Friday, October 23, 2015

An empty spot in the garden, remembering my Grevillea 'Neil Bell'...

As you may have read, I recently lost my Grevillea 'Neil Bell'. It's demise was quick and unexpected. By all indications it was quite happy in my garden, growing and flowering almost continually for a couple of years. I went out last week to remove it, no sense in letting a dead shrub linger. Here's an after...

And a (blurry) before. Actually since I neglected to take a before photo this is an edited version of an image taken in August. The now deseased Grevillea foliage is circled in orange.

After removal...

And before.

I know what you're thinking. Well, at least I think I do. But before I admit it let's be sad about what was lost for just a bit longer.

There are still bits of green at the base of the now brown leaves.

And flower buds, forever frozen in time.

I wondered what I would find when digging it out, turns out there were no surprises. No odd smells, happy roots all around, well until I severed them with the shovel.

The ground was moist, but not wet. The mystery was not solved.

So back to the empty spot. Which, admit it, looking at the earlier photos you were thinking wasn't really so empty, right?

But there's bare soil! Looking on the bright side, the demise of the large Grevillea will allow the things surrounding the empty spot to stretch out a bit.

The Stachyurus salicifolius will have room to shine.

And the same goes for the Hamamelis x intermedia 'Early Bright'.

And the Eriobotrya japonica too (think I crowd things much?).

There's also a NOID Callistemon, maybe C. sieberi.

And a Lobelia laxiflora...

Or several. Do they seed around?

Speaking of seeding, I discovered a seedling from my Euphorbia stygiana, which died the winter of 2013.

And was happy to see this Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' lives on, despite having been buried.

What, you think I'm done? Silly! There's also a Leptospermum lanigerum 'Silver Form'...

Which is quite lovely.

And a Yucca recurvifolia.

Oh wait, and mixed in with the Canna's and next to the Eriobotrya japonica is a Cryptomeria japonica 'Rasen'. So in other words, lots of things to grow and fill the hole. Maybe I shouldn't be too sad about losing the Grevillea?

Well, I was starting to feel that way, until I spent an hour or two outside the other day and watched the confused humming birds trying to find what's not there anymore.

Sorry little guys. Darn.

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. Poor hummingbirds, poor grevillea, sad Loree. On the bright side, you could go shopping for another one... An under crowded garden could never be as interesting as yours!

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    1. I've been told not to replant a Grevillea in that spot, and I don't have another spot of suitable size (at the present time at least)...so I'm afraid the poor hummingbirds are going to have to diversify...

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  2. No such thing as too many plants in a garden! And if you leave a space empty, weeds will grow. Planting something new is simply preemptive weeding!

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    1. Yes, I like the way you think! (and besides the weeds there is the issue of the neighbors cat using the space as a litter box, ugh!)

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  3. I agree about the poor hummingbirds. But I'm going to be the voice of reason and encourage you to just let those other plants grow to fill the space.

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    1. I appreciate your stepping up to be the voice of reason. I'll need to plant something (for the reasons above, in reply to DC Tropics) but it shouldn't be something that gets too large...

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  4. This is the perfect spot for one of the new garden ornaments that Peter is trying to convince you that you need. :)

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    1. You're right...because nobody can see it unless they're standing behind the stock tank! (hahaha)

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  5. Hmmmm, I hate it when one of my faves dies of a mystery illness :(

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    1. Us gardeners have to be resilient...

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  6. So no idea what happened? So sad. Poor hummingbirds.

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  7. I'm sorry you lost the Grevillea but that blank space will fill itself (if you don't stuff something in there first). I think that Lobelia spreads via underground runners - watch out.

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    1. Ah...so that's it's trick. Good to know, thank you!

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  8. If it makes you feel any better I'm in Australia and I've had terrible luck with grevilleas, especially the toothbrush-flowered variety (vs the spider-flower variety). Is there a Correa blooming somewhere in your garden? Love your plants!

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    1. Sorry you've got Grevillea woes too. There is a Correa blooming in my garden, why do you ask?

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    2. Oh... and glad to learn of your blog!

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    3. The pink tubular flowers in the second-to-last photo reminded me of a correa, even thought that plant isn't one, so I thought I'd ask. :) I'm in awe of your garden!

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    4. Oh yes, I can totally see that. Those flowers belong to Alstroemeria isabellana but I do have a Correa backhousea blooming.

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  9. Mysterious plant illnesses are just the pits. You needed some slime or rot or gopher holes. Is it even remotely possible that there was a water issue, and the plant wasn't getting any and just burned up ?

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    1. That would be my likely choice ks...but all those other plants around it are doing fine, and they'd be getting (or not getting) the same amount.

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  10. I hate mysterious plant deaths. So sorry for you and the hummingbirds. Do what you will, but I'd be inclined to let the other plants fill in. That lobelia sends out runners that pop up to form new clumps. It could cover that bare spot in no time.

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    1. Well I suppose that would be a great solution, I like the flowers and it's got nice foliage. As the other things grow taller though it will probably get shaded out...

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  11. Ohh, cute little hummingbirds!
    I was thinking from the pictures that now you can see better the dark leaves that were behind the grevillea and they make a nice contrast with the green plants in front. But I don´t know if this is true if you see the garden in person.

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    1. It is true Lisa, I actually like the new view...although the dark leaves are Cannas and Castor Beans to they'll be disappearing with our first frost.

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  12. So sorry about the grevillea, and sorry for the hummingbirds, but the view now seems lovely -- I like to see a bit more of that nice wooden fence.

    My lone grevillea ('Long John') had been doing pretty well, until the last week or so. Change in the weather? I dunno. I'm seriously considering sending Neil down the road to a friend who can put him in the ground...

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  13. Yes, I agree with the assessment of allowing the other plants to spread out and fill the space. It really does look lovely and more interesting now. I also understand thoughts about protecting bare ground from cats, other critters, and weeds. So you could temporarily place a paver stone or two in the spot (or an ornament, even though it can't be seen), until the plants fill in a little more. Sorry you (and the hummingbirds), lost it, though. Another thought: How about a shepherds hook or some other structure upon which you could place a hanging basket full of flowers loved by hummingbirds? Fuchsias? Angelonia?

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  14. I just planted seeds of Niel Bell that I got from you so let's hope that he will live on.

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