Friday, November 17, 2017

Foliage Follow-up - New Plants!

I recently posted photos of a dramatic change to the southwest corner of my garden resulting from a neighbor's removal of several large oleanders suffering from leaf scorch.  As plans were afoot this week to install replacement shrubs, I'd planned to provide photos of the newly installed Pittosporum hedge for this week's Foliage Follow-up, the feature hosted by Pam at Digging each month following Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  But, as the schedule for the planned installation stretched out, I began looking for a new topic.  I've been on a few fall planting sprees of late so I focused on some of my new foliage purchases.

On a trip to Seaside Gardens last weekend, I picked up 3 Cordyline 'Renegade', which I planted this week.  Their burgundy color nicely mirrors the color of Leucadendron 'Ebony' in the background (currently in danger of being swallowed up by Leucadendon salignum 'Chief').  The grasses in front of the Cordylines, Melinus nerviglumis, are also relatively new introductions.

I also picked up Leucadendron 'Little Bit' at Seaside, shown here planted in front of Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira''Little Bit' should eventually grow to 3 feet tall and wide, relatively small for a Leucadendron but a nice accent to the larger Echium.

In last month's Foliage Follow-up, I focused on the Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' that threatened to encompass everything in its path.  Commentators were nearly universal in supporting removal of the succulents that stood in the path of these shrubs and I recently moved the succulents.  However, as I can't abide an expanse of bare soil (and didn't want to give the local raccoons an invitation to dig), I planted Lotus berthelotii, a low-growing ground cover, to bridge the gap between the Acacia and the creeping thyme.  The new plants are shown in the photo on the left.  The photo on the right shows an expanse of established Lotus on the other side of the path.  The Lotus (aka Parrot's Beak) develops red flowers but shouldn't fight with 'Cousin Itt' the way the taller succulents did.

The area in the foreground here was a sloppy mess of overgrown thyme and raggedy Carex testacea.  I moved a Stipa arundinacea 'Sirocco' that had been growing in the front garden (the orange grass shown above) and picked up 2 more of these plants to fill in the area in front of Leucospermum 'Goldie'.  The new plants should take on the same orange color as the transplant in time.


Near dusk yesterday afternoon, the neighbor's garden crew finally finished work on the installation of the new hedge of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Sheen'.  The light wasn't great for photos but I'm going to include these anyway.

The first photo on the left shows the property line between us and our neighbor to the south before the mass of oleanders on the neighbor's side was removed.  The middle photo shows the area as it looked immediately after the oleanders were removed, exposing the neighbor's driveway to our view.  The third photo is a blurry shot of the new Pittosporum hedge just beyond our property line.

This is a closer view.  There are a total of 7 Pittosporum 'Silver Sheen' here.  The neighbor also laid new irrigation, jute to hold the slope as the plants become established, and plugs of ice plant to serve as a ground cover.  We're sharing in the cost of both the oleanders' removal and the new installation so I appreciate all the work that went into getting the new hedge off to a good start.


Our side of the property line is also a mess as work has finally begun on the lath (shade) house planned for the southwest corner.  While I've been slowly clearing out the pots and detritus that had accumulated in the area during the 7 years we've lived here, my husband has the hardest job: building the structure.  Thus far, only the footings are in place but that's progress!

The lath house will be a 5-sided structure.  The space between the 2 footings in the foreground on the left will hold a door.  The 2 walls on either side of the door will have windows (and window boxes).  All the walls and the roof with be constructed of lath to allow air and light into the structure.  I expect I'll fill in with plants around the structure but I probably won't figure that piece out until the structure is complete.  My husband tells me that the pitched lath roof is likely to be the trickiest part of the project. 


For more Foliage follow-up posts, visit Pam at Digging.


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

20 comments:

  1. Be still my heart - that echium always thrills me in bloom or not. I love your 'Cousin Itt' solution. Great new plants all around. Very exciting about the footings for the lath house being in place!

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    1. I love that Echium too and it seems very happy in that location. Hopefully, 'Cousin Itt' and Parrot's Beak will cohabitate in peace.

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    1. I can't tell you how excited I am about that lath house, Kathy. I think even my husband is surprised how fixated I am with the project. It's not going to be very large but I'll still make good use of it. I'm already throwing covetous glances at shade plants every time I walk into a garden center.

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  3. Oooo...it's going to look fantastic! I like the lotus along the Cousin Itt - looks soft and inviting. Nice! The Pittosporum hedge is off to a great start, too. Busy for November around your garden!

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    1. Gardening here is a year-round proposition, Tamara, although planting during the height of summer is pure foolishness (not that that usually stops me).

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  4. The Echium! The Cordyline 'Renegade'! The lath house! You’ve got a lot of great things going on there ma’am.

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    1. Yes, indeed! Fall is a wonderful time in the garden here, although the weather forecasters have predicted another, hopefully brief, return of summer temperatures this weekend.

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  5. I echo the swoons over your echium. And I absolutely love your solution to the Cousin Itt situation, with the Lotus berthelotii echoing the planting across the way. The lath house sounds wonderful too.

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    1. I fought the idea of moving the succulents out of the way of 'Cousin Itt' in my mind for awhile but I'm pleased with the final result (or will be when the Lotus fills in).

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  6. Wow, lots of progress. That bed where the new pittosporum were planted has quite a slope, doesn't it?

    Leucadendron 'Little Bit': That went on my plant wish list.

    What's your experience with creeping thyme? How much water does it need? I'm considering it for the backyard where our dymondia experiment has all but stalled.

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    1. It's a pretty good slope, although it'd been leveled in the middle some when the original oleanders were planted. Slopes are a fact of life when gardening here.

      I've had far better luck with creeping thyme than dymondia myself (although Hoover Boo's had great luck with the latter at her place). The thyme is relatively quick to establish and, once it does, it gets along with the same amount of water was the rest of the garden (i.e. 2x/week watering in summer). My only caution is to pay careful attention to the type of creeping thyme you buy as a LOT of varieties are labeled as such and some of those grow too tall for placement around paving. The variety I'm used most extensively is Thymus serphyllum 'Minus', although I'm going to try 'Elfin' in some areas this year (to replace the forms that have grown to tall or died out). Some growers refer to 'Minus' and 'Elfin' as the same plant but, in my experience, 'Elfin'is denser and even more compact in terms of height.

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  7. All great improvements, and I think that's a genius solution for Cousin Itt. So exciting, Kris!

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    1. Thanks Denise! Much as I love early spring, I think I get more excited about the process of gardening in the fall, when everything seems possible.

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  8. Lots of great improvements. I must say that Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' is one handsome plant!

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    1. That variegated Echium is particularly happy in that location, Eliza. I had another on the south side of our property but it never achieved the same splendor and I recently pulled it to make room for other plants.

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  9. Nice to have a neighbor you can work with! You are doing lots of work, and I am looking forward to seeing your completed lath house. I Love what you did in front of cousin Itt. And I agree with Eliza's comment about Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' !

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    1. Yes, this neighbor is the polar opposite of the tree-hating neighbor, who has now moved elsewhere where she hopefully finds the view more to her liking. And I'm looking forward to seeing my completed lath house too! I suspect it's going to take awhile but I reviewed (and approved) my husband's plan earlier today.

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  10. It will be fun for us to watch the plants and project mature!

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    1. My husband is moving ahead on the project more quickly than I'd thought he would given some foot-dragging before he got started. I probably should be taking project photos daily!

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