Every time I look at my native plant garden, something about it thrills me. It’s provided blossom all year long. At this time of year plants struggle to survive. Heat is at its all time high and water at its all time low, yet there are colorful blossoms bravely swaying in the blistering heat.
My tiny desert willow, Chilopsis linearis, suddenly sprung up overnight and has produced the most beautiful flowers.
This will get bigger and flower more prolifically as the years go on.
Thankfully the mystery “might be deer grass” plant did turn out to be deer grass, Muhlenbergia rigens. In the foreground sits my Cleveland sage, Salvia clevelandii, and off to the left, the showy milk weed, Asclepias speciosa.
Also from humble beginnings, blue flax, Linum lewisii, seeds I saved from the Native Garden at Lake Cunningham are getting established. No flowers as yet, but the foliage is pretty.
By extreme contrast rosey buckwheat, Eriogonium grande rubescens, has performed away beyond my expectations.
All the research I did recommended it be cut back right to the ground. In a giant leap of faith I did just that.
As I was cutting I was heartened by the fact that I was being literally showered by seeds. If the mother plant doesn’t make it, hopefully new seedlings will take its place. I’ve read that Hookers evening primrose is a “moderate” re-seeder – but that could mean anything!
Again, I left all the cuttings where they fell. I can’t decide if that was my biology head or my lazy head talking!
Despite all that carnage – ♬ From a distance the-re is har-mony♬
3 replies to It’s all about the cut-backs
That's exactly how I felt about chopping my Coyote Mint last weekend. However, last year I did a little experiment. I hate pruning plants harshly unless I know it makes a difference. I pruned one hard, and not the other…of course, being oblivious to auxins at the time. Guess which one bloomed its brains out this summer? Yep, the one I whacked almost to the ground. Knowing it made a difference, I chopped them both this year. It's not easy, but knowing the plants will be better for it somehow helps. I expect your Oenothera may surprise you next year, I've heard they reseed easily.
Byddi, My Roger's Red was so well established by last year (year 3) that it had tons of fruit on it. After I discovered many, very fat rats waddling out of it when I went down the garden at night I decided it had to go – no reason to encourage the rats that had eaten almost everything we were growing for us in our garden. Ann
@Ann – oh no! Though the critters – Maybe rats – only got about 4 grapes this year but it's the first year I haven't seen the gopher snake around and there are are lot more small furry beasties than ever before.
@Curbstone Valley Farm – I'm very heartened by your comment. I know the science but believing it is another matter!
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