Sunday, March 9, 2014

Busy, busy, busy...

Since we finished taking out a large swath of lawn, most of my free time has been devoted to filling the space.  During our all too brief rainy spell, I spent my time drawing up plans and researching plants on-line.  After that, I began haunting local nurseries - this morning, the cashier at the local Armstrong even commented on the frequency of my visits.  I still have holes to fill but I'm making progress.

Bed after initial planting - there's still a lot to do!

The same bed, photographed from the other end

In deference to my agreement with my husband to keep things in the new bed relatively low so as not to block the view of the harbor from the living room, most of the plants I've selected are relatively low-growers, reaching 3 feet tall (less than 1 meter) at most.  There are a few exceptions.

Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'

Leucadendron salignum x laureolum 'Rising Sun'

The Japanese maple is a dwarf.  A slow grower often used in bonsai, it shouldn't get much taller than 6 feet at maturity.  As I pointed out to my husband, it's also deciduous and it's placed opposite the established Calliandra, which sits in the bed on the other side of the walkway, neatly blocking the back side of the TV in the living room.  The new Leucadendron is a "compact" variety, which also grows to 6 feet but it's positioned in a corner area out of the line of sight to the harbor's gateway.  I agonized over the Leucadendron, considering 'Winter Red' and 'Goldstrike,' both of which grow to 3-4 feet, as well as 'Safari Sunset,' a taller variety, before settling on 'Rising Sun.'

I'm trying to repeat and group plants to a greater extent than it's my habit to do in constructing this bed.  I hope this will create more continuity and increase the impact of the plants I've selected.

Euphorbia 'Blue Lagoon' - I added 5 of these, all of which came in 4-inch pots

As well as 5 Salvia 'Mystic Spires'

3 Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame,' a hybrid of Digitalis and Isoplexis 

And 7 Brachyscome 'Brasco Violet,' an annual

Plus 4 Lavandula stoechas 'Voodoo Purple'

Some of the plants I've chosen are new to me.

Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'

Bulbine frutescens

'Gold Dust,' a variegated dwarf rosemary which grows just 8-12 inches tall and wide

Other selections are old favorites I haven't grown in this garden.

Justicia brandegeana

I've also direct sown some seeds and started cuttings of my favorite Plectranthus.  There's a lot more to plant and I have to get back to work getting my most recent purchases in the ground.

Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' and another lavender

Assorted groundcover/edging material: Ajuga, Mecardonia, and Veronica

There are plants on my wish list I have yet to find, like another Phormium 'Amazing Red' and Coreopsis 'Big Bang Redshift,' but my search activities will have to wait until next weekend.   I'll provide an update soon.  Rest assured, though, no harbor views have been damaged thus far.

Photo taken from inside the living room looking out upon the Port of Los Angeles


  1. It's been fascinating watching you plant up this new area. My experience has been that grouping plants and repeating combinations does a lot to make a bed look well-designed.

  2. Isn't it funny when the staff of a shop or nursery starts to recognise and even chat with you because of frequent visits? You've been very productive and great selection of plants there! Looking forward to watching the progress of your planting!

  3. I can see you have been having fun. I love planting up an empty space. It is going to look wonderful, Kris.


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