Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wide Shots - June 2014

I've been running around a bit the last few days, which left me relatively little time during daylight hours to photograph my garden, much less the opportunity to pick times when the light shows it to its best advantage.  Still, these monthly wide shots, undertaken in connection with the meme sponsored by Heather at Xericstyle, have proven to be a useful exercise to track the evolution of my garden over the course of the year so I'm posting the pictures available to me, starting, as usual, with the backyard.

The border created early this year as an extension of the small bed that originally encircled the fountain is filling in nicely.  The unidentified red-orange daylilies I inherited with the house are blooming in earnest now throughout the backyard, as are the Agapanthus.

View from back door

View from backyard patio looking southeast

View from the flagstone path in the side yard, looking back toward the backyard patio



The borders on the southeast side of the house took our May heatwaves particularly hard.  I've added lots of mulch to protect the beds during the coming summer onslaught.  I've also cut back or taken out most of the plants that died or were fried beyond recognition.  Although the beginning of summer is certainly not the best time to plant anything here, I've purchased a few heat and drought resistant replacements to fill the holes but I've yet to get them in the ground.  The Zinnia seeds I planted in April have germinated but the seedlings are still too small to register in these photos.

View through the side yard arbor, looking toward the smoggy harbor view

View of the southeast side garden from the small patio on that side of the house

View of the side yard from the back lawn, looking back toward the arbor



The front borders also took a battering from the heat.  The lawn has turned to straw, which generally doesn't happen until late summer.  It may come back when (if?) the rains return this fall but I'm sufficiently demoralized by its current appearance to be seriously considering pulling it out altogether.




The sunflower and corn seeds I planted a month or so ago are coming along in the vegetable garden.   After pulling out the sweet peas that fried in the early May heat, I recently planted the empty raised planter with more corn seeds, as well as pole bean seeds and some basil.




Despite the heat and limited irrigation, the dry garden is holding its own.

View of the dry garden from the start of the gravel path leading to the back slope



That's it for my wide shots this month.  Please visit Heather's site to see her post this month and to find links to the posts of other participating gardeners.

26 comments:

  1. Hope things go a bit calmer for you now. You need more spare time to enjoy your gorgeous garden!

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    1. No more gallivanting about for me (at least until I get some recent purchases in the ground or into pots).

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  2. What lovely views you have, Kris. Your garden is beautiful, green and colorful, at the same time. The trees and borders are filling in nicely since the last EOM Wide Shots. Even though you lost a few plants, it's hard to tell from the angle of these photos. In picture #4, there is a reddish-purplish bush on the far right, what is it?

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    1. That's Coprosma 'Plum Hussey,' Jane. Some people spell it "Hussy" but I think it's correctly spelled with an "e" in this instance, probably named after a person rather than a behavioral reference (even if the latter is more intriguing). The foliage has beautiful variegation but, with the sun exposure mine get, they're mostly burgundy.

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  3. I think your garden is looking absolutely stunning. I don't think I realized what a splendid situation you have. The stepped water feature is a perfect focal point for the garden leading the eye from there across the garden to the view. What a fine combination of planting. Our heat is yet to arrive although I think it started yesterday with 90. Early morning is the only time to do any work outside. PS I'm afraid I somehow deleted the comment you made on my recent posting by accident. Sorry for that because it seems we shared a similar situation with finding our gardens not at their best.

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    1. No worries about the comment, as long as you didn't read it as spam! The garden tour you provided in your post was lovely.

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  4. Your view from the rear and the whole garden loks so nice!
    Understand that it is hard to have grass in drought.
    Hope you get some rain to come.
    Mariana

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    1. Sadly, there's no rain on the horizon, Mariana - just more heat.

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  5. Your garden looks wonderful and you have so many lovely views from your home. I'm sorry for your losses due to the heat. As for the grass, I'm always for tearing it out, but that may be because I have so much of it. I hope your summer moderates itself after those heat waves and you get some good rains this fall and winter.

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    1. I'd wanted to keep a little grass, especially at the front of the house, but the lawn under the Magnolia tree in particular is horrible. I've even given some thought to fake grass but I can't quite accept that option. At a minimum, I think I'll be expanding the surrounding beds in the front to reduce the grass area.

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  6. As the others have said things are looking wonderful, at the distance of your photos it's hard to tell there was any damage from the heat. Also it's amazing to me that your garden looks like this with the lack of rainfall, you really are a magician.

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    1. I used pots to fill in some of the open spots, Loree, and I've (perhaps foolishly) begun some planting, mostly with heat-tolerant annuals. The grass, particularly the area in front of the house, is awful, although the front borders hide much of it when the garden is viewed from the driveway or street. It still bugs me, though!

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  7. It feels so odd and more than a little sad that you Cali gardeners are currently facing many of the problems we in Central Texas have been grappling with, specifically extreme heat and prolonged drought. As you note, it makes a quite a difference in what plants continue to make sense, traditional or not.

    That said your spaces look quite lovely and so well cared for. I must admit to a full blown case of Agapanthus envy. We lived in Fairfield Cali for a bit and of every plant we enjoyed there my favorites were the Agapanthus. I never got tired of those happy periwinkle blue blooms, nodding in the wind above their strappy leaves. I'm glad they are surviving your heat so far!

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    1. Agapanthus are ubiquitous here, Deb. You see them in shopping centers, along streets and, well, everywhere, but I love them too. Many of mine get a bit of shade and they're all well-established plants so they're probably in decent shape to withstand a degree of heat and drought. I hope they don't have to make it through another rain-less winter, however.

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  8. Despite the heat and lack of rain, your wide shots are wonderful. You have so much color! I was so admiring your foggy harbor view, until you burst my bubble by telling me it is smog!

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    1. Well, smog is a combination of smoke (or, in our case, exhaust and the like) and fog so you were partly correct! Sometimes the gray IS fog but, due to the lack of rain, I'm afraid this is mostly dirty air.

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  9. You've done a beautiful job using ornamental grasses and shrubbery! It's hard to believe by looking at the lushness that it's so hot and dry.....I'm not sure what my yard would look like if I lived in those conditions!

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    1. I've begun to shift my plant selections more and more in the direction of heat and drought tolerant plants, Flower Freak. Yet I'm still hoping that October will bring the start of heavier than average rainfall to counteract the drought.

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  10. Your wide views show how you have utilized the views and angles to the utmost in your garden Kris. The Agapanthus are jaw-droppingly huge and contrast wonderfully with the orange Hemerocallis. Mine are in bud but I think it will be another week before they flower.

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    1. The Agapanthus are well-established, Christina, and, thus far at least, seem relatively unaffected by the warmer temperatures and miserly rainfall; however, I'm nervous about the long-term effects of the heat and drought if these conditions continue for another year or more.

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  11. Oh my. That is quite a garden and quite a view. I can see all of your hard work. Here we are just beginning the season and the view is enclosed. Come visit if you are ever on the East Coast.

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    1. Thanks Layanee! I just may take you up on that offer one day.

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  12. Your garden is wonderful....along with that view.
    Hope you get some much needed rain soon.

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    1. Thanks Linda! Unfortunately, rain is unlikely until October or later but, once in a blue moon, we get a summer thunderstorm. It could happen...

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