Monday, December 9, 2013

Neighborhood Stroll II

Last March, just as spring was getting its start in southern California, I took a picture-taking stroll around our neighborhood, which is essentially a large circle comprised of 50+ homes.  Because of a bad knee, I don't walk the neighborhood regularly as I did when we first moved here so I generally see just that portion of the neighborhood that leads from the main thoroughfare to our door.  As the sun was shining after a welcome rain on Saturday, I thought I'd make another tour with my camera in hand.

The degree of curb appeal varies quite a bit from house to house.  Many homes are blocked from view by hedges and others are set back from the road with only driveway entrances in view or situated along private "spur roads" off of our road.  In contrast to last March, there weren't a lot of blooms to see at this time of year.

Bougainvillea and Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) make the biggest color splash in this sloped front border

A beautiful Arctotis that I think needs to find a place in my garden

Aloe, Lion's Tail (Leonotis leanurus) and Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) add color to the succulents in this border

This aloe was growing in what appears to be almost full shade

Strelizia sited among Agapanthus, palms and ivy

My guess is that this is some variety of Cassia or Senna

Close-up of flower

There were a lot of berries on display, mostly Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), which I recently learned has been designated the official plant of the City of Los Angeles.

And, even though southern California doesn't produce much in the way of fall foliage color, there was some.

Maples directly across the street from our house

This red maple, sited among green foliaged plants, immediately grabbed my attention and led me to think I need to find a place for another one in my garden to add fall interest

Of course, massive succulents are more prominent than trees in some front yards here.  I think I skipped this one in my earlier post.

Cactus (Euphorbia?), Agave attenuata, Yucca gigantea, palms and ivy made up this front yard

As was the case in March, the most impressive front yard was that of an accomplished gardener several houses away from me.  She terraced her sloped front yard after she and her husband moved in 10+ years ago.  It's densely planted and there's always something in bloom.

Orange, exemplified by Leonotis leonurus here, is the most prominent color in her garden right now.  The huge red/orange Leucospermum (shown in the upper middle of this photo) isn't blooming yet.

Narcissus is already blooming near the front of the border, here under a huge Salvia clevelandii I didn't get a good photo of

There are 2 more houses for sale, including this one, which I'd featured in my March post.  It was sold to a flipper in April and put back on the market for almost twice its original purchase price in late October.  No takers yet.

The other house that was for sale at the time of my March post was purchased.  Sadly, the attractive front garden tended by the prior elderly owner has been pulled out and, so far, left nearly bare.

There were some beautiful rose bushes and Pelargonium here prior to the sale

The construction that was in progress at the other end of the neighborhood is still going on and, frankly, I don't see that a lot has changed since March, at least on the outside.

There are also signs of work starting at another house down the block.

And the empty double lot is still very empty.

There weren't a lot of holiday decorations up yet.

I was told that neighbors refer to this front yard as "the park"

I'll leave you with a picture from the back of my neighbor's house across the street that shows something of the elevation changes in the area.


  1. Nice walk in a beautiful neighborhood. I love all the different varieties of architecture and plants used in the area. The maples are a fun touch of color in an area where it's not easy to mark the seasonal changes.

    Beautiful views too, those hills can be steep in some areas.

    1. Unlike a lot of the residential areas surrounding us, the houses in this neighborhood were constructed at intervals, beginning in the 1950s. Ours, built in 1951, appears to be one of the oldest. The whole area is hilly - no one's property is entirely flat.

  2. Not a lot in bloom but the area is still looking good! Shame to see one of the front gardens left bare now after being tended to by their previous owners. Amongst all the gardens the one done by an avid gardener definitely stands out the best.

    1. My husband reminded me that I pulled out plants too when we moved in (although nothing ever stayed bare for long). Maybe the new owners of the house down the street will get cracking on new planting in spring.

  3. Woah Kris, I had a real visceral reaction the 12th photo--remembered homes of my LA childhood... very soothing while I sit here freezing my keister off heading towards the 20' s !

  4. This was a sunny gift of the highest sort, thank you! It warmed my chilled soul.

    1. You can pay a virtual visit any time you need defrosting, Loree.

  5. What a wonderful selection of plants. It is fascinating to see what you can grow there- things we can only dream of.

    1. We're lucky to be allowed year-round gardening, Chloris, but there are still many things you can grow that haven't a chance of surviving in our warmer and much drier climate.


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