Roses and Raised beds
The Lady Banks Roses I planted for the front yard trellis seem to be settling in. Something is munching on the leaves a bit, but otherwise they look healthy. The other large rose I moved is doing well, also. I took a HUGE rootball when I moved it, so I really didn't expect too many problems.
I am starting to investigate changing the large, triangular bed in the back garden into a raised bed. Nothing I have planted there has taken off, even if they are designed for the deep shade I have there. I think the soil is just too poor (not friable enough) and simply chokes the roots. I wanted to calculate the area of this bed, but could not remember any formulae for calculating the area of a triangle. Of course, a quick search turns up this page and this page, with explanations and calculators.
It looks like I would need about 110 cubic feet of topsoil to build it up. I need to find a bulk source somewhere in the city and then figure out how to get that much soil into the back garden. One major limitation is that there is no access by truck or even Bobcat loader to the back garden. Everything would have to be delivered via wheelbarrow. We once moved about a 1/2 ton of compost this way, but it took more than a few days. I will also have to select a method to enclose 2 sides of the area. I already have a low wall of recycled cement on the longest side, but the others will need retaining wall blocks or some other method to contain the soil.
Halloween preparations are being combined with garden cleanup for the next few weeks. I purposely leave some leaves and other garden refuse around to soften the cement driveway for the trick-or-treaters approach. Even in California, I try to give a little of the feeling of Fall with crunching leaves and hanging branches. After Halloween passes, it will be time for some serious Fall/Winter cleanup.
Until then, keep digging!