Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back in the Garden

Days are getting shorter. I am very aware of daytime because it affects me in so many ways. Sun light has set the direction of my day since I was a kid. Bright opened eyes at sunrise. Feeling sleepy even at sunset. I've never been a night owl. So, when I have less and less time for the evening walk with the pooches I know summer is ending, which in itself is not bad.

Fall is the season I really enjoy. Most of all because it's the season I can start seeing irises come back to life, and can also spend more time outdoors. In the middle of summer, about a month a go or so, I started cleaning dry leaves off the tall beardeds, and trimming Spurias one to two inches off the ground.   Only recently I started to gradually give iris some water after not watering all summer. I do this for two reasons: first of all it's Southern California and water is expensive and in short supply with watering restrictions currently in existence; secondly, I have found that irises love their rest off water during the hot summer months. They like to gently bake under the sun, so no need to water tall bearded or Spurias here.

[Looking forward to 'GRAPETIZER' (Thomas Johnson, R. 2009). Will be planted in the next few days]

Change is in the air and irises are saying, "I wonder if I'll be blooming in the Spring." And this, will consist in most cases in food and water availability. Our summer, unlike the rest of the country has been a rather cool one, and even though we are three weeks away from fall, change is already in the air. So, my fall senses are telling me, "its time." It's time to start planning the spring garden.

[Two Spurias, properly shipped in wet material, are also waiting to be planted: 'REMEMBERING VIC,' and 'BLUE BUNTING.']

I start planning my spring garden with a map, a garden map. Do you keep a map of your garden? I started keeping one after I planted the one hundredth rhizome, and believe you me, I have referred to it many times over the years now that I have over three hundred. Garden maps are useful for different reasons. Sometimes, labels get stolen (yes, they do steel plant tags in this city) or get destroyed by people, or simply by dogs when their owners are not paying attention. Sometimes, if you are like me, you may like to refer to a particular iris in the middle of the night, so if you have a garden map, you don't have to run out in your jamas in the middle of the night. Whatever the case, garden maps are a second source of information for my garden, and I normally try to keep the map updated as I plant new rhizomes in the fall. I think I'm up to ten pages detailing my garden.

Garden Map 1

Garden Map 2

Garden Map 3 

Unlike my garden design, which is really abundant but complicated, and more geared towards an iris fanatic or collector, what do you think of the garden design below? It is so different, so uncluttered; pleasant due to its simplicity and because it was designed for our four-legged friends.

I hope you're enjoying your time back in the garden, as I am. W2Z5Q93J97S7


  1. I like the idea of making a map. Thanks for the demonstration.

  2. Whichever method you use, you will find that garden maps are a helpful tool. They are hard to get started though, but very practical.


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