it's been a long time....
Just saying hi after a really long time away. I've lurked a bit from time to time, but haven't had the time to post in, like, forever.
Now I'm finally turning my attention to my poor neglected garden, and especially my roses (the ones that have survived anyway!). There's lot of new names here, and lots of familiar ones. I don't think I'll be able to read through all the old posts (so many pages on the off-topic section now!) here, but I'm going to post more on the rose and antique rose forums, and other gardening forums here. So sorry (in advance) that I'm so out of the loop.
About two years ago it became obvious that we had a serious oak root fungus problem. Roses and other shrubs were dropping like flies. I was afraid to plant anything I'd potted up. When our beautiful white alder kicked the bucket, I gave up and finally called a professional arborist. He confirmed the tree was a goner, and put one of the liquidambers on the critical list, but the good news was our soil was in good shape and we could fix the problem by changing our watering habits...just in time for water rationing! The arborist said we'd likely lose a few more plants, but the survivors would grow their roots much deeper, into the previously saturated soil (now "normal")and be much healthier.
What I didn't realize at the time was how much more garden space I would get once the big tree was removed. It had previously shaded about half the yard. So while I contemplated over last winter about what to do with that space, I ended up putting in all kinds of sun-loving stuff that kind of eliminates getting another big shade tree. So on the opposite side of the garden I put an iron English bower (took a long time to find one cheap enough for me!).
Of course, it's prime gardening time here in So Cal. The weather is fabulous - 80 degrees today. I stopped at a nursery to get more pansies, snapdragons, stock and violets for the front yard. I've still got petunias, black-eyed susans and tons of other stuff from last summer in the back yard garden, blooming like they forgot they were annuals. I'm still getting sweet 100 tomatoes (they're like candy!) from the plants I potted up almost a year ago....seems a shame to pull 'em out. This year we're putting in a raised bed for vegies right in the middle of the lawn, so we can save room in the kitchen garden (right outside the kitchen) for herbs.
My family is fine; everyone is older and life is certainly more complicated. Our beloved Kitty passed away almost a year and a half ago at age 18. We adopted a young (about 9 months old) golden retriever from a rescue group a year ago who we named Milo. He's just about the best dog I ever had, and since he's the very first dog my dh and kids have had, I'm having fun watching them slowly become dog lovers. They've drunk the Kool Aid, for sure!
Milo has a lot of friends, since we live walking distance from a riverbank where everyone in the neighborhood brings their dogs for off leash exercise. But his best buddy is a cat we inherited last summer from my nutty sister. The cat, named Kiki, is smitten with Milo. She nuzzles up to him, rubs against his legs, snuggles with him while he's sleeping, and licks his nose. Milo doesn't mind one bit.
Anyway, that's enough for now! Hope everyone here is well!