Why a blog recording the despair of a frustrated gardener, mourning the loss of wind-blasted and sun-scorched exotics? Amongst the disastrous plantings (name any Betula, Acer or Rhododendron), there are however the admirable successes. Those hardy sorts that defy the odds. I intend this little blog to be a record of those that survive, those that die and those that flourish. Amongst the challenges the plants face are stony alkaline dolerite soils, pockets of cracked clays, hot dry summers, cool dry winters, (equivalent Zone 9 temperatures) erratic rainfall (supposedly an annual 530mm - 21 inches), frosts from March until November (particularly savage early and late in the season), dessicating north westerly winds and often a lack of attention on my behalf.
I will commence with my planting for today. A fine example of Aesculus californica (California Buckeye) purchased from Jubilee Nursery at Ridgeway several months ago. It should not mind being planted now, being summer deciduous and having lost all its leaves. The trees develop a beautiful white trunk. Hopefully it should do well. The site chosen for the tree is exposed to hot northerly winds, but will provide a flowering attraction on the approaches to the house. We are a long way from California, but there are similarities between our climates.
The tree has been planted in an old posthole: I had to dig out an old peppermint fencepost. Plenty of loose soil beneath.
Here it is planted in its new home. Let's see how it progresses. Note: the Aesculus is the stick in the ground.