Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wide Shots - April 2014

When I went into the garden yesterday morning to take pictures for this post, the air was fresh and cool, the birds were singing and flitting about, and everywhere I looked flowers were blooming.  Frankly, I felt as though I was in the middle of a Disney movie.  I even had hummingbirds whizzing about my head at one point.  (I happened to be standing in front of "their" feeder and I think they took umbrage.)

My garden has changed a lot since we moved here in December 2010.  The greatest changes have taken place in the past year, beginning with the removal of the 60+ foot tall Eucalyptus tree on the south side of the house, the creation of a new pathway and beds on the south side, and, more recently, the removal of a large section of lawn in the backyard.  Work in the dry garden on the north side of the house and the slope at the back of the property occurs in bits and pieces.  The wide shots I take in connection with the meme hosted by Heather at Xericstyle have helped me keep a record of the changes since last September.

As usual, I'll start with the backyard, where instead of a single bed bordering a wide expanse of lawn, I now have 2 long beds surrounding a wide grass pathway.

View from back door looking out toward the harbor with its usual morning haze

View from the left side of the backyard

View from the right side of the backyard, which shows the progress I've made in filling the new border

A longer view, photographed from the dirt pathway that begins in the side yard and runs all the way behind the back border



The side yard is filling out well given that most of the plants have been in place for less than 6 months.

View of the side yard taken from the front lawn

View from the grass pathway in the backyard looking back toward the arbor



There's still not much color in the front yard borders.  The shrub roses only have a few blooms so far.

View of the front of the house at mid-day



The vegetable garden still lacks much in the way of vegetables, although there is an artichoke in a tub just out of camera's sight in the photo below.  I've given over one of my three raised beds to sweet peas and snapdragons.  The sweet peas just produced their first blooms.

The circular rings in the 1st 2 raised beds were the metal bands that held our old snorkel spa together - my husband got tired of having them take up floor space in "his" garage



The dry garden has been very, very dry since we've had little rain and I've cut my use of the irrigation system in response to the governor's call for a 20% voluntary reduction in water usage.  We got some drizzle last night and we're supposed to get a little more over the next 2 days, which I hope will give the plants a boost.  I haven't lost anything yet but I don't imagine the grape vine or the fruit trees will fare well as the temperatures climb.

The gravel pathway here runs from the north side patio to the cement stairs leading down the slope

View of the dry garden from the right side



The slope has received no supplemental water since the 2 rainstorms we had in February.  My husband and I began work at the bottom of the slope last weekend, trimming back the very large Yucca elephantipes and foliage plants marking the border between our property and that of the neighbor below us.  Even though I selected plants for the area based on their drought tolerance, I was surprised and pleased to see that the area is in relatively good shape (so far) despite the severe water restrictions.

View from near the top of the stairway - the area to the left of the hedge belongs to one neighbor and the area beyond the Yucca in the distance belongs to another one

View from the bottom of the slope looking back upward toward our neighbor's house - with the exception of the fig tree, I put in all the plants between the stairway (constructed by my husband) and the hedge since we moved in



That's it for this month's wide shots from my garden.  Please visit Heather at Xericstyle to see her view this month and to connect to other participating gardeners' views.


21 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking so lush and colorful, Kris! I'm especially impressed by the new stuff. I don't know if it gets cold at all there in winter, but are you going to use those hoops to make hoophouses over the raised beds?

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    1. It doesn't usually get cold enough here to warrant protection. (We haven't had a freeze since we've been here.) The hoops are there mainly because my husband wanted them out of the garage but I suppose I could use them to support some kind of screen against thieving critters - or as a support for vining vegetables.

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  2. What a beautiful garden you have Kris, and what amazing views. Thank you for the lovely tour, I feel that I have walked all round your garden now. Everything looks so well cared for; don't you have any messy corners? It doesn't look as if you do.

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    1. Yes, there are areas in need of attention. The boundary line at the bottom of the slope is one, although the one that gives me the most grief at the moment is the lawn under the magnolia tree, which is chock full of bare spots and weeds. Oh, and the hedge I cut back along the street still looks miserable. I could go on...

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  3. Wide shots of your garden are always a delight to see Kris as your garden is beautiful! Full of colour and vibrancy without being loud. What you guys have done so far is something to be proud of :)

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    1. Thanks, Mark & Gaz! It's a work in progress but then what garden isn't?

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  4. I've got visions of you skipping around like a Disney Princess Kristen :)
    Despite the lack of rain it's all looking great. I'm sure I've said it before, what you are both achieving there in such a short time is amazing. I love the little path that runs along the bottom of the slope. Have a nice week :)

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    1. If I appeared in a Disney film, I'd probably be in the persona of some kind of furry creature, rather than a Princess, Angie. I suppose appearing as one of my maligned raccoons would be poetic justice.

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  5. That is quite an undertaking, dealing with the slope and not having, or very little, supplemental water. Very nice. And your gardens, wowzers! Just fabulous, Kris. I could sit and stare at your photos all day long. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. The beauty in your photos was made even better by your Disney description, such a happy feeling!

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    1. It was one of those moments in the garden in which you forget the flaws and what still needs to be done and just enjoy what's there, Loree. As those credit card folks would say - priceless!

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  7. Such a beautiful garden Kris! What a lot you've achieved in such a short time, and it's so very well cared for as well. The dry garden has a dreamy, floaty feeling with all those greys. Looking forward to more wide shots from you,

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! I look forward to seeing the progress you make in your garden as well.

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  8. View of the side yard taken from the front lawn is full of interest, that is not to say that any of the views are lacking. Your climate has encourages some fast growth. The last views of the steep slope illustrate that there is always a downside to a view created by the land falling away, you must have needed ropes to plant that area! I love all the improvements you are making, I hope you are enjoying the process.

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    1. That view of the side yard is also one of my favorites, Christina. I think that the work on the slope is what finally took my right knee from minor annoyance to full blown problem, which is part of the reason the slope's getting only haphazard attention these days.

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  9. How nice it has become in your new plantings!
    So neat!
    You've been working hard!
    Looks like you got rain because it is so green and nice.
    best regards
    Mariana

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    1. Thanks, Mariana! Unfortunately, we barely got a 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) of rain out of these last 2 storms - we need a lot more!

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  10. My Wide Shot post won't go up until 4/5 but I couldn't wait to comment. Simply amazing what you've accomplished here in so little time (in gardening terms anyway). I'm sure your poor knee has other ideas about how long or how much you've done so far. I love the wide glimpses at how some of the same xeric plants we use here in Central Texas fare in other areas. Breathtaking!

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  11. Wonderful views, and I am exhausted just looking at them! But how well I know it is a labor of love!

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  12. These wide views are marvelous! I love your garden.

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