Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lost Tree = New Flower Bed

So, we used to have this big Deodar Cedar tree. It must have been planted around the time the house was built in 1941. It was as tall as a telephone pole, maybe 50 feet.  The last two years it kept getting more and more brown :-( I was worried that I might have watered it incorrectly.  But we had that big drought.  Many trees are dying in the southland.  I have seen many Cedars looking iffy too.  Finally I saw no more green on our tree and we made the decision to have it removed.  It was/is very sad. 

Tree BEFORE :-( 

The tree trimmers came and spent two mornings cutting it down in chunks, hauling away the branches and finally grinding out the stump. 

I had a big circle of bricks with plants surrounding the tree. I had to remove all the plants and pot them  up for replanting later so the tree guys could work.  I think I might have only lost one plant, my favorite dwarf Calliandra.   But I already ordered another from Almost Eden Plants just in case. 

Then I was worried that my yellow Clivia plants along the porch might fry in the summer sun. It's eastern exposure but still gets hot. So I dug out one of my 4 big plants, replanted a big piece behind the Tangerine tree and took the rest to the Southern California Horticultural Society meeting. 

I decided to link two flower beds together to make one long one from the teepee to the North(right in the pic).  Why did I need more pathway when I could have more planting area?   The teepee with a climbing rose is in the south end and my new tree will be on the north end. 

  I layed out all bricks. Actually they are pieces of that long scalloped edging that came with the house that I broke into brick sized pieces.  I don't like scalloped edging but I made use of it.  

I spent 2 hours "planting" the brick chunks.  I'm not sure about that pointy corner on the right since all other edges are round.  But it is to not waste too much planting space as our brick walkway is nearby.  

Below is what I planted.  The new tree is Michelia champaca alba that gets fragrant creamy white flowers and is related to Magnolia. Since there will be more sun now I planted several roses I had in pots and many of the plants that I had removed from the spot.  I also just got an order from Annie's Annuals and planted 5 new plants from her :-) And I still have space for more perennials. 

Here is from the other side.  

It was really sad to lose the tree.  What is funny is that I spoke to several neighbors about it and both asked me why we had the tree removed.  They couldn't tell that it was dead. Maybe because all the growth was up high.  But still I think that is weird.  

I believe the sign of a true gardener is to mourn a lost plant but to then get excited about what they can plant in its place! 

Happy Gardening! 


Wednesday, March 14, 2018


This weekend I got the idea from Flea Market Garden Style magazine to plant in teacups. So on Monday after my morning job in Pasadena I scoured 3 thrift shops and found two acceptable teacups for $3.49. I asked my Rick to drill holes in the bottoms of them for drainage that night. One must use a masonry drill bit. The smaller one was really hard and he almost gave up. Use masking tape on the bottom and drill through it. The tape keeps the ceramic/porcelain or whatever from splintering or cracking. 

Cute, right? Now I want more teacups because I have many little succulents. Here they are with a fern on a small table on our front porch.