Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wide Shots - February 2014

It's February 1st and my southern California garden is still starved for rain.  It sprinkled lightly for 5 minutes last Sunday and we got a light drizzle Thursday night but it wasn't measurable rain - more like Mother Nature spitting at us.  Reservoirs are at all-time lows.  Our governor declared a drought emergency in January and has requested voluntary water conservation of 20%.  I've re-set our automated irrigation system, which means that some areas of the garden, like the back slope, will receive limited water.   The wide shots below may be the last ones showing a well-irrigated garden here for awhile.

Since last month's wide shots, the backyard trees have been trimmed.  The area is also undergoing a slow renovation with a significant expansion of the border surrounding the fountain (as described here).  My husband elected to dig out the lawn on his own, which means delays based on his schedule and availability.  The edge of the new border has been dug, the benderboard is in, and some sod has been removed to patch lawn elsewhere in the yard but there's a lot more lawn to come out, hopefully, before the March wide shots!

View from the back door showing the work begun on expanding the border surrounding the fountain, still in its early stages

View of backyard border from the right side

View of backyard border from the left side

The southeast side yard has seen very few changes since last month, although I did pull out the scruffy annual Ursinia anthemoides planted along the patio and replaced them with 2 more dwarf Anigozanthos (as I'd threatened to do here).

View of side yard from the front lawn

View from side yard patio

View of side yard from backyard lawn

View of the side yard from a lower pathway

Other than swapping out a few plants and a light trim of the Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana), nothing much has changed with respect to the front border.  The shrub roses, pruned in late December, are putting out new growth.  I haven't yet gotten around to cutting back the ornamental grasses. 

View looking toward the front door

View of the right front border looking in the direction of the southeast side yard

View of the left side of the front yard

View from the front door toward the street

The vegetable garden still has only herbs and flowers for cutting rather than vegetables.  The navel oranges are ripe and the limes are over-ripe but the Mandarin oranges aren't quite ready for consumption yet.

The sweet peas have grown quite a bit but I still have no flowers

The dry garden hasn't changed much either except that the Grevillea lanvandulacea 'Penola' is now in full bloom.

View of the dry garden from the back lawn

View of the dry garden from the paved area on the north side of the house with the over-ripe guavas even the squirrels don't want prominently displayed

View across the dry garden from the stairs at the top of the slope

And I've done absolutely nothing with the back slope except water.

View from near the top of the stairway that runs down the slope - the area to the left of the hedge is my neighbor's vegetable patch

View from the bottom of the slope looking up

That's it for this month's wide shots, a monthly meme hosted by Heather of Xericstyle.  Please visit Heather's site to see a wide shot of her garden and to find links to other contributing gardeners' wide views.  I'll leave you with this afternoon's view out to the horizon.

The Angel's Gate Lighthouse on the right marks the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor.  Long Beach sits behind the haze in the distance.


  1. It looks so nice out!
    Hope you soon get rain so you can irrigate.
    There is a lot of grass carpet to be dug away.

    1. We did get rain, Mariana, which is great, although I think that also gives my husband another excuse to drag his feet on removing the grass. Wet grass and soil is heavy!

  2. The wide shots of your garden are glorious!!! You have so many blooms - and I'm so impressed with the fruit trees! Another thing I love about your garden are the pathways. I feel so sorry for you in that drought situation. I hope you get rain soon. We have had a dry winter this year, too, but nothing like California.

    1. This year's drought predictions do appear to be more dire than any I've heard before. The stats on reservoir level are downright scary. I've begun to wonder if I need to re-read Frank Herbert's "Dune" series to get insight into our future.

  3. The wide shots of your garden is gorgeous Kris, we never get tired of looking at them :) hope the much needed rain comes your way soon.

    1. Thanks, Mark & Gaz! All I can ever see in the pictures is all the holes in the landscape...

  4. Your borders are a wonder to behold, and with the new expansion, will be even more wonderful! I had to laugh at your statement about having to wait on your husband's availability and schedule. Waiting on my husband is my biggest frustration in the garden these days, as I have been able to do only very minimal gardening since my surgery last year. He is only one man with other agendas on his mind. What I need is a garden crew!

    1. Thanks, Deb! I'm beginning to think I may have to test my bad knee and go to work on that sod removal myself. That'll annoy my husband but probably less than if I hired someone to take care of it.

  5. Your garden looks great, lots of variety. Mine is mostly green sticks right now. Soon to be brown sticks if we don't get rain, but apparently some is moving in right now...yay!

    1. The patter of rain on the roof was a pleasure to hear, last night, Hoover Boo! As to the borders, I've still got a lot of onsey-twosey plant selection going on but I'm resolute about cutting back on my "plant trials" this year to pull the landscape together with more swaths of the same varieties.


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