrance and a long bloom season. I love Camellias, they really help get me through the winter. There's just so much variety, if you've only seen the ones at Home Depot, you are really missing out, Nuccio's, just up the coast in Pasadena, has the best. 
I'm propping quicker stuff right now, but I have potted up some rare Australian shrubs recently, just some seeds I have left over. Still doing the farmers market in Vista on Saturdays. That's where most of the plants are going right now, I can't seem to grow them fast enough, I think the mail order will have to wait till March when I have more plants. Til next -tom