Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wide Shots - December 2015

I had the devil of a time getting half-way decent photos of the garden for this month's wide shots post.  It seemed that, whether I took photos in the morning or the afternoon, I had problems with sun glare, deep shadows or both.  I didn't remember having the same difficulties last year at this time but, when I looked back at my December 2014 post, I discovered that those photos were taken under gray skies.  This week, the skies are bright and sunny but only a few of my photos are worth sharing.

As I reported in a post last week, the backyard is still torn up as the result of removal of the remaining lawn area in late September; however, planting is underway.  You may notice that there are nursery pots strewn throughout the area.

The usual view from the door to the backyard, looking out toward the entrance to the Los Angeles harbor, which is barely visible in the sun's early morning glare

This photo shows some of the new planting in progress.  The Furcraea foetida mediopicta on the right was transplanted from a decorative pot elsewhere in the garden alongside 2 small Agave 'Joe Hoak' (one a gift from Denise of "A Growing Obsession") and a few Aeonium cuttings planted late Sunday afternoon in the half-dark.

I've done relatively little with the northeast end of the backyard thus far other than plant creeping thyme


While a portion of the front yard is also torn up, that mess is confined to an area between the garage and the street that I seldom include in my wide shot posts.  The area alongside the walkway to the front door is relatively unchanged.  I've added a few plants and cut back some others but the changes aren't dramatic.

The usual view looking toward the front door from the driveway area

A closer view of the planting beds to the left of the front door

A view of the area to the right of the front door, looking toward the Magnolia tree

A closer view of the portion of the pathway leading to the south side garden


I have only one decent photo of the side yard to offer.

The usual view looking toward the harbor through the arbor marking the entry into the south side garden


I took a few photos of the street-side succulent bed on the southwest side of the property too.

The Auranticarpa rhombifolia in the middle of the bed appears to be dying, once again raising the question of what should be done with it and the rest of the shrubs that once made up a hedge alongside the healthier Xylosma congestum on the far left

A closer look at the left (northern) side of the succulent bed

This photo shows the area that slopes down from the main level of the front garden above the succulent bed.  A dying portion of the Ceanothus hedge was removed last month.  I'm awaiting delivery of a Garrya elliptica from a California native plants nursery to plant in this area.


The right (south) section of the succulent bed


The garden is taking the lion's share of my free time this fall.  I suspect this may continue into winter, although, if the rains that accompany El Niño are as frequent as anticipated, that may slow down my progress.

As usual, I offer my thanks to Heather of Xericstyle for prompting my monthly wide shot posts.  They've provide me the best record I have of the changes in my garden over time.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. I'm already struggling to remember how it looked with lawn. The backyard looks fantastic Kris, truly!

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    1. The lawn has become a distant memory for me as well, Jessica. I can't wait until the digging/sifting exercise retreats into memory too.

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  2. Well, the photos are gorgeous, sun-challenged or not. I love what's happening in the back where the grass used to be. The flagstones are beautiful and look so inviting. And I love the succulent bed and new plantings to the left of the front door. I planted 3 fucraeas last spring and am worried they will no overwinter here. You've been really busy and it looks great.

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    1. I hope the Furcraea makes it in the ground here, Diana. Our winter temperatures shouldn't be a problem but the nasty raccoons might be.

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  3. No complaints about the photos, Kris! The view through your arbor is just perfect... and not only because of the harbour view beyond ;-) I love the way the way your paths move across the garden! And despite the Aurantica, I'm really enjoying your succulent bed. It's been a disappointment to me to find how few succulents really thrive here... mostly just the really tough (and spiny) ones!

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    1. I got a wake-up call about the sensitivity of succulents to cold when I gave some to a friend for Christmas one year, only to have them turn to mush. And she lives in California, albeit in one of our inland valleys, which do get periodic freezes.

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  4. Everything looks simply gorgeous Kris...and a Garrya elliptica! I am jealous.

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    1. The Garrya, along with 2 Salvia 'Celestial Blue' and 2 Erigeron 'Wayne Roderick', arrived today. I was out in the near dark planting them. One of these days, I'm going to break my neck...

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  5. You've been working so hard, and showing great results. I admire your methodical, meticulous, and persistent effort.

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    1. I am SO tired, Hoover Boo, but my husband keeps going with the digging and sifting so I can't be a slacker - he's only keeping at that mind-numbing work for me.

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  6. I loooooove your lawnless garden. It looks absolutely fantastic and you've done a great job.

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    1. Thanks Amy. I'll be very happy when we're done with this project...

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  7. It's looking very good, and I know how very achy you must be from all the work. Hooray for Garrya elliptica, one of my favorite shrubs. I hope it thrives for you. It won't make much sense to you, but all the sunshine in your photos makes me feel cold. At this time of year, up here in the PNW, when we get clear skies, it often means it's below freezing.

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    1. Well, Alison, we're feeling pretty cold down here ourselves but I suspect you'd be donning shorts and a t-shirt. Our temps were hovering near 90F just over a week ago, then they precipitously dropped down into the 60s during the day and the 40s at night. Blankets were added and the heater was switched on. It's warmed up in the last couple of days though - we're back in the low 70s again.

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  8. All that hard work is paying off. Things are looking great! I'm so jealous of your lawn-free garden. I'd love to do that at my parents' house, but my mother insists on having her weedy lawn. Something to do when I have my own garden.

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    1. I am SO glad to be getting to the end of the lawn era here, Evan. As of next week, we'll have owned the house for 5 years. I started chipping away at the lawn the first year, well before I began blogging, but it's taken this long to get rid of the last of it.

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  9. Your garden is a shining example of how fabulous a garden can look without a lawn. But oh, the work involved, I feel your pain. We are all martyrs to our gardens, but how they repay us in delight all year round. A Garrya elliptica is a great choice with its lovely green tassels. I have a Fucraea which has survived in my garden for 4 years now, much to my surprise.

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    1. The small Garrya elliptica that arrived by mail wasn't too impressive but I have great hopes for it.

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  10. I agree with what others have said, your photos are great! These wide views really do give us readers a good idea of what your garden looks like.

    You've made tremendous progress, and everything looks lush, for a lack of a better word. Not lush in a tropical "water-is-no-object" way, but rich and luxurious in a water-wise way.

    And those views, what I wouldn't give for those!

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    1. It's funny but I pay relatively little attention to the view, usually looking up from whatever I'm doing in the garden only when there's noise from the harbor, as when the cruise ships blow their whistles to signal departure. I'm most aware of the view at night, when you can see the harbor and city lights.

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