Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wide Shots - Odd Angles

I've made a habit of taking my monthly wide shots from the same vantage points in my garden to facilitate comparisons over time.  This month I decided to change things up a bit by posting photos taken from less obvious angles to provide a different perspective.

In some areas, getting a different angle is easy due to level changes.  While my backyard may appear flat in most views, it slopes down a foot or more in front of the hedge (before plummeting steeply behind the hedge).

The usual view from the back door looking toward the harbor

View from the dirt path that runs behind the backyard border in front of the hedge, looking north toward the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin)

Another view further along the path: you can see the earth sloping downward beyond the Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) on the right

View from the same path, below the mimosa here, looking back toward the south

View between the trunks of the mimosa looking north toward the dry garden


The path through the dry garden leads down onto the back slope.  When we moved in, there was no path, nor any stairs leading down to the bottom of the slope.  I didn't even know that section of the garden existed until I happened upon it during the pre-purchase home inspection.

The usual view, focused on the gravel path we installed through the dry garden in 2012

View from under the grape arbor looking back toward the house

View from the upper portion of the cement block stairway that runs down to the bottom of the back slope, looking back upward toward the grape arbor

After curving around the hedge, the stair my husband constructed leads almost straight down, pivoting just in front of the lemon tree.  The property slopes down again about 12 feet beyond the lemon tree but that second drop represents the property line.


There are level changes in the front garden too.  The driveway slopes downward to the street.

The driveway slopes downward on a gentler gradient than the back slope

This photo was taken from the dirt path that separates the Ceanothus hedge on the upper level from the Xylosma hedge that runs parallel to the street

This photo was taken from the far northwest corner of the property behind a large Abelia shrub, looking past the garage on the left toward the house

And this photo was taken from under the Magnolia tree on the south side of the front door looking toward another area where the ground slopes sharply downward

Peering downward, you can see the flat area below our stacked stone wall and a peek of the succulent bed that runs below it along the street


Just to the left of the red-trunked Arbutus 'Marina' shown in the last photo is the arbor that marks the entry into the south side garden on the level of the house.

The usual view looking at the side garden and the harbor beyond

This photo was taken from yet another dirt path leading up from the area shown in the second to the last photo above

And we come full circle here with this photo taken from the path behind the backyard border looking back toward the south side patio and arbor 


That's it for my May wide shots post.  While these monthly photo shoots are useful to me in assessing developments in my garden, I expect the often subtle month-to-month variations in my photos are less interesting to those who read my blog.  Rather than post monthly updates, I'm going to move to a quarterly schedule.  My next wide shots post is planned for July.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. I enjoyed these wide shots of your beautiful garden very much. I should do more of my own, maybe once I get a little further in the cleanup, which is still ongoing.

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    1. One good thing about the wide shots, Alison, is that they hide a degree of untidiness. We'd had days and days of horrible winds before I took my photos and I thought I really should sweep up some but then I decided, the heck with that, and snapped away.

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  2. I love all the path ways in your garden. They seem to tie together all the different sections.

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    1. When we started pulling out lawn and laying paths, I was worried that they would chop the area up too much but using mostly the same flagstone and adding creeping thyme throughout the garden has helped link the pieces together.

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  3. you have such a fascinating collection of plants.

    The grey groundcover under the magnolia tree? Is it Dymondia?

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    1. I think what you're referring to is the creeping woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) I used between and around all the flagstones. The hairy leaves give it a gray cast. I tried Dymondia elsewhere at one time but it didn't work as well for me as the thyme, which can tolerate both low water and a degree of shade.

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  4. I never tire of seeing wide shots of your gardens! They are truly a beautiful mosaic so pleasing to the eye.

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    1. Thanks Eliza! I still see one step forward and another step back but, with all the lawn now gone, at least I can focus on a lasting design plan (to the extent I can even claim to have a design plan!).

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  5. I know that you have a love/hate relationship with your mimosa tree but, from afar, I just love it! Pretty pics! I enjoy seeing a different view.

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    1. I love the structure of the mimosa with it's multiple trunks but not its nearly continuous litter. It's in its good phase now - it's leafed out and mostly stopped dropping seedpods but, as soon as it flowers (June/July), the litter will begin in earnest.

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  6. All the views show how well planned and planted your garden is. The view of the front explains, I'm sure, your neighbour's issues - she's plainly jealous! Perhaps you could smile sweetly and offer to help her design a water-wise beautiful garden the next time she calls on you!

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    1. All my neighbor seems to want is a view of the ships going in and out of the harbor. Very bizarre for someone who lives in a community with a name that literally translates as "green hills." I don't know why she doesn't simply move into one of the high-rises along the harbor.

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  7. Your garden is so beautiful. You've got fairly flat areas to play with and also slopes. You've handled all so very well. Living there must be very special. (I'd be constantly pinching myself.)

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    1. If it wasn't for the drought and one neighbor, this place would be practically perfect, Peter. Oh, and today's news that the San Andreas Fault is "locked and loaded" is a concern too!

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  8. I enjoyed seeing these views of your garden. They're gorgeous! The garden goes so well with the house and the views. You've done a fabulous job.

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  9. I think your garden is an absolute wonder! Just beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Tammy! It's still a work in progress but then what garden isn't?

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  10. Glad I read the other comments first so I didn't repeat the question about the ground cover.... What a great job that wooly thyme is doing. I've my eye out for a spot to try some out here soon!

    Your wide shots explain any troubles you might have putting together vases on Mondays. That's an embarrassment of riches to choose from! It is all so lovely and represents so many good choices as well as a lot of hard work. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Deb! The flowers are plentiful until July/August when the heat and dry soil causes the plant life to hunker down and count the days until fall but then you know that story.

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