Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Vignette: Ring of Fire

You may know the "ring of fire" as the portion of the Pacific Ocean basin responsible for a significant proportion of the world's largest earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  Or you may know it as a famous song sung by Johnny Cash.



My garden has a ring of fire of a different sort.  It appears at periodic intervals as new growth forms of the Xylosma congestum hedge that surrounds much of our property.  The shrub was featured as one of my favorite plants in 2014 but that post didn't show the manner in which it frames the garden.  Under this week's gloomy skies and rain-laden clouds, my own little ring of fire is shining bright so it's a natural choice for this week's Wednesday Vignette.

View of the new red-orange foliage of the backyard section of the Xylosma hedge, looking southeast

View from the backyard patio looking east under partly sunny skies

View of the hedge from the south end of the backyard looking northeast

A close-up of the hedge, showing how the foliage mirrors the color of a house in the distance and a neighbor's clay roof tiles below us


I'd need an aerial view to show you the entire expanse of the hedge, which also winds around the south and front sides of our lot, but I'll let the photos above suffice.  For more Wednesday vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

38 comments:

  1. It's super cool, that ring. Google Earth needs to take their photo just at this time of year.

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    1. It stands out more this year, perhaps just because of the contrast with the gloomy skies.

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  2. That is a great feature in your garden, Kris! Love it.

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    1. I can't take much credit for it, Tim - with the exception of 5 shrubs added along the street last spring, we inherited the lot with the house and garden.

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  3. Fantastic! What kind of ground cover do you have around your stepping stones? Beautiful garden!

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    1. Thanks Rachel. The ground cover around the paving stones is creeping thyme, mostly Thymus serphyllum minus.

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  4. Your own personal ring of fire. I love it! And your garden looks wonderful right now. I'm sure the plants are loving the rain you've gotten this season.

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    1. With the possible exception of some succulents in pots prone to accumulate standing water, the garden and I are very appreciative of the rain.

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  5. What a great feature that hedge is. Some of the previous owner's hedge fetishes may have been a bit weird, but I bet you're happy with this one.

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    1. I am indeed happy with the Xylosma hedge, Alison. It's required nothing more from us than quarterly trims, unlike any of the other hedges that came with the house. Most of the Ceanothus hedges have died out - they were poorly placed where they got too much summer water and also didn't like the frequent haircuts required to keep them within bounds. The Auranticarpa hedge is almost entirely gone too and what remains suffers continuously from chlorosis.

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  6. Wow - that's a fantastic feature! And I love the color echoes - both with the building and the distant roof tops. I wholeheartedly support what Hoov said - Google needs to be at the ready with their cameras NOW!

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    1. The color echos with the distant house and roof tops are pure serendipity but I've also been playing up that red-orange color elsewhere in the garden.

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  7. Oh this is wonderful! Both the title and the hedge. Plus now I'll be singing that tune for days...

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    1. Although I can't claim to be a fan of country music, I do make an exception for Johnny Cash.

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  8. A great name for your hedge. I have a similar hedge along the south and part of the west boundary, mine's Photinia and soon it too will be a (partial) ring of fire.

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    1. The bright red color of Photinias always draws my eye. Now you have me wondering why I've never found a place to plant one of those shrubs, Christina.

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  9. It's really beautiful, Kris - thanks for sharing the long shots of it as well! Also love it with the Osteospermum (?) in the foreground of the third picture!

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    1. That's Osteospermum '4D Silver', Amy. The rain has really pumped up the flower output of those plants.

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  10. Nice ring of fire
    Have a nice day
    Mariana

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  11. It looks super healthy and you must have pruned it just right to get that length of lovely new red growth now.

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    1. The whole length of the backyard hedge generally gets its quarterly trim at the same time, hence the ring effect. The front sections of hedge are a bit behind but I think the rain also contributed to the current foliage flush.

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  12. Lovely - your garden looks so happy. Yay, rain!
    You need to find a friend with a photo drone to take an aerial snapshot. :)

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    1. My husband was given a small drone the Christmas before last and I had brief hopes of using it to film the garden but it almost immediately broke...

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  13. Wow, I love how the hedge delineates your property. I've seen few hedge plantings as attractive as yours.

    P.S. Wouldn't aerial images from a drone be wonderful?

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    1. I can't claim any credit as the hedge came with the house but I do love it.

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  15. That's so cool. But will you have to clip it all off to keep the hedge in order?

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    1. The hedge usually gets trimmed as the new foliage matures and turns green. Trimming, in turn, triggers another flush of red-orange new growth so it's a continuous cycle.

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  16. a good looking clipped hedge is an art in a way I think, and very few do it well. This actually has a purpose within the design of your garden, unlike the tortured scalpings done by the mow-blow guys ! Love those color echoes and a subtle sense of enclosure.

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    1. I wasn't familiar with Xylosma at all until we moved here. Hedges seem to be used as fence substitutes here and we inherited a ridiculous number, comprised of several different materials. Xylosma handles regular trims far better than any of the others.

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  17. I love your ring of fire, what an inspiration. It reminds me of our Photinia x fraseri'Red Robin' which looks so lovely and red in spring.

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    1. I admire the Photinia in the neighbor's front garden every spring, Chloris!

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    1. It's one of my favorite design features, although not one I can make any claim of creating.

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  19. Stunning ring of fire and this one doesn't cause earthquakes.

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