Friday, September 16, 2016

Foliage Follow-up: The Southwest Corner

When I went out to snap foliage photos for the monthly feature hosted by Pam at Digging, the first thing that caught my eye was the curtain of Agonis flexuosa (Peppermint Willows) lit up by the late afternoon sun on the southwest side of our property.

There are still some bare spots in the bed in the foreground, which was hit hard by the start-of-summer killer heatwave


That photo led me to focus my attention on the surrounding area.

This photo captures the same 2 Agonis and the nearby Arbutus 'Marina' from a different angle, looking south instead of west.  The remaining 2 Ceanothus shrubs, shown on the lower right, once formed part of a hedge but are declining just as the 3 we took out last year did.  In the near future, I expect I'm going to have to bite the bullet and remove these too.

This photo, taken from the left of the one before, shows Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' with Carex testacea at its feet, Duranta repens to the left, Agave 'Jaws' to the right and the same Arbutus in the background with Pennisetum 'Fireworks' nearby


The Leucadendron shown in the photo above, planted in November 2014, has grown a lot but it still has a way to go to catch up with the specimen I planted shortly after we moved in December 2010.

This Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is on the northwest side of the house, NOT the southwest side.  I brought it from our former garden, where it spent its life in a pot until I plunked it in the ground not long after we moved in here.  It's well over 6 feet tall now.  (It's in its glory so I couldn't pass up a chance to show it off.)


Back to the southwest corner of the property, the dwarf Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' I planted around the small patio in that area has filled in nicely.

The dwarf Agonis were planted in September 2013 after we tore out the grass on the south side of the house, as were the Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey' on the right and the left.  The noID Aloe, Aeonium arboreum and Sedums in the foreground were planted more recently.  (Earlier plantings were routinely dug up by my raccoon friends.)

This is another view of the dwarf Agonis from the backyard looking west


In the upper right hand corner of above photo you can see Kalanchoe orgyalis (aka Copper Spoons), which has done well in a large pot.

The Kalanchoe sits outside the screened porch my husband built for our cat.  The succulent in the pot next to it is a new acquisition I picked up at my local botanic garden last weekend: Echeveria 'Raindrops'.

The raised dots at the end of each leaf account for its name


I'll conclude this foliage follow-up post with a shot of one of the groundcovers I've used extensively in the shadier areas of the southwest side of the garden.

Pelargonium tomentosum (aka peppermint geranium) can cover a lot of ground quickly under the right conditions.  Planted from cuttings, it's done particularly well in the shade, spilling down the front slope.  You can see it here threatening to engulf the Aeonium cuttings I planted below.  Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum' is visible above, as is the Durata shown in an earlier photo.


For more foliage coverage, visit Pam at Digging.


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

24 comments:

  1. copper spoons - such a wonderful, covetable color!

    Pelargonium tomentosum is the only pelargonium I know that prefers shade.

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    1. Off-hand, I can't think of another shade-loving Pelargonium either, Diana. This one has been very useful as a filler, especially as the cuttings are so easily rooted. Coincidentally, I saw one in a one-gallon pot at the local garden center this afternoon on a brief stop on my way home, offered for $10. Maybe I need to start selling rooted cuttings from my driveway!

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  2. Hello Kris, always a treat to visit your beautiful garden – and I always find so many plants I don’t know! I loved the Kalancheo, I doubt I could get it to survive here unless I had an area with a roof to protect it against the winter rain. But that might be something to think about, now that I have started collecting aeoniums….not sure how they will survive the winter here but I will try! I loved your slope of aeoniums, how beautiful it will be when they all grow tall! Which variety is it? I have only ever seen aeoniums in pots and containers but I suppose in your climate you can grow them whichever way you like :-)
    Have a great weekend in the garden!

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    1. I have a fairly diverse selection of Aeoniums now, Helene, but the one I use most extensively on the front slope is Aeonium arboreum, or at least that's what I think it is. It was passed along to me years ago without ID. My original plants generate a nearly endless supply of cuttings and I don't even have to root them before sticking them in the ground.

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  3. Oh my! Your Agave 'Jaws' is so huge! Same for the Leucadendron you plopped in the ground...Wowsa!

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    1. Jaws Jr (not shown in this post) is also growing amazingly fast. I'm trying to decide whether to move Jr elsewhere or leave him near his pa.

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  4. So many cool plants to look at. Stand outs for me are Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' with the coppery grasses and Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' (great name). Pic #2 - what is the silvery white plant on the lower left?

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    1. The silvery plant is Centaurea 'Silver Feather'. It's supposed to bloom but mine never has.

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  5. I love so many of these plants, but my eyes always went back to the first of those Agonis flexuosa. You rarely see them around here. So beautiful backlit!

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  6. Must get a 'Wilsons Wonder'--been hunting for it since last year. Yours is so splendid!

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    1. It was my first Leucadendron and it's still my favorite. My local Armstrong had a few last year so they may be able to order it for you.

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  7. Your 6-foot Wilson's Wonder certainly lives up to its name; it is wonderful! the Copper Spoon plant is also a beautiful plant. Did your husband really build a screened-in porch just for the cat? That is one fortunate kitty, getting to laze in the comfort of a screened-in porch while admiring the gardens!

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    1. My husband isn't all that benevolent. He hates having a cat box in the house (as do I) and as my cats have been kept indoors for safety reasons for many years now, the screened porch provides a place for the box. Pipig also has climbing and sleeping spaces in her porch but she darts outside whenever given any opportunity. Because the coyotes here are out at all hours now, I don't let her wander far.

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  8. I always love seeing shots of your garden. Your Kalanchoe orgyalis looks great! Mine has been struggling since keeping it too cold and wet in the greenhouse last winter. It's staying under lights inside this winter where the humidity is lower. I'm so envious of your carpet of Pelargonium tomentosum. It looks great! I love the scent of that foliage.

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    1. The Pelargonium tomentosum is so easy to grow here, I don't understand why I don't see it more often in local gardens or garden centers.

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  9. Wilson's wonder - just wow! What a showstopper! Your backlit Agonis trees put on a fabulous show, too. Love their wispy weepiness. I envy anyone who can grow Aeoniums, no less an entire meadow of them. I keep trying, but I think I should just give up and focus on ferns instead. ("Own thy shade, Anna, own thy shade...")

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    1. The green Aeonium arboreum are at their best in partial shade, Anna, so maybe you could try them! However, the colder winter temperatures in your area are admittedly a problem...

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  10. As usual lots of gorgeous and unusual foliage plants. Oh my goodness that L. 'Wilson's Wonder' is amazing. I am so jealous, knowing that I can never, ever have one. I have never seen Agonis trees and I love the effect of their wispy branches. I never used to like succulents but I seem to keep acquiring more and more and I am quite hooked now. What I am going to do with them all in the winter is a bit of a poser. I love your Kalanchoe and the Echeveria.

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    1. Succulents are like beautiful pieces of sculpture in a garden. Like my blogger friends in the Pacific Northwest (many of whom seem to be succulent addicts), I expect you'd do best growing them in pots you could move under cover during the cold months. While there are some frost tolerant succulents, the majority admittedly tend to melt away like the witch in the "Wizard of Oz" when faced with frost.

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  11. The foliage really is the star in your garden regardless that you have wonderful flowers too. You've created a wonderful space in a very short time, I admire your thoughtful planting.

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    1. Thanks Christina! I feel I'm still figuring things out here. The alkalinity of the soil in some areas is my current focus. If I can manage to lower my soil pH in those areas, I may expand my planting options.

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  12. Your garden is always so lovely! You found a perfect pot for Kalanchoe orgyalis! Great foliage all but that Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is especially impressive!

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    1. That Leucadendron always looks good but it's at its best in late summer.

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