I'll start in the back garden. The last sections of lawn in the back garden were removed in September 2015. By January 2016, flagstone had been laid through the mid-section of what had been lawn, or what passed for lawn in our increasingly dry climate, and plants had been added. The plants have filled out quite a bit over the past year.
|View from the back patio looking southeast|
|View from the south side looking north toward the patio and the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) just beyond|
|View from the area north of the main patio looking south|
Moving southward, here's a look at the garden on the south side of the house. The changes here are less dramatic than some areas of the garden. In 2016, while the overall structure of the area remained the same, succulents displaced more of the woody and herbaceous plants.
|View from the small patio on the south end of the house looking to the trees and shrubs that separate us from the neighbors on the south side|
|View through the arbor looking toward the backyard and the harbor to the east|
Taking a turn down the path just to the west of the arbor brings us to an area I call the "glen" for no other reason than it's simpler than describing it as a flat area below the main level of the front garden and behind the succulent bed that runs along the street. In 2016, the main alteration to this area involved extension of the dry-stacked wall than contains the front slope.
|View from the street looking toward the path leading up to the upper level|
|This current view, looking back toward the street, shows the extension to the dry-stacked wall in the foreground|
If you're a regular reader, you may recall that we also removed the last remnants of the Ceanothus hedge atop the western side of dry-stacked wall. This hedge, which ran parallel to the Xylosma hedge along the street at the front of the property had created an odd tunnel approximately 3 feet wide. When the last of the dying Ceanothus shrubs were removed in November, I replanted the area using succulents and a few other drought tolerant plants.
|In this case, the before picture on the left was taken in September 2016. The photo on the right was taken last week.|
This brings us to the main section of the front garden. Changes in this area were relatively minor in 2016 and mostly involved replacement of plants killed during the horrific heatwave in June and some plants that died later due to a breakdown in a segment of our irrigation system.
|Current view of the front of the house from the driveway|
A side-by-side comparison of a photo taken in 2011 and a photo I took from roughly the same angle last Thursday is perhaps the most dramatic reflection of the transformation of the front garden. I offer this as my Wednesday Vignette. (Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum for more of the images that bloggers found interesting this week.)
The last area we stripped of lawn was a parcel sandwiched between the driveway, the street, and our detached garage. At the start of 2016 we were still in the process of digging out the lawn. I finished my initial planting of the area in late January. The plantings have been slow to fill out.
|View from the driveway looking north|
Turning to the other side of the garage, the vegetable garden looks much the same as it did in January 2016, although the contents of the raised planters have changed. I've given up vegetables in favor of herbs and flowers for cutting.
|This January (right), there are already blooms on the Camellia 'Taylor's Perfection' planted against the garage wall but the fruit on the Washington navel orange tree is not nearly as ripe as it was this time last year.|
A fence separates the vegetable, now cutting, garden from the dry garden on the northeast side of the house. There were no significant changes in this area in 2016 beyond the clean-up and removal of some plants that didn't survive the summer of 2016. I plan to dig up and replant an area currently overrun by Geranium incanum and Teucrium x lucidrys in 2017.
|View from the paved walkway along the house looking north to the fence between us and our neighbors. The Agave ovatifolia shows up better now as it's gained size and I removed a Dorycnium hirsutum that formerly obscured it from view.|
The gravel path through the dry garden, which appears to dead-end at the fence that separates us from our neighbor on the north side, actually turns and runs down our steep back slope. That area suffered most from June's horrific heatwave. The upper portion has yet to recover and the area is generally a mess. I'm still playing with the idea of getting professional help there as I don't think my right knee can make it through a wholesale renovation. The biggest roadblock may be the limited access to the area, which could put the cost of a professional job beyond my means.
|View looking down from near the top of the cement block stairway my husband installed|
|View looking up from the bottom, with the photo on the right highlighting the damage done by June's heatwave to the plants on the upper section of the slope|
The only area left in this very long tour of my garden is the street-side succulent bed on the southwest side of the property. The changes there were limited to removal of the last dead Auranticarpa rhombifolia that formerly made up a section of the hedge facing the street and the addition of 5 Xylosma congestum shrubs installed in May to extend the existing Xylosma hedge.
|The current view here shows the Xylosma hedge on the left, the gap created by the removal of several dead and dying Auranticarpa inherited with the garden, and the 3 relatively healthy Auranticarpa we've left in place for now|
If you made it to this point, congratulations! That's the last of my wide shots until April.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party