Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After the Hedge: A Foliage Follow-up Post

Earlier this month, I posted on the removal of the last remaining portion of the deteriorating Ceanothus hedge we inherited with our garden.  Not one to leave any ground bare for long, I began preparing the area for planting within a week of clearing it.  The first step involved bringing in yet another batch of what the local stone yard refers to as "small boulders" to hold the front slope.  The next step was to dig out and divide the large mass of Agapanthus.  Shopping, mostly for succulents, was also involved.  Although I expect to do some tweaking, I've completed my first pass at redesigning the area.

For reference, here's another photo of the area after the hedge was removed but before it was replanted:

In addition to dividing the Agapanthus, I cleared out a lot of the Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), which is virtually a weed here.  The large plants in the level area above the Agapanthus - Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', Tecoma stans, and Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera' - were retained.


And here's a look at it after replanting:

I added about 500 lbs of rock to stabilize the soil on this slope, which is steeper than it appears in this photo

View of the same area from the opposite direction


Not all the plants came from garden centers.  In addition to dividing the Agapanthus into 3 smaller clumps, I transplanted plants taken from elsewhere in the garden.

From left to right: newly planted clump of blue Agapanthus; one of 3 divisions of Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' taken earlier in the year; and Leucadendron 'Safari Goldstrike', purchased in early spring and temporarily kept in a pot


I also took cuttings of succulents I had elsewhere.

Clockwise from the left, the cuttings I took from elsewhere in the garden include: Agave attenuata, Aloe 'Rooikappie', Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire', what was sold to me last year as Senecio amaniensis (but may be something else entirely), and Senecio vitalis


And here are the plants I purchased:

First row: Aeonium 'Kiwi', Agave geminiflora, Anacampseros 'Sunrise', and Crassula ovata 'Sunset'
Second row: Echeveria 'Blue Atoll', E. 'Blue sky', Festuca californica, and Kalanchoe luciae
Third row: Pennisetum orientale, Sedum adophii, Sedum haworthii, and Sedum "hybrid"
Fourth row: Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora' and 3 noID succulents
(Not shown: both green and variegated forms of Portulacaria afra)


Most of these species were purchased in multiples and I've already picked up a few additional succulents that don't appear in my photos so, as I said, tweaking will continue.  I considered dressing the lower area with gravel but the sloping surface presents a challenge so I'm leaning in the direction of adding more small-leafed succulents as ground cover.  There's a large space just south of the variegated Echium that needs to be filled too but I haven't settled on the right thing to complement the surrounding plants yet.

As we brought home 860 lbs of rock from the stone yard, I still have about 360 lbs of rock to use elsewhere now that I'm mostly done with this area.  I'm waiting for the cricks in my back to smooth out before I get started with that.  The work that's already been done will stand as my Foliage Follow-up post this month.  For more foliage selections, visit our host, Pam at Digging.


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

27 comments:

  1. Well done, in your usual methodical and meticulous manner. Now, rest your back!

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    1. The back is better and the fingers are itchy...

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  2. That's a noteworthy amount of stone you've moved. So envious of your blue Agapanthus.

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    1. Agapanthus gets little respect here, where it's used everywhere, but I do appreciate the evergreen foliage and the beautiful mass of summer blooms.

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  3. That is going to look terrific when all those plants fill in !

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    1. It's very tempting to pack the succulents in but I'm trying to give those that can get large some breathing space. Patience isn't one of my principal virtues.

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  4. I love the definition that new rock line gives to the bed. It's going to look great as things fill in!

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    1. Hauling the rock around and seating it firmly in place isn't much fun but I like the look too and it does a great job of stemming soil erosion in sloped areas.

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  5. Oh, to have all that precious real estate to fill with new goodies! I admit to being just a little bit envious... It's going to be beautiful, Kris - nice work!

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    1. Thanks Anna! I consider this training for tackling the horrendous back slope.

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  6. You're amazing Kris, this looks so good already!

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    1. Thanks Loree! I'm still tucking in pups from elsewhere but I told myself I need to stop futzing (soon).

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  7. Some impressive earth-moving there! I really love the idea of the succulents mixed with the grasses!

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    1. I've been pleased with the performance of the California fescue elsewhere on the slope. The Pennisetum orientale is new to me but its size was right and I found it in 4-inch pots so I couldn't pass it up.

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  8. Thank looks so great and like a lot of good work. You definitely deserve some R and R to enjoy the fruits of your labor and recuperate!

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    1. But it's fall, Tim! It's the absolutely best time to plant here. Of course, that understanding assumes the promise of winter rains, which seem a bit in doubt in this La Nina year.

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    2. I understand. Fall is a great time to plant here in Ohio, too....of course our autumn ends a bit sooner and much harsher than does yours! :)

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  9. That's a lot of work, Kris, but it looks great and will look even better as it fills in. Nice job! Now go rest your back. :) Pam/Digging: penick.net

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    1. It would have been nice to have had smaller rocks...

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  10. Wow, your poor back, that's a lotta rock! It looks fabulous and I can imagine it will be amazing as time goes on. Love the colors and textures of all your new succulents.

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    1. In the past year, I calculate that we've hauled in about 1860 lbs of rock - and that doesn't even include the flagstone brought in at intervals as we pulled out lawn. What's somewhat absurd about this is that our property used to be part of a rock quarry (circa 1940s).

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  11. Your stone working skills are awe inspiring!! The great thing about the succulents is that they do spread and multiply quite quickly so the area should be filled soon. The Pennisetum at the end is my favourite thing in your garden at the moment.

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    1. Pennisetum 'Rubrum' is a fabulous plant, requiring no more care than an annual end-of-winter clean-up, Christina. Some people have claimed that it can be invasive but that's most definitely not true here.

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  12. My goodness Kris, you are tireless. What an achievement, well done, it looks fabulous. I love all your new succulents.

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    1. Moving rock, digging and dividing plants has proven to be the best tonic to counter some of the toxicity of our current environment, Chloris. I may need to tackle the back slope next!

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  13. I dream of plants like these. Delightful and well worth the replanting effort.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them, Ian. Succulents love this climate, drought or not.

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