Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A trip around the neighborhood

I haven't walked my neighborhood in quite a while so, late one afternoon last week, I decided to take a stroll to see what changes all the rain we had this winter might have brought.  The short answer is there wasn't much new to see even as spring takes hold here but I'll share some of the highlights.

A simple landscape featuring Arbutus 'Marina'.  This property also has some beautiful specimens of Salvia clevelandii but none are in bloom as yet.

Across the street, in what I think is the nicest garden in the neighborhood, the giant Leucospermum is in full bloom

This Magnolia was blooming street-side on the same property, with a carpet of Alstroemeria below

Back on the other side of the street, the huge vacant lot is still vacant.  I noticed a rusted shovel I'd never seen before near the entrance to the property.  It's overgrown with weeds at the moment but you can see the harbor in the distance.  I've never wandered much of the lot, which appears to be well over an acre, but based on the vehicle ruts showing in the muddy soil, others have.  I was told that the house on this lot burned down many years ago.  Apparently the owner of the property has never received an offer he's found acceptable.

I was impressed by how well someone has trimmed these giant Phormiums, although it looks as though they might be advised to divide them as well

This sprawling Spanish style house hasn't previously been this visible from the street, however, I expect the foliage shielding it was cleared away to install the power pole you see behind the funky stone bench.  New power poles are being put in throughout the area.

This nice succulent bed is down the street a ways.  Everything looked great except that some of the Agave attenuata seem to have suffered from too much rain.  A couple of my small foxtail agaves show similar discoloration but my larger specimens appear fine thus far.

A nice clump of Aloe brevifolia outside another house

As we approach the entrance to our neighborhood, you can see how some of the local hillside has eroded from the rain.  At least 3 dead trees have been removed along this section of the road.  The "no dumping" sign was recently installed because that has become a new problem.

Ice plant (probably Delosperma), Aeoniums and Aloes are blooming in this area at the neighborhood's entrance point


Heading back in the direction of our house, I found this Echium handiense in full bloom

as well as another nice collection of succulents

Did you notice the vine creeping into the blooming Crassula multicava in the previous photo collage?  I found a similar vine growing at the edge of our property, which a couple of bloggers identified as wild cucumber (Marah sp.).  Now that I know what it is, I noticed it all over the neighborhood.  It IS aggressive!


Our neighborhood is one very big circle consisting of nearly 60 homes, built at different times in different styles beginning in the 1950s when the area, formerly a rock quarry, was sold for development.  Even in the 6 years we've been here, we've seen considerable turnover in ownership, which is generally followed by extensive renovations.  One home up the street has been undergoing renovation for over 2 years now.  The construction fence came down just over a week ago but I'm not sure the house, considerably larger than it used to be, is ready for habitation yet.  Another house I've previously mentioned has been up for sale since October.  It dropped out of escrow in December but was back in escrow in February and it looks as though things are moving ahead at due speed this time.

I'm not sad to see this neighbor go but I'm apprehensive about whether this house too will be undergoing renovation.  New landscaping would be nice but I can do without the noise of an extensive home renovation - it's just 3 doors down from us.


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





20 comments:

  1. I have many childhood memories of your area;mostly relative to Marine World and the drama of walking the ramps around the outside of the tanks. Uncle Ray and Aunt June bought a house 'up there' in the late 50's and visits were full of awe. No idea what area they lived in , but they werern't 'horsey' so not in that area. And speaking of horses, the 'Plush Horse' was the ultimate restaurant destination...Crenshaw ? Hawthorne ?

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    1. I visited the Marine World location, some time after it closed, when it hosted a garden show called "Chelsea West." I think that event lasted just 2 years. I'm not familiar with the "Plush Horse" but looked it up on-line. It looks as though it moved about some but was last located on PCH. I'm sorry to say it's been gone a long while.

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  2. How fun to get to tag along on a walk through your neighborhood! That Leucospermum is fantastic!!!

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    1. That Leucospermum is a reminder (or perhaps a taunt) impressing the message that they can grow here.

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  3. I was determined to go for a walk this morning. But when it was time I just couldn't make myself go out in the driving rain. I am quite jealous.

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    1. The rain seems to be over here. I'm already using what I collected in my rain tanks. Our temps have exceeded 80F this week!

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  4. Your neighborhood is gorgeous with so many beautiful specimen plants. I enjoyed seeing it with you. Those "Build Over" renovations take quite a while because they have to take out most of the original house. One near us is nearing three years including nearly a year with missing windows and walls while they figured out what to do or ran out of money. Looks like they're close now.

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    1. I think my perceptions have been distorted by all those HGTV shows with turnarounds in weeks or months rather than years, Shirley. But you're right that most of those here also involve taking the house down to a foundation and a chimney. We also had one that went on over 3 years due to a contractor dispute but, luckily for us, that was on the other end of our circle.

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  5. Fingers crossed on a successful escrow completion at that last property! With a house right behind it looks like they can't build a second story.

    Very interesting tour. That Leucospermum is simply magnificent. There's Marah all over the place here--it will vanish come summer.

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    1. I've got my fingers crossed too. I agree that it's doubtful that the buyers can build up but it's a good-sized house already (bigger than ours at any rate). We were flat-out told we couldn't build up by the seller's agent when we bought our place.

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  6. I didn't see anything in the neighborhood as nice as your garden! :)

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    1. I probably didn't do justice to the garden with the Leucospermum then, but that's kind of you, Eliza.

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  7. It was nice to share your walk, Kris; you live in a very attractive area. A couple of things struck me. Firstly to see Magnolia in bloom at the same time as Altstroemeria seems like some at the Chelsea flower show (where people complain about the fact that species that would never flower together are forced to do so! Then the empty property on such with such a view; I think in most parts of the UK it would be snapped up at whatever the vendor wanted very quickly. I am also very heartened by some of the sensible water-wise planting.

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    1. I've come to the conclusion that flowers here bloom when they can, Christina. Our temperatures heat up early and fast and the extremes seem more pronounced with each year. A couple of weeks ago, I was still whining about the cold but now our temperatures are in the 80sF and may reach 90F by the weekend! As to the empty lot, I can't figure that one out either - it's a huge lot, especially by LA standards, and has a good view, also not common.

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  8. Good morning Kris,

    How nice to accompany you on your walk round your streets. maybe this should be a meme :-)
    I'd love to do a post and see others' close by area.

    I so know what you mean about near neighbours renovations. Endless noise and dust and general aggravation. These days respect for one's neighbour doesn't feature high on people's moral outlook.

    I hope you will show us the nasturtium patch when it is in flower.

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    1. The renovations are endless here, Joanna...I'm going to make a point of checking out that nasturtium patch again soon!

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  9. Yours is the nicest garden in your neighborhood! Magnolia blooming with alstroemeria? Oh my. Here magnolias bloom with tulips and alstroemeria doesn't start until July. Thanks for sharing the walk. Glad that a particular neighbor will be moving on & hope that the new owners are nice plant lovers who adore the house exactly as it is.

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    1. I'm anxiously awaiting signs of the moving van, Peter!

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  10. so long as the new neighbours like trees.
    Never seen such a huge Leucospermum!

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