As a whole, I was struck by how parched most of the front gardens in my neighborhood looked. Of course, back in March, we were coming off the heaviest winter rainy season we'd had in years. In contrast, we've had only a trivial amount of rain since the new rain year tally began October 1st, less than a fifth of an inch in total. Worse yet, the current extended forecast doesn't show any rain until mid-January. Under these conditions, I probably shouldn't have expected to find much color but I did find some. Here are the highlights:
|Succulent bed with flowering Aloe arborescens beneath a canopy of red Bougainvillea|
|More succulents, along with Phormium, Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise), Tagetes lemmonii, and ornamental grasses|
|A noID Cordyline, highlighted by the sun. This neighbor recently replanted her front slope, adding pops of this red Cordyline, yellow Euryops, and Pelargoniums to her prior collections of red Bougainvillea and blue Agapanthus|
|Hibiscus in bloom across the street|
|Blooms on this Bougainvillea weren't surprising but blooms on Agapanthus aren't the norm this time of year|
|More Aloe arborescens, this clump sited below a Heteromeles arbuitfolia (toyon) covered in red berries|
|My favorite neighborhood garden (next to my own), sporting more blooming aloes|
|I knew the former owner of this property and I'm sure she identified this Salvia for me but I can't remember what it is. It's covered in small blue flowers, although they're somewhat difficult to make out in my photo|
|The massive Leucospermum in the same garden has loads of buds but no blooms yet. I didn't even notice that the Leucospermum had virtually swallowed the orange tree in front of it until I viewed this photo.|
|So as not to hold you in suspense, here's the photo of the same Leucospermum I took in March|
|There are quite a few Schinus molle (California pepper trees) in the neighborhood and most are producing berries|
There were a LOT of dead plants too, despite last year's heavy rain and the subsequent loosening of water restrictions.
A few houses have changed hands but their gardens largely have not.
|The house renovation that took 2+ years was completed some time ago but there's no landscaping yet other than 2 lonely cycads|
|The huge empty lot is still empty|
But one can only see so much from the street. My own garden doesn't look that different from the street either, with one notable exception.
|The dead oleanders that lined our neighbors' driveway on the south side have been replaced with Pittosporum 'Silver Sheen' and my lath (shade) house is coming together just inside our laurel hedge|
As the holidays approach, I hope you have time to take in and enjoy your surroundings. I'll be spending my weekend writing to Santa requesting more fire fighters - and rain.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party