Gardening is always a learning process


I planted the Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII' as a 4" small seedling in early Spring of last year.

As a California native, it would have been a great complement in the front yard to the Ray Hartman ceanothus on the opposite side of the almost all native garden area.

The front yard, which faces west, and is on a gentle slope, gets no shade from the hot sun.

Although this strain of ribes should have some shade, it does tolerate clay soil and is drought tolerant.

It seemed to be beating the odds, growing to 12", optimistically producing some green leaves.

I watered it at least twice weekly, but as you can see, it isn't a very happy plant.

Meanwhile the Ray Hartman ceanothus, which requires no water or fertilizer is now over five feet tall and three feet wide.

At first I thought of just digging out the poor plant and putting it in the green recycling bin.

After giving it a lot of thought, I think we've got a good spot for it in one of the patio plant beds.

This is a deep bed with a lot of soil.

And this part of the patio gets shade part of the day.

You can see that there are some green leaves, and the roots are quite thick in comparison to the plant itself.

Hopefully the plant survives the transplant and thrives.

We purchased two Bidens laevis "Joaquin Sunflower" plants from Annies Annuals.

One of them is planted where the ribes was growing.

These sunflowers are also California natives and thrive in heavy clay soil.

They can grow to 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide and bloom from late Summer through Fall.

It's too late for the blossoms, although there is a bud at the top of this plant.

I like the fact that it is a perennial and will go deciduous in the Winter.

The blossoms will attract bees and butterflies.

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