garden ponderings


Bee Balm


Maybe because this is a newer plant for me, and these are the only flowers, but I have not seen any bees around it.  I do like the feathery petals of these flowers a lot, and the bright red sure stands out in my flower garden.  It is planted between white-flowering salvia and chamomile.  Unfortunately they do not flower in the same month as their blooms would look so striking next to each other with short white flowers under the taller red bee balm.

I understand the base of this plant should spread as it stays in one place, and I look forward to seeing that.  It will take a bit of nurturing since this flower bed is on shale and clay with redwood trees growing behind.  If you didn’t already know, the roots of redwood trees go sideways for a very long ways, and not much grows in their shadow.  I just keep adding amendments to lighten the ‘soil’ and keep raising the bed for the flowers.  Don’t know how long I can pull this off, but for now, it works.

Salvia – Snow Hill

Leave a comment

Salvia - Snow Hill

I’ve tried growing various salvias, but this is the first perennial success for me. The flowers might appear delicate, but I think they are sturdy. I’m thinking that if I can keep it deadheaded, I’ll have blossoms for quite awhile. Trying to remember how long it bloomed last summer, which was its first in my garden.

This small plant is positioned to be the first I walk by when entering the gate of a long rectangular flower bed, next to the driveway to my house. The entire bed used to be in sunlight all day long, but things have changed. Just up the hill, redwood trees have grown on the west side of the bed and now give late afternoon shade relief. There is a minor side effect to planting anywhere near redwood trees: those trees have a multitude of shallow roots that will infiltrate anything and everything. So, I’m learning to keep adding topsoil and plant flowers that can think of competing with tree roots. So far, so good.

Weeping Cherry

Leave a comment

Weeping Cherry

This poor tree has had a tough time. My husband fell in love with it when he got it and brought it home. This is its third spring, and it is still struggling. But it is so pretty, so I keep pruning the dead twigs and keep it watered, so it will bloom again next year.

I think I know the cause of its troubles. The tree in the background is a redwood. It was so cute and little when we planted it over 20 years ago. But it isn’t so cute once it grows up (kind of like puppies and kittens) and the downside of such a dominant tree start to show. The roots of a redwood tree go everywhere – horizontally. I know this because when I dig any holes around the redwood, the roots are a distinct red, and they are prolific. Redwoods seem to seek the moisture, and in my clay soil that is sideways.