2006-11-01

Cub Scout Fall Encampment, Native Plantings, Halloween

Last weekend was the big Cub Scout Fall Encampment, which went over really well with my son. We camped Friday and Saturday nights at the Firestone Scout Reservation, shot BB guns, did crafts, and played with the other kids. Needless to say, this left little time for house work. Sunday afternoon I did manage some mowing and watering chores and I got a couple plants in the ground from my recent splurge at the Payne Foundation. They were:

Lilac Verbena (Verbena Lilacina, a Baja native - Silt, sand, rocky! Extremely showy and drought-tolerant. Attracts butterflies. Dead head after bloom. Once a month deep water for year round bloom.) will take the place of a non-native Verbena.

Matilija poppies (Romneya coulteri - Well-draining soil, full sun, dry to semi-dry, Known as the "fried-egg flower" for its huge blossoms (to 9" across). One of California's most spectacular and best-known flowers. Once established, it spreads over a large area. Great for slope or back of garden.) will take the former place of the ornamental pea plant. This link gives me hope that it will grow in my yard.

California sagebrush (Artemisia Californica "Canyon Gray" trailing sagebrush - stays only about a foot tall, tolerates serpentine and clay soils as well as well drained soils.) See pictures here and here.

So far I'm not impressing myself with how my choices line up with my soil, but we'll see how it goes. For those wondering why I keep repeating the Latin names and growing conditions along with the common names, it's so that I can learn them. I have a mind like a steel sieve when it comes to things like that.


Oh, and then there was Hallowe'en! We trick or treated for about 2 hours total, with a 30 minute rest at home at the 2/3rds point. I gave out about 100 pieces of candy during that 30 minutes. The ones I hated giving candy to were the teens with no costume. I razzed them a lot about being too old and not having a costume. I also made them all give me a loud shout of "trick or treat", even the ones that clearly didn't speak English. There was also a welcome respite this year from the moms and dads collecting candy for their sleeping infant children in strollers. I saw a few signs around saying, "costumes only". I think I'll do that next year too.