This week's plant recognition of the week goes to a beautiful pyracantha bush at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Marcy Street. As you are driving north, look to your right at the stop sign. It is a tall, sprawling pyracantha full of orange berries. What a fall beauty.
Pyracantha are thorny evergreen bushes that can be pruned into hedges or ornamental sculpted bushes. This particularly one is allowed to grow and spread out, which is why it has so many berries. It is placed so that it can spread outward. If you consider pyracahtya, do not plant them too close to a walkway or the thorns will reach out and grab your clothes. The berries peak out in color just as your flowers are beginning to fade. Pyracantha are best planted against a wall. This is a very drought tolerant shrub.
Late September is a time to kick back and enjoy the garden you've worked so hard on all year. The weeds have slowed down and the flowers are enjoying a last burst of energy thanks to the cooler weather. I always slow back on deadheading because I want my flowers to develop some seed heads to drop because you never know what might decide to grow on its own. Flowers that self seed readily include cosmos, California poppies, gallardia, echanacea, Mexican hat, Russian sage, and hollyhocks. Some people like the seed head look in the winter and others prefer a clean, bare garden waiting for spring. If you prefer the neat look, just enjoy your seed heads for a while in the fall, then when you cut the plant back, shake the seeds out on the ground. You will be surprised at what will come up.