|The birds aren't concerned about fall planting so long as the fountain keeps flowing|
The wide shots of my garden, undertaken in connection with a meme started by Heather of Xericstyle last year, have been useful in my planning process. In the case of the backyard, most of what I'm planning to do there involves filling in the holes in the borders created by the summer's heat- and drought-related plant losses. The wide grass pathway between the borders will remain in place for now but I expect it'll go next year. I couldn't face pulling it out this year given the expense and work associated with the overhaul of the front yard.
|There are several pots sitting in the backyard borders, like the one with Rudbeckia shown here in front of the fountain, as temporary replacements for plants that fell prey to the heat and drought|
|I have a working list of the plants I'd like to introduce in the extended fountain bed (described here) when the weather cools|
|There's an empty space under the peppermint tree (Agonis flexuosa) at the mid-point of the border on the right I need to fill but I've yet to be struck with inspiration|
In the south-side garden, I'm focusing most of my attention on replanting the bed alongside the arbor. When we moved in, this bed was occupied by a 60 foot (18m) Eucalyptus tree, which was removed at the instigation of a neighbor as it blocked her view. The soil in that area is very dry, fast-draining, and light. It's also the prime focus of the raccoons that pay me regular visits, perhaps because it's so easy to dig.
|The arbor and most of the plants along the exterior edge of the bed on the right of it will be kept|
|The sad Zinnias on the right side of the pathway in this picture will be pulled. I've already added Grevillea juniperina 'Molonglo' and, while it's small, will fill in with some low-growing succulents.|
I have to admit that I'm VERY nervous about pulling out the grass in the front yard. I'd originally planned to take out only a portion of grass up front this year but, given our ongoing drought, as well as the current condition of the front lawn, it seems appropriate to bite the bullet and take it all out now. We're going to cover the area surrounding the Magnolia tree with decomposed granite, expand the existing borders a bit, and add stone pathways. I'm also considering the addition of boulders and large plants to create a visual break between the Magnolia and the south-side garden.
|The lawn on both sides of the front walkway will be removed all the way to the side yard path|
The vegetable garden remains woefully neglected. Rather than filling the raised planters with vegetables, I may use them as temporary holding areas for plants to be installed elsewhere in the garden during the fall. At the moment, the only concrete plan I have for that area is to move my Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost,' presently in the bed I intend to renovate in the side yard, to the bed alongside the garage. Acer 'Sango Kaku' has thrived there so I'm hopeful that the new location may be hospitable to 'Purple Ghost' as well - although it's not dead, it's barely hanging on in the side yard. (I've blamed the raccoons for its condition but the Santa Ana winds that blow through that area are part of the problem.)
|Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' is intended to fill the blank area below the garage window to the left of 'Sango Kuku'|
I cleaned up the dry garden a bit in August, clearing out plants that weren't doing well to make room for the ones that remain. I've replanted the statice (Limonium perezii) and added more hairy canary clover (Dorycinium hirsutum) and a few succulents. The Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' badly needs to be cut back but I'm waiting until the weather cools. I'll probably add more succulents and another Leucadendron salignum too.
|A somewhat neater dry garden|
|The hummingbirds continue to visit the 3 Cuphea shrubs at the front of the front of this border despite their drought-stressed appearance|
I've no specific plans for the back slope, which I'm currently letting get by on its own. On the other hand, I'd planned to do some work in the lower area running along the street before my attention shifted to the front yard. Time, energy and funds permitting, I'd still like to extend the dry stacked wall down there but my guess is that it'll be spring, at earliest, before I get to that.
That's it for this month's wide shots. I expect I'm going to be quite busy. I'll keep you posted on my progress!
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party