Monday, March 02, 2015

Déjà vu

First day of March yesterday and although I'm still feeling groggy from winter I got stuck in did some tidying up in the garden. A few plants got trimmed then I turned my attention to the Kniphofia caulescens we have on the third and first raised bed near the koi pond.


On the third raised bed
They look their worst in the latter part of winter and always needs to be given a good trim before they start romping again in growth come the warmer months. Seems simple enough a task to do, and it is but you could easily find yourself spending over an hour on each plant.

On the first raised bed....scruffy!
And whilst doing so it has given me a sense of deja vu, like I've done this before. Of course, exactly the same task at roughly the same time each year. I suppose any seasonal routine can make you feel that way. The other odd thing about it though is like I felt like I travelled back in time, and even got reminded of what my thoughts were whilst doing the same task a year ago, and the year before that. Odd...

Anyway back to the present both Kniphofias have done reasonably well over the winter and are looking slightly less scruffy as in previous winters. Still there were loads of dead material to remove before it got to the stage of how it was on the photos.




Coming from the mountainous regions of South Africa (also commonly known as Lesotho Red Hot Poker) they do well in full sun with very good drainage and appreciates extra watering during the summer. In the winter it prefers to be on the dry side to sail through fine as it is prone to rotting if it gets extra hydration during the colder months. It does however tolerate most of our wet winters here as long as they have that all important good drainage.

What they tend to look like in the summer...

Like where we have it, on raised beds. The pokers they send out are a bonus but their best features are their blue and succulent looking foliage and habit that makes them look more like aloes in the summer. An aloe look alike and hardy too, nice!

Mark :-)


30 comments :

  1. You must have a good memory - I struggle to remember what I was thinking about last week, let alone last year. It is a beautiful plant and it will reward you well for those hours of TLC. Well done for dragging yourself out of hibernation and into the garden on a cold March day.

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    1. I'm not always good in remembering things Sarah, it's just that particular moment when I was trimming I had vivid recollection of what I was thinking of a year ago and the one before that, odd but nice :)

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  2. An hour per plant! What makes the task so difficult? I've never been a big fan of Kniphofia for some reason, but this one has quite nice foliage.

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    1. There's just so much to remove Alan, but then again I wasn't doing it fast either.... :)

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  3. Cleaning up my Kniphofias is on my Chore To Do List too. Here the nasty lower leaves do tend to get rather mushy in winter, which makes it a bit of a slimy task. Looking forward to their bright flowers.

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    1. I forgot to mention that Alison, the lower leaves tend to get mushy here too and it's like cleaning dead succulents. Never mind :)

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  4. Ah, but your effort is so well-rewarded when you're done! The plants look so tidy and well-equipped to face the garden season.

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    1. Thanks Kris :) I didn't get to finish the one on first raised bed so a task next weekend.

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  5. I've avoided Kniphofias even though I love the flowers because I feared a daylily-like grooming regimen . Our fabu Mendocino Coat nursery , Digging Dog has boatloads of different cultivars that I always swoon over and then never act upon the swoon. One must occasionally act upon ones swoons, right ?

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    1. Ohh definitely Kathy :) even if it's just for the broader leafed types

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  6. I have been looking for this species since you first featured it on your blog but I've never been able to find it here in Northern California. Like Alan I don't care for the foliage of the common Kniphofia uvaria but this is so much more special.

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    1. I'm slightly surprised you couldn't find it there Gerhard. I think I'm Portland they have plenty available there so hopefully more will be your way soon too :)

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  7. I could stare at that last photo for days, so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Loree :) daydreaming of summer here...

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  8. I'm a bit worried as to whether you are both getting enough sleep - my mail box said you posted at 3.19am! It does explain how you are able to work full-time and blog regularly though. I like the way the plants stand out against the white fence - I haven't seen a white-painted fence before, and it looks really good.

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    1. Hi Alexandra, the blog was posted around 8pm but can take awhile to go on the feed. Usually fast asleep here by 11pm :) glad you like the white fences! We use masonry paint on wood as it's more resistant to stains

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  9. What a spectacular plant and definitely worth an hour per plant each year, especially because you're doing it and I'm not!

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  10. So cool in the raised planter! Maybe a stock tank here would do the same trick...

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  11. I know exactly what you mean with the deja vu thing. I'm pretty sure there's even some science relating to the repetition of physical activities triggering thoughts/ideas that you may have been thinking about previously - interesting. Btw really love that spikey lower plant underneath your Kniphofias (don't know what it is) but it really sets the Knips off and makes the whole scene an interesting composition :)

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    1. Thank you :) it's Aloe polyphylla and it's had four winters out already

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  12. I really like this plant. All that information is very useful, thanks :). Ohhh...you're going to be enjoying the summer look really soon...time flies by!!

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    1. Oh we hope so Lisa, can't wait :))

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  13. And the flower spikes are even a little bit like Aloes. Never thought of that before.

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    1. Indeed Ricki :) although come to think of it they related

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  14. That is a lovely corner of already very stable plants through the years! I hope they still alive and well during more winters to come.

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  15. Are you sure they are Caulescens? They look very different from mine - much thicker leaves, do they flower regularly for you?

    Tony

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    1. Hi Tony, they're caulescens as far as aware of. Yes they flower regularly :)

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