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My Garden Diary

May and June 2019

Copyright © 2019 by David E. Ross

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. 7

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?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017
September-October 2017
November-December 2017
January-February 2018
March-April 2018
May-June 2018
July-August 2018
September-October 2018
November-December 2018
January-February 2019
March-April 2019

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below 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 without years refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear — including entries on prior pages for the same year — unless a different year is given.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
30 Jun

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 66-93
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 2-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Week: 0.01

The Artemisia cuttings (29 May) developed good roots after only a month. I planted one in the west bed and one in the west edge of the back lawn, replacing two that died about a year ago. These continue the pattern of gray — Artemisia, blue fescue, lavender, and variegated society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace') — that borders the paths around the east, north, west sides of the back lawn.

The columbine (Aquilegia hybrids) in the east bed finished blooming a few weeks ago. The resulting seed capsules were now ripe. I cut the stalks, held them upside-down, and shook them vigorously to scatter the seeds. Although columbine is perennial, it is not long-lived. Thus, I want seedlings to replace the parents when the latter die.

Lightly trimmed the Podocarpus at the west corner of the garage, which was interfering with the overhead garage door and adjacent walk.

Pruned another major limb of the rosemary (16 Jun) near the foot of the driveway. Only one limb remains to be pruned.

Raked those paths whose edges I trimmed, to remove the resulting debris.

The dill (14 Jun) is quite dead. I will not try potting another one this year.

26 Jun

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 57-79
Humidity: 55%
Wind: 0-12

Two of the blue fescue in the rose bed were dying. I bought replacements over the past weekend and planted them today.

Trimmed more of the rosemary in front (16 Jun).


Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Week: 0.01

23 Jun

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 55-86
Humidity: 40%
Wind: 3-7

Fed the roses with a commercial 6-9-6 fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide.

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.50
Week: 0.01

19 Jun

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 58-87
Humidity: 52%
Wind: 0-9

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.50
Week: 0.01

Potted the rooted cutting of the thorny epiphyllum (12 Sep 18, 14 Jun). For this, I wore leather work gloves; but I still felt a thorn. Fortunately, the thorn stayed with the glove; and I was able to remove it from the leather after I removed the gloves.

Trimmed the edge of the short path in back between the lawn and circular bed.

Tied down a long cane of the climbing 'Peace' rose. I started to tie down a second cane, but it broke at its base and had to be removed.

I have gophers!! There are several mounds in the east bed in back, near the camellia bed. I have not yet seen any damage to my landscape other than the piled dirt. However, I will have an exterminator service to eliminate them.

16 Jun

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-80
Humidity: 56%
Wind: 0-10

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.49
Days since last: 15

Finished pruning the fourth myrtle.

Trimmed the edges of the small, circular, brick patio in the north-east corner of my back yard. I also cut down some of the pink clover that was climbing the slough wall next to the climbing 'Peace' rose.

Put up cuttings of the dwarf Burford holly. Yes, this is my third attept (9 Jun); but it took me four attempts to root a rose cutting.

Started pruning the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) next to the foot of our driveway in front. I had planned to wait until after I finished the myrtle and then did the dwarf Burford holly in back before attacking the rosemary. As I backed my car out of the garage yesterday, however, I realized that the rosemary was blocking my view of cars coming down the street from the west.

14 Jun

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-79
Humidity: 53%
Wind: 1-10

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.49
Days since last: 13

The dill seedlings (1 May) all failed. Yesterday, I bought a dill plant in a small plastic pot. Today, I moved it into a larger clay pot.

Potted the rooted cutting of one of my epiphyllum (12 Sep 18). I hesitate to pot the other cutting as it has many tiny thorns that easily break off and lodge in my skin.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with a commercial citrus food plus a small amount of zinc sulfate.

Finished trimming the edge of the path between the rose bed and back lawn and also trimmed the edge of the path between the rose and circular beds.

9 Jun

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 57-99
Humidity: 13%
Wind: 2-10

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.49
Days since last: 8

Made more progress trimming the edges of the path between the back lawn and the rose bed.

There is much grass of various varieties growing in the paths. I tried pulling it out. The roots, however, are so extensive that I was removing too much of the decomposed granite that is the substance of the paths. Thus, I want to spray a grass-specific herbicide on the paths. Today, the wind was not cooperative, creating too much risk to the lawn and to the clumps of blue fescue along the paths.

My second attempt to root cuttings of dwarf Burford holly (26 Apr) failed. I will try again.

7 Jun

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 56-79
Humidity: 55%
Wind: 0-9

Pruned most of the fourth myrtle.

Pruned the final Artemisia.


Rain —
This rain-year: 19.49
Week: 0.01

2 Jun

Overcast, hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 54-73
Humidity: 58%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.49
Week: 0.11

Finished trimming the third myrtle, finally exposing the sprinkler head that is on a tall riser.

Trimmed more of the path between the rose bed and back lawn. One reason that this is taking so much effort is that the red fescue has escaped the lawn and is growing in the path, not from runners bypassing the composition header boards but from seed.

Trimmed another Artemisia 'Powis Castle'. Only one more remains to be trimmed.

Partially trimmed a 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata dentata) growing in the circular bed. It was crowding the adjacent azalea and the potted herbs.

Picked and ate the last of the loquats.

31 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 52-80
Humidity: 48%
Wind: 1-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.48
Week: 0.10

Trimmed more of the edges of the path between the rose bed and back lawn. Again, this included trimming ground cover in the rose bed away from less vigorous plants. I also trimmed the ground cover from stepping stones that lead from the path to the catch basin at the bottom of the down-hill V-ditch on My Hill.

Trimmed one of the dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') that was blocking a sprinkler. The entire planting of holly needs a significant pruning, which will have to wait until all the myrtle is pruned.

Started pruning the third myrtle in the west bed in back.

29 May

Scattered clouds; mostly sunny, sometimes hazy; and warm

Temp: 53-81
Humidity: 39%
Wind: 3-8

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.48
Week: 0.10

Put up cuttings of Artemisia 'Powis Castle' to replace two that died a year ago.

Continued trimming along the edges of the path around the back yard, now between the lawn and rose bed. This is a major effort because of all the grass growing in the path itself.

I am also trimming the ground cover in the rose bed — pink clover (Persicaria capitata) and cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) — away from the less vigorous blue fescue (Festuca glauca) and Cuphea hyssopifolia. Actually, I am trying to remove the cinquefoil from the rose bed. It was never intentionally planted there and appeared only because it contaminated a batch of top soil.

26 May

Cloudy, gray, cold, mist

Temp: 49-59
Humidity: 72%
Wind: 1-18

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.39
Week: 0.02

Picked enough lemons and kumquats to make marmalade, which takes two days to prepare: a full day for the ingredients sit and a few hours later for cooking.

27 May: After allowing the ingredients to sit for 24 hours, I cooked the marmalade this afternoon. It is quite good, but the kumquats only added a little color and not much flavor. In the meantime, we got another 0.09 inches of rain. This is the second wettest rain-year in 16 years.

25 May

Mostly clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 49-73
Humidity: 50%
Wind: 2-9

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.38
Week: 0.72

Finished pruning the second myrtle.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. In the ground, citrus is fed only once or twice a year. However, three of my dwarf citrus are in large flower pots with my potting mix. the mix drains so well — something very important for citrus — that nutrients leach away quickly. Thus, I lightly feed the citrus every three weeks.

Squirrels and birds have left the ripening loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) alone this spring. I have been picking and eating them. They are sweet and quite juicy.

22 May

Partly cloudy, mostly sunny, and cool

Temp: 45-65
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 2-25

Fed the roses with ammonium sulfate (21-0-0).

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.38
Week: 0.72

17 May

Partly cloudy; partly sunny, sometimes hazy; cool

Temp: 48-68
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 0-19

Finished pruning the first myrtle (10 May) and started on the second (of five).

Finished trimming the edges of the path between the west bed from the back lawn. This included removing much red fescue that was growing in the path. I fear the path between the rose bed and lawn will require much more effort.


Rain —
This rain-year: 19.11
Week: 0.58

15 May

Mostly cloudy, some hazy sun, cool to mild

Temp: 53-72
Humidity: 53%
Wind: 2-9

Trimmed some more of the edges of a path in back (3 May).

Pruned another Artemisia (10 May).


Rain —
This rain-year: 18.66
Week: 0.13

12 May

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 54-81
Humidity: 47%
Wind: 3-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 18.66
Week: 0.13

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera russelliana × truncata) cuttings (12 Sep 18) are well rooted, so I moved them to a larger pot with a potting mix that contains some nutrients. The parents of the other two cacti are in bloom. I will wait until they are finished before replacing them with their rooted cuttings.

Not only are the cuttings of the 'Illumination Flame' foxglove (Digitalis purpurea × canariensis, 14 Sep 18) well rooted, they are starting to bloom. I could not separate the two cuttings, which were rooted in the same pot; so I planted them in a single hole in the east bed in back.

Tied some of the longer new shoots of the climbing 'Peace' and 'Don Juan' roses onto the low slough wall behind them. This should promote the growth of the side shoots that bear flowers.

10 May

Cloudy, gray, and cold

Temp: 52-61
Humidity: 78%
Wind: 0-8

Rain —
This rain-year: 18.63
Week: 0.10

Because of the excellent chill this past winter — 310.4 hours at or below 45°F from November through March — my peach tree (Prunus persica 'Santa Barbara') set an abundant crop. The immature peaches are about the size of small plums. Today, I thinned them, removing more fruit than I left on the branches. The remaining peaches will become much larger than if I did not thin them, but the pits will not be any larger. The result will be more useable fruit.

While thinning the peaches, I noticed a possible gopher hole. If I see more signs of a gopher, I will place poison bait into the tunnels. Posisoned gophers die in their tunnels and thus do not endange preditors.

Trimmed more of the edges of a path in back (3 May). While doing this, I also cleared some of the red fescue grass (Festuca rubra) from around an Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium) growing as an accent within the edge of the lawn. I also pruned two of those Artemisias.

Pruned more of the first dwarf myrtle (3 May). I might have finished, but the garden waste bin was full although it was emptied earlier today. When this one is done, there are four more to prune. Maybe, I should have pruned them last year before they got so big.

3 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 51-78
Humidity: 44%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 18.53
Week: 0.05

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia (G. jasminoides) with commercial citrus food plus a trace of zinc sulfate.

Started trimming the edges of the paths in back. Actually, I started with the edge of the lawn along the main patio at the west end of the bed of fortnight lilies (Dietes iridiodes). Then, I did the west path from the patio to the dwarf lemon. This also included weeding the decomposed granite path. Most of the weeds were wild grasses.

Started pruning the dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta'). The term "dwarf" must be relative since these shrubs are now taller than I and are interfering with use of the path.

1 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 47-71
Humidity: 47%
Wind: 1-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 18.53
Week: 0.05

Finished trimming all the edges of the front lawn. This included trimming the dwarf English ivy (Hedera helix 'Hahn's') around the liquidambar tree (L. styraciflua). I also weeded the area behind that tree, around the mock orange bushes (Pittosporum tobira).

Lightly trimmed some of the eugenia (Syzygium paniculatum) along the east side of the front lawn, only enough to unblock the sprinkler head that is on a tall riser among those bushes.

The dill seeds (Anethum graveolens) have sprouted (19 Apr).

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.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

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-year is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable 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. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
March-April 2019
January-February 2019
November-December 2018
September-October 2018
July-August 2018
May-June 2018
March-April 2018
January-February 2018
November-December 2017
September-October 2017
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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