Sunday, January 3, 2010

Talkin' Bout Regeneration

That's My Regeneration, Baby

People try to put 'em down, but native plants they get around. (Apologies to Pete Townsend.) It's been about 5 years since I started my second native plant garden.

Several of the original plantings are gone now, some dying inexplicably, others predictably. But in the last two years, my plants have started making their own design decisions. Aside from the annuals that have reseeded for several years, I now have a handful of perennials regenerating in my garden.

About 4 years ago, a gorgeous Dendromecon harfordii crashed before I could figure out why it was dying. I felt guilty. In trying to establish other plants around it, I'd probably overwatered it. Fast forward three years: a new plant has sprouted nearby (pictured above).

Meantime, in my front yard, some bird has planted a hummingbird sage (Salvia Spathacea) for me in the street strip, across the yard from its parent, rooted in a more sequestered spot. (See the photo below.)

Until this fall, a large coffeeberry (Rhamnus Californica) outside my office window afforded me a great look at many birds. I was distressed when it died. But then I remembered having seen a seedling sprouting nearby. I moved it closer to my window. It looks raring to go.

Other perennials roaming my yard: Hollyleaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia), golden currant (Ribes aureum), pitcher sage (Lepechinia fragrans 'El Tigre').

A final note (and excuse to post a cute photo): This fall I also planted some little ones--penstemon Margarita BOP, Encelia Farinosa, Verbena Lilacina--that I propagated in a class at Theodore Payne. All summer, they sheltered in the dappled shade on my back porch. My son helped me care for them.

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