As much as a reminder to myself as anything else, I though I'd post this picture of one corner of our back garden, taken at the end of July.
The World's Ugliest Fence is just as ugly as ever. I figure that until we get the siding finished on our house, we have no right to complain about any neighborhood eyesores. We had the arborist out recently, to prune the plum tree. The plum looks great, but now we've got an even clearer view of the fence.
With regards to the fence, there's also a language problem.Our neighbor speaks about as much English as we speak Spanish. So, for the moment, we're stuck with what we've got.
The hops are ripening in this photo. They're the three columns of green on the short side of our little garage. We harvested the Sterling hops today, which is the plant on the left. The hops were a huge success. We placed them in one of the few spots in our little yard that gets consistent sunlight. I really need to think about the whole sun situation.
If only that danged fence weren't ten feet high... Robb looked into it, and Oakland building code says that backyard fences can only be six feet tall. We had harbored the illusion that perhaps the fence had been put in by the previous owner of our house, and that our neighbors hated it as much at we do, but -- alas -- the neighbors recently added even more orange netting.
The pink flowers are our Naked Ladies, which came with the house. We had to put a wire cage around one of the plants, because Smog became a bit obsessed with beating up one particular bulb. He's a strange little cat, our Smoggy. Like much of the back garden, these plants are in a state of flux. I need to find a better home for them. When the fall rains come, I suspect I'll be moving most of the back garden. Good thing I enjoy digging.
The vegetable garden is seen in the front of the photo. What a mess. We're pretty much done with summer plants, and I've put in some of the cool-weather stuff. The snails and slugs are having a plant-eating jamboree. It's demoralizing. Between the snails and the lack of sun, it's a wonder anything can grow back here. As soon as we get the front of the house finished, I'm staring work on the front garden. At the rate I'm going, that will be in about ten years.
The plant stand against the garage holds about half of my orchids. The terra cotta pot at the intersection of the path is the lemon tree my sister gave me. It's destined for a spot in the front yard. It's doing fine, but I suspect it will be much happier with its roots in the earth.
Behind the potted lemon is the false indigo that I bought as a food source for dogface butterflies. I haven't actually seen any of these butterflies in the yard, but no matter. I haven't seen most of the butterflies I've planted food for. You never know. We saw some kind of orange fritillary butterfly today, for only the second or third time. I've had great success attracting green bees.
And behind the false indigo is our persimmon tree. Unless something drastic happens, we're going to have a bumper crop of fruit. They're just now starting to get the tiniest bit of color. We should be harvesting them in November, or maybe late October.
By way of comparison, here's what the garden looked like back in December.
And here's another look at how things looked in late July.
I've been sick most of the week. I've been dragging myself into work to deal with the Daily Crisis, and then coming home and conking out. Between naps, I've been reading garden blogs, and feeling bad about all the work I need to do. Comparing these two pictures actually does show me that we've accomplished a lot this spring and summer.