Thursday, July 10, 2008


I spent the Fourth of July with my family at Big Lagoon and Trinidad. There are lots of cool things on the beach for the garden: rocks, driftwood, bleachglass, and what have you. (When I was a kid my mom paid me five bucks to haul a "stepping-stone" down the sand spit of Big Lagoon.) But on the 4th I made a real find.

A Dudleya farinosa (!) about the size of my hand, washed up or delivered by dog. (The rosette's a few inches across.) Surely this is guilt-free wild plant collection. For you non-Californians, Dudleyas are echevaria-like succulents that grow on our coast (and inland, and in Mexico). Wikipedia has a nice photo of a healthy specimen. The plant I found, while lacking roots, is still firm and should be as easy to propagate as a sedum.

One may recall that big silver Dudleyas were on my fountain planting wishlist, but on second thought, I think it would get too much water there.

And in related news, the Triteleia bulbs have surprised me by putting out rapid growth: flower buds and one bloom. It's a little late for the 4th of July, but the color combination turned out to be red, silver (or white, if you will), and blue, instead of red, purple and silver. Some changes may be necessary for next year. Still, I can't complain.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Iris Rootborer

Last year I noticed a few of the irises yellowing and that even green leaves loosely fell off the plants. While I was proud, to pinpoint the problem (below, fairly obvious), I was sad to have to destroy the afflicted plants. This year it seems that the rest of the doug irises in the coastal prairie are succumbing and I don't know what to do.