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  • Writer's pictureConejo Valley Botanic Garden

Activities for 22 November 2022

Today we had a large crew, so we divided and conquered! John Allday went off with Steve Davis to survey the native sections to determine where new plants (and/or plants from the nursery) could be planted during the fall panting season. Steve is developing a plant list for El Nativo nursery for the fall planting. Bill Dobner worked solo in the composting area as well as doing some general cleanup. Nancy Taylor Walker, Martina Banev, and Monica Barton worked at general cleanup and clearing the paths of leaves and mulch where it overflows its banks.

Beverly Kemmerling volunteered to stay and help me deal with the large “landscape” puya (Puya laxa) that was donated a couple of months ago. The first challenge was to cut away some of the excess growth from around the edges of the plant so that its branches wouldn’t keep it from sitting too high once planted. The second challenge was to extricate it from its terribly overgrown pot. Using a hammer, gardener’s knife/saw/trowel and brute force, the plant was finally freed. Beverly K documented the result below (you can still see that it is huge):


Next was to dig the hole. Nancy recorded me in my usual digging posture — on my knees. (It’s easier on my back than bending over in a standing position.)


We used Jim Cyr’s technique of putting the soil dug from the hole into a pot rather than into a pile near the hole. This keeps the loose soil from mixing with the adjacent mulch and allows an easier refilling of the hole. One can move the pot around the plant depositing soil into the hole where needed rather than scooping soil from a pile into one side then having to scoop that side around the plant to fill in the gaps. Beverly and John finished up the digging task (courtesy Nancy):


The hole was then filled with water, the root ball was watered, and the puya was put in the ground and tamped in. Beverly documents the final result below:


Nancy caught Martina cleaning the path heading up from the first 4-corners.


And after Steve and John were done in the native section, Steve did some trimming on the Escallonia hedge that separates the service area from the Chilean garden (courtesy Nancy)


In prior days, Ed Merlo continued cutting last year’s bloom stalks on the matilija poppies; Jim C and Jim Weismann cut and hauled away wind-broken branches; and Jim C hand watered trees and shrubs.


Finally a bit of fall color in the trail of trees. Nancy captured the sunlight coming through one of the Ginkgo bilobas.


Stay well and enjoy the garden…KMM

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