Saturday, November 1, 2014

Wide Shots - November 2014

The big news here is that we got rain!  According to my rain gauge, it totaled about 1/2 an inch (1.3 cm).  That may not be much in the views of those of you in other parts but it's a fabulous start to our short rainy season.  The clouds are mixed with blue sky now but we had brief showers off and on this morning, which complicated the task of taking photos for this post as the light was gloomy one moment and sunny the next.

The Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning the Port of Los Angeles early this morning

The bridge a few hours later



Without further ado, here are today's wide shots of my garden, taken in connection with the meme sponsored by Heather at Xericstyle.  We'll start with the backyard.

View from the back door when the sun was shining

View from the backyard patio looking south

View from the far side of the patio

View from even further back, showing the bed formerly occupied by a "snorkel spa" and my newest backyard bed, partially planted just this week

View of the backyard looking north



You may have noticed cages of various sorts within the beds in the backyard.  I'm using tomato cages, gopher cages and similar contraptions to protect recently installed plants from my ever-present and unruly raccoon and skunk visitors.  For the most part that's working, even if it's not attractive.  Once the plants are firmly rooted, I'll remove the cages.  As you may can see in the next set of photos, they're in the south side garden as well.

View of south side borders, photographed from a pathway behind the backyard border

View of the same borders from the south side patio

View of the side garden looking through the arbor toward the harbor from the front yard



Although it's not readily visible, most of my efforts during the past month have gone into the front yard as my husband and I continue work to prepare the area formerly covered with lawn (and lawn-like weeds) for planting.  We finished digging out the area to the left of the walkway, which was a combination of hard-packed clay, rocks and decomposing rock.  The back half of the larger area to the right of the pathway has also been cleared of grass roots, sod netting, and mountains of rock gravel but we still have work to do in the front half of the area.

The front of the house, photographed from the driveway

The area to the left of the path, which we've dug out and replenished with imported topsoil

The partially completed area to the right of the front pathway

The back area has been cleared and new topsoil has been added but the area adjoining the front pathway still requires work before we can add pathways and start planting the cleared area



Although there's plenty to do before I can do much planting in the front yard, that hasn't stopped me from picking up new plants when I find those on my "must have" list.  The vegetable garden, still woefully neglected, has become the staging area for many of those new acquisitions.

Plants in need of a home can be seen stacked up against the first raised bed



I've done a little clean-up and planting in the dry garden.

The Cuphea in the foreground look sad now but they should quickly rebound from their severe pruning



The back slope got about an hour of work.  It needs much more but it's not a priority for me right now.




The only area other than the front yard that has received much attention is the street-side succulent border and it still needs more work.




That's it for this month's wide shots of my garden.  I'll end this photo-heavy post with a couple more pictures of the view from our backyard.

Rain in the bay beyond Angel's Gate, the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles

View of the harbor a few hours later


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Linda! Some sections are coming along better than others - it's a learning process. Although only 15 miles from my former garden, this one has very different conditions. Oh, and the deepening drought hasn't helped anything.

      Delete
  2. Dear Kris, I really enjoyed reading through your post and seeing the wonderful photos. Your views are simply fantastic! Honestly, even though I follow your blog for quite a few weeks by now, I had no idea how big it is. It must be so much work to keep it looking that good. I especially love the first three photos of your backyard. Because of the sunlight everything looks so fresh and green, the color of the lawn and some other plants almost seems to squeak. Rain, does wonders, doesn't it? I am so thankful that we got our first winter rains here, too, tonight. I estimate it was about an inch or so. At least that was a good start! Wishing you a nice rest of the weekend! Warm regards,
    Christina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christina! I think my garden began to perk up when the nighttime temperatures came down but the rain is a major boost - I'm glad you got some too. Our lot is a little over half an acre - very big by LA standards but far short of the 2 acres I always said I wanted. Thank goodness that dream didn't come true! I'm having a hard enough time with the lot I've got.

      Delete
  3. I got one-half inch, too. Oh, joy! Enough to start. Post is in process. Love those harbor views

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember when people used to whine about the rain here. Now, nearly everyone - even non-gardeners - is close to ecstatic when we get anything. Have fun with your new plants!

      Delete
  4. Your photos show a lot of progress! (And a lot more work to do--but I guess the work remaining is the more fun part, right?) Yea for rain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there's a lot more to do and I'm trying not to get ahead of myself by throwing in plants here and there (but I can't promise some of that won't happen). My most immediate priority should be getting the new pathways laid - tramping through the dirt was bad enough but tramping through mud is worse.

      Delete
  5. Hooray, I'm so glad to hear you got rain! I hope it's an omen of the rest of the winter, and that you gets lots more. I recently moved all my pot ghetto plants into my veggie area too. It's a conveniently empty area to stage plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some predictions of a wetter than average year but forecasters warn that one wet year won't eliminate our drought. Still, it's a good opportunity to get drought tolerant plants established so I'm gung-ho to get plants in the ground up front his fall.

      Delete
  6. I am thrilled you got some rain, wonderful news. Also as another commenter said these photos really drive home the shear size of you garden, wow! Love the wide views, especially of the back garden and the succulent front strip. You have created a beautiful oasis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The garden had good bones, Loree (even if I've replaced some of them).

      Delete
  7. I was pleased to read that you finally had some rain Kris and boy what a massive difference it has made. It looks really quite lush now. I love the whole 'after the rain' garden, it takes on whole new dimension, even the smell is different I find.
    What you are both achieving there is simply amazing, keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last few years, every time it rains feels like a minor miracle here, Angie. The irrigation system is turned off - at least for awhile.

      Delete
  8. As usual your garden looks amazing and each wide shot is a treat to see, even the ones that are work in progress! It's looking extra fresh too with all the rains you guys just had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rain was wonderful. Of course, now that everything is thoroughly wet, I need the front yard to dry out a bit before I can get back to work there. It's always something...

      Delete
  9. So glad you got some rain!
    It looks fantastic in your garden.
    A spectacular view of the city from your garden.
    best regards
    Mariana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The harbor view is especially nice after rain, Mariana, when the usual smoky haze is finally cleared away for awhile.

      Delete
  10. Hi Kris, this is the first time I have visited your blog properly and my goodness what spectacular views you have, it must be inspiring and wonderful just to sit and take it all in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The view was a major part of the decision to buy the house, Julie, but the garden space was another. However, it does distract visitors when I try to conduct one of my forced garden tours.

      Delete
  11. Your photos really capture this amazing light. What a lot of garden for the two of you to manage, but it looks like you're handling it all beautifully. I was up late in the office last week and watched two racoons jump onto the back porch and tackle the tupperware container full of catfood. I was actually rooting for them that they'd pry the lid off and get their reward, but it foiled them. I use stuff to cover news plants here too, mostly the wire baskets used for mossing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could find a way to keep the raccoons happy without turning my planting beds over to them, Denise. They're certainly welcome to all all the guava and arbutus fruit they can eat. It's too bad they don't seem to like lemons - there are more of those than we can use.

      Delete
  12. How lovely to see the wide shots of your whole garden, I didn’t know the extent of it so seeing it like this was great. I know how much work goes in to keeping my tiny garden looking nice so I can only imagine how much work it is keeping yours looking like this!
    It must be hard having a garden with so little rain, I guess you have to water it instead? I am so happy I don’t have to water my garden much from now on, I can rely on the free stuff for a while, at least for the flowerbeds, and only water the pots and containers when needed. And lastly, your view is to die for! After 15 years here in London I really miss having a view when I see photos like that:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supplemental irrigation is becoming a battle-ground of a sort here, Helene, as water use restrictions tighten. If our drought doesn't ease, those will become stricter yet. I'm trying to respond by replacing thirsty plants with drought tolerant ones.

      Delete
  13. Yay for rain! Kris - Your photos this go round were especially stunning - I will have to come back and read this more attentively again later because I was quite captivated by that light...and those harbor views... I was just about to recover my senses when bam! Your succulent garden! Absolute eye candy. I have significant plant envy over here. (smart move with the cages)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The succulent border is just beginning to come together, Deb. I'm learning as I go with many of those plants.

      Delete
  14. Much as I love gardening I think in your house I'd just want to sit and admire the view! I hadn't seen the succulent border before, you do have a lot of work on your hands. It's all looking fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica. I often get so focused on the garden I don't even see the view but I operate under strict admonitions from my husband not to plant anything that blocks it so it always remains a factor - at least when it comes to the backyard borders.

      Delete
  15. The shot of rain in the bay beyond Angel's Gate is breathtaking! I always enjoy wide shots of a garden, and yours are among my favorite. The views across the bay are stunning, but your garden complements them perfectly. When I see your place, I think of the homes of movie stars, but most of those folks probably don't take such a hands-on interest in their gardens! Your garden is obviously well-tended, well-loved and ever-expanding. I am glad you are having some rain. I just finished talking with my son in Mountain View Ca, and he mentioned the rain there. What a relief!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no movie stars in my neighborhood, Deb (at least as far as I know) but we were lucky to find this house. We'd looked in the area off and on for years, only to be put off by the prices, but we were fortunate to be able to buy in when the market was still depressed. The house is fairly small by local standards but enough for my husband and me, and the garden is just right (with the exception of that slope, which is murder on my knee).

      Delete
  16. Amazing contrasts in your sunny and rainy shots. It is great that you at last had some rain. I do know just how you feel. Let's hope your rainy season is just that this year. I forgot all about the long view, I'll include it in a post later in the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I hope the rain continues, Christina. Years ago, we got what was then called the "March Miracle," when it rained most of that month. We need a few years of that to take care of this drought.

      Delete
  17. Gee, you must really get tired of those views.... So incredible. Garden is looking fantastic as always Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! The view is ever-changing yet very much the same, if that makes any sense. Right now, there are an unusual number of freighters sitting in the harbor because the unloading areas are backed up. I'm usually so focused on the garden that I only half notice it.

      Delete
  18. What a lovely post. How absolutely stunning, both your garden and your amazing view. I always enjoy your long views of the garden. I feel as if I have had a stroll round with you and looked at everything. What I would like now is to sit down in a chair overlooking your lovely view and have a cup of tea with you.A slice of cake would be nice too, if it' s not too much trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be more than welcome to sit awhile with tea and whatever I could rustle up in the kitchen. I'm afraid my baking skills leave a little to be desired!

      Delete
  19. Kris you have so many views and stunning gardens...and rain yippee! I think I really love the view through the side garden through the arbor. Everything is looking so green and that soil is to die for.

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.