Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Trimming and Clean-Up Begins On the Coast

This past weekend was spent starting some trimming of plants in the garden. The rains that were missing during winter have hit hard and certainly made itself known on and off for the past few weeks. There is nothing quite like it turning to spring while thunderstorms and huge winds whistle through the yard and shake the house. The wind was so violent a few weeks ago one of our old Victorian windows that was weakening shattered with the wind hitting it and fell out onto the front lawn. We later learned the previous homeowner had not fastened this window quite as well as he should have and so it went to the ground. My husband spent time today cleaning out the inside of the window and measuring for new glass while two of our neighborhood kitties sat and watch the festivities, and our cat watched from inside the house. All kitties involved were given an extra feeding and cat treats while the noise and hubbub happened in the front yard.

While my husband dealt with the window I went about trimming back the Goodwin Creek lavender from the back yard walkway. These two lavenders have been extremely happy growing under the dining room window, in fact a little too happy since they have grown a good three to four feet out into the walkway from the house. I had planned to trim the lavenders back in winter but one thing and another keep us busy so I went at it and cut the lavenders back so they stood more upright. The plants are both so healthy and hardy that I'm not concerned about the severe cut back. They've never been cut back before but they are very well established and even though I took half of the plants stems off the rest of the plants still have just as much leaves and flowers buds left. Someday when we get back to our local nursery I hope to get a few more of these lavenders and plant them out front. I tried to propagate a few but with little luck. I need some hardy lavender versions out in the front yard because the two small Munstead lavender I planted a few years ago are still tiny and not doing much, so very disappointing since this variety did fine in Petaluma. I guess it's not warm enough for the Munstead lavenders here on the coast, or at least, not in my front yard.

After trimming the lavenders back I topped off the dried hydrangea flowers from the blue hydrangea plant next to the back gate. There is plenty of new growth happening with the hydrangea which is now a good 3 to 4 feet tall and filled with flower buds as the weather starts to warm slightly. It's still plenty cold here so some plants like the hydrangea are starting off slowly with flower buds. I made quick work of the hydrangea and turned to the other side of the back gate to trim back parts of the white camellia shrub. The camellia is growing so big now it is hitting the side of the house and the fence. I trimmed a little back on the side next to the fence and the house, trimming off some budding flowers in the process. The stems with flowers went in a vase in the house to see if they will bloom. The trim up in the corner next to the fence and house will clear the kitty pathway where the neighborhood cats jump up the fence and over onto our porch as they leave the yard. I noticed it was harder for the cats to climb up the fence from their usual path so this should help them quite a bit. The camellia even after trimming is absolutely filled with white flower buds, the camellia should put on quite a display this year when the blooms finally open.

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