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Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.
Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.
Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?
Entries are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.
When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.
Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.
This diary has been visited 11,466 times since I started it.
|Date and Weather||Observations and Activities|
Clear, sunny, and warm
|Finished trimming the third lavender in the circular bed in back (13 May).
Fed the dwarf myrtle and the 'Powis Castle' artemisia with a 21-0-6 lawn food. Yes, I normally feed these only once a year (3 Mar); but I feed most shrubs again if I severely prune them. I did not feed the lavender, however, because they actually prefer a "lean" soil.
Trimmed the pink clover in front adjacent to the dwarf Rhaphiolepis indica and the 'Burford' holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana'). I also trimmed the dwarf English ivy (Hedera helix 'Hahn's') growing under the liquidambar tree (L. styraciflua). Although this variety of ivy grows slowly and is considered by many not to be invasive, it was growing into the pink clover, climbing the liquidambar, and invading my neighbor's front yard. I like to keep a "dead strip" about 3 inches wide between the ivy and the pink clover.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|What a difference five days makes in the weather! Last night's low temperature was 12°F higher than the daytime high temperature shown in the previous entry of this diary. Actually, yesterday was even hotter, with 101°F at 10:00am.
The fruit on the loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica 'MacBeth') is ripening. I used kite twine to hang unwanted compact discs (CDs) from the tree and the nearby Australian tea tree. As the CDs spin in the breeze, they flash to scare away birds that might want to grab the fruit.
Started trimming the third (last) 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender in the circular bed. This is so over-grown — along with the Penstemon in the adjacent east bed — that the path separating the two beds is completely blocked. I just could not complete the task because of the heat.
Fed the camellias and azaleas with commercial camellia and azalea food. I also gave them a good dose of gypsum to improve the drainage.
Partially cloudy, mostly sunny, and cool
|It actually rained in May!! This is still proving to be the second driest year out of the past ten years. Only 2006-2007 was drier, with 4.4 inches.
With cooler, more humid weather than a week ago (1 May), I again uncovered the artemisia cuttings. This time, they did not wilt.
Although I swept the driveway in front less than a week ago, I had to do it again today. The storm two days ago left much debris, primarily twigs, leaves, and catkins from my valley white oak (Quercus lobata). I also found branches from The Tree, which had blown over my house.
Trimmed the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) in front along the driveway, sidewalk, and brick path to the front door. I also trimmed the dwarf coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) in the front rose bed along the sidewalk.
Fed the dwarf citrus with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. I also gave the same nutrients to the gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii') and the Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), adding a small amount of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to the latter.
Finally finished pruning the dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta') (10, 17, & 29 Mar; 5 & 28 Apr).
Cloudy, gray, and cool
|Today, there has been a major change in the weather. This past week was clear, sunny, and hot. Temperatures exceeded 80°F every day except Tuesday; on four days, it exceeded 85°F, reaching 95°F on Friday. We had 44 consecutive hours during the week when the relative humidity stayed at or below 10%. All this is characteristic of a Santa Ana wind. Indeed, on Thursday, we had wind gusts to 53 miles per hour. No, we were not threatened by the Camarillo Springs fire or any of the other fires pushed by the winds and enhanced by the low humidity.
Fed the roses in back with ammonium sulfate.
Finished trimming the artemisia. The first two that were trimmed (17 Mar) already look quite good, forming light gray mounds of feathery foliage with no branches showing.
Clear, sunny, and mild
|Fed the roses in front with ammonium sulfate.
Trimmed another 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in the circular bed in back (21 Apr). This was crowding not only the adjacent azaleas but also the potted herbs on the path next to the bed.
The artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium) cuttings (17 Mar) have developed roots. I uncovered them, but they then wilted. So I covered them again. It might be a week or more before I can plant them.
Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.
The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.
The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)
Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.
Rain is in inches. Rain amounts are omitted after 60 consecutive days elapse without any measurable amount. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.
Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold.
The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:
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