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  • Writer's pictureConejo Valley Botanic Garden

Activity for 31 January 2023

It was a blustery morning when we met to organize ourselves for the work for today. Steve Davis had come to the garden early and had scoped out some mustard eradicating activities that could take place in the Sage Hill and western Trail of Trees areas where the wind was much reduced. John Allday, Beverly Kemmerling, Janet Wall and Monica Barton pursued that activity while Steve and I surveyed the Desert Garden for ideas regarding the Conejo Cactus and Succulent Society offer to volunteer expertise and manpower to help develop that specialty garden..

There are no images of the mustard eradicating activity, but the next activity, requested by Jim Cyr last week, was to get rid of the matilija poppies coming up in the gravel road between the service area and Lillian’s Meadow where the wind tunnel was still in full force.

As we get older, as my friend and former colleague recently said, "we have to develop strategies for picking something off the floor!” The same can be said of gardening at ground level. For example, my favorite position is on my knees to save my back. John, being very flexible, usually bends at the waist. Digging gravel out from around the matilija poppy sprouts and then digging down through gravelly soil was such that he took a supine posture to pry the sprouts out of the ground.

I’m assisting at right, and Janet is in the background digging mustard from around the clumps of matilija poppies using her nifty 'root slayer' narrow shovel — which also helped extricate the poppies once the gravel was removed (below).

Beverly K’s strategy was as you can see below.

Sadly, the soil was such that the poppies came up but the underlying rhizomes did not. This will be an ongoing job from time to time.

Thanks to Monica and John for the pictorial contributions above.

There are a lot of winter bloomers blooming in the garden. Here are 2: Chasmanthe at the 2nd four corners, and an aloe in the Desert Garden.

Enjoy the garden and stay well! KMM

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