When we moved in over 5 years ago, the south side section of the garden was dominated by a giant Eucalyptus tree. The surrounding area was mostly shade and the plants I added after we settled in were suited to that situation.
|The Eucalyptus in its glory|
Two years into our ownership, a neighbor complained that the Eucalyptus tree blocked her view of the harbor. After multiple discussions and meetings with 2 arborists, we agreed to take the tree down. (You can read that story here.)
|The tree's removal in February 2013 completely changed the appearance of not just the south side garden but also views from the front and back gardens|
One thing led to another and we ended up removing all the lawn on the southeast side and replanting the entire area.
|View of the southeast side at the end of November 2013 with the lawn gone, flagstone laid and new plants in|
By August 2014, things were filling in relatively well, although some of the plants that had enjoyed the shade provided by the Eucalyptus had already begun to suffer.
|The area on August 1, 2014|
Then the neighbor reappeared with another complaint and, in the interest of accommodation, we removed a second tree and thinned most of the others in March 2015. Meanwhile, as California's drought took hold, the state placed significant restrictions on irrigation. The area on the south side of the house suffered more than most and I started trading out perennials and shrubs for succulents.
|As you can see in this photo taken at the beginning of August 2015, succulents had begun to displace flowering plants|
Between August 2015 and August 2016, another tree died and other herbaceous plants came out, replaced by more succulents.
I haven't been really happy with the area since the spring of 2014. While I like the succulents I've added, I think I need to add some plants with a softer aspect.
|The area at present|
Although this past week has been considerably cooler than the 2 weeks that preceded it, summer won't be over until October here so it's a bad bet to go on a planting spree now. I'm trying to keep my itchy fingers under control for a while yet and use this time to plan additions, subtractions and moves. I lost height and the red color provided by the trunk and limbs of the Arbutus 'Marina' that died so I'm thinking about adding a Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' like the one I have in the dry garden on the north side of the house.
|Leucadendron 'Chief' provides height, a touch of red color, and moves gracefully in the wind. Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite' like the one in the foreground of this photo might also work well to add the softness I'd like to see in the southeast garden.|
Some of the Chondropetalum tectorum I used in the succulent bed along the street might also make good additions.
|The rush would also add height and movement|
What about you? Has your mind skipped ahead to fall planting plans yet?
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party