Friday, April 3, 2020

Wide Shots - April 2020

It's April and time for one of my quarterly wide shots posts.  After seeing what a great job another blogger, Cathy of Rambling in the Garden, did in conducting a full-blown video tour of her garden I - very briefly - considered doing one of these but I fear that both my camera skills and my narration would be seriously lacking.  So here's another round of still photos, starting with my back garden:

While air pollution is down here, clouds have dominated the sky during the morning hours.  They improved the quality of my photos, though.

I took this shot looking back at the house from the dirt path than runs between my back garden border and the hedge

This is a view looking north from a midway point in the back garden.  Leucadendron 'Pisa' on the left produced its first luminescent flower-like "blooms" this week.  Orange Leucospermum 'Brandi' is blooming too.

This is a view from the north end of the back garden looking back toward the patio area.  I wasn't sure about planting the white Argyranthemum 'Everest' months ago but the shrubs have added a fresh touch to this end of the garden.

This is the view from the patio looking south.  Most of the yellow Gazanias you see in the foreground were self-planted.  The shrub on the right alongside the house is Calliandra haematocephala (aka pink powder puff bush).  It's new foliage is fabulous when its not shorn into submission.

We're looking north in the direction of the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) from the south end of the back garden.  The mimosa hasn't begun to leaf out yet.


Next up is the garden on the south side of the house.

We're looking west here.  The 'Blue Glow' and 'Blue Flame' Agaves on the left are living up to their names.  Leucospermum 'Goldie' is blooming on the right.

Here's another view of the same area from a different angle (once again taken from the dirt path between the borders and the hedge that surrounds them)

This view looking east shows off the California poppies and the fresh red foliage of the dwarf peppermint willow shrubs (Agonis flexuosa 'Nana') I pruned back hard in January

This and the following photo show segments of the south side garden that I often overlook.  Cistus x skanbergii is blooming on the right.  The succulents lining the path are mostly Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'.

This is the other side of the bed shown on the right in the prior photo.  The Cotinus coggyygria I cut nearly to the ground is rebounding but the ornamental grasses (Pennisetum 'Fireworks') have not done so yet.


Taking the path to the right of the cement wall shown in the prior photo brings us down to the lower level of the front garden.

This is where my lath (shade) house sits.  This view looking east hides a gopher burrow!


The lath house area borders the street.  Here's a view of the succulent bed planted there:

I've done very little with this area since I took down the remains of the 2 Agave desmettiana that bloomed last year.  The Xylosma congestum shrubs we added 3 (or more?) years ago to extend the hedge on the left that came with the house are finally beefing up, which may require that I edit this area sometime this year.


Walking along the street brings us to the driveway and the main level of the front garden.

Path to the front door

This is the bed to the left of the path, dominated by the Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) and Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'.  Arctotis 'Pink Sugar' is currently in full bloom here.  I still haven't planted anything to screen the new air conditioning unit we installed last year.

Three different views of the large south end area of the front garden are shown here

These are 2 more views of the south side of the front garden.  The gardeners that maintain our hedges got carried away cutting things back alongside the house as can be seen in the photo on the left.  They meant well but I've asked them to leave that area alone in the future as they hacked up 3 clumps of Lomandra 'Breeze' and cut back my mature Grevillea 'Superb'.  The view on the right looking at the same area from the other direction isn't quire as painful.

This is the area on the other side of the driveway alongside the garage

The pathway shown in the prior photo leads to this succulent garden.  My husband is currently at work replacing the gravel path with one using the pavers you see stacked up near the fence, saved during last year's home remodel.  That spot currently occupied by the pavers will house the new compost bins he's building for me.

A last view of the front garden looking southwest


From the driveway, we head into the cutting garden on the north end of the house.

I was pleased with the Anemones in my cool-season cutting garden this year but the Ranunculus have been very disappointing.  The sweet peas are only just beginning to reach bloom stage.  The same is true of the larkspur (Consolida ajacis).


The gate shown in the prior photo leads into another garden area, featuring a mix of succulents and other drought-tolerant plants.

This part of the garden is getting a little wild and woolly in spots

View of the same area looking in the opposite direction


I'll end this quarter's tour with the back slope.

Looking down from the top of the concrete block stairway

The congested view along the property line.  I should have removed the Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) behind the Ceanothus as I'd planned but somehow never got around to it.  I'll give it another chance to bloom before I tackle that chore.

The  area to the right of the stairway should show a lot more color when the Centranthus and Echium bloom


The slope is a few weeks from exploding into bloom.  I may give it its own post when that happens as Spring is the only time of the year its worth a closer look.

That's it from me this week.  Things are scarier here as the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases has jumped in Los Angeles County.  My husband and I hope to avoid even grocery shopping for awhile.  My cat has another chemotherapy treatment coming up so that may be my only outing next week.

My best wishes to you.  Take care and stay safe!


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

30 comments:

  1. Your garden is absolutely stunning. Definitely magazine worthy. Has that happened yet? Aside from your great plant selection you know just how to place things to set the scene. The fountain in the very first photo. I think if it wasn't there the eye wouldn't know where to settle to take in the whole scene. I must admit to having just a little bit of envy for all the things you can grow in the California climate even though it is harsh at times. Stay safe yourself.

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    1. No, my garden has never been featured anywhere, Jenny; however, I've meant to mention that a friend of mine recently handed off some old copies of The American Gardener and I immediately recognized your beautiful garden on the cover of the July/August 2018 edition. Belated congratulations!

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  2. Garden looks fabulous! At least you have a gorgeous place to "shelter in place".

    So far we're okay, but it undoubtedly nervous time. Good luck to beautiful Pipig!

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    1. It's a nerve-wracking time to be sure and seems more so with each passing day. Still, we're lucky and I know it. I'm making contributions, mostly of a financial nature, here and there but nothing feels like enough in this uncertain time.

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  3. Everything is looking marvelous, Kris. Clearly, the plants liked the extra rain. It is amazing how big the garden feels through still shots. The fact that you maintain it all is nothing short of astounding!

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    1. Our rain total to date (8.99 inches) is still well below our seasonal average, although fortunately some of the surrounding areas, like the foothill region, have received more. Somewhat to my surprise, there's a solid chance of more rain starting in the wee hours of Monday morning and the system could linger into later in the week. Fingers are crossed.

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  4. So impressive to see your garden Kris. Hope your kitty is responding well to the chemo. Take care.

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    1. The kitty is looking and acting older but then that's true of all of us. She and I are both looking forward to her last treatment, although she probably thinks her last treatment was her LAST treatment.

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  5. I always forget how large your garden is. Not only is it large but you have made a paradise of color, form and interest. It is fun to see the self seeders enjoying their time in the sun. Cheers...

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    1. It's a smidge over half an acre, Lisa, which IS big for Los Angeles County but perhaps not elsewhere in the country. I think the multiple level changes make it look bigger than it is.

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  6. Wow, I just came from Rock Rose blog to visit, and oh my what a beautiful paradise you have there. Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thanks for the visit and the comment, Lorraine!

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  7. Your garden is maturing beautifully, Kris. I'm so glad I've been able to follow along long enough to remember the grassy areas and then the newly planted areas that looked so empty when they were first planted. I knew that would definitely change over time and it has. Keeping my fingers crossed for Pipig that the chemo has done the trick.

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    1. Thanks Barbara. Pipig seems to be handling her treatment well, although a chest x-ray conducted last time showed a shadow that the radiologist couldn't rule out as evidence that the cancer has spread. I'm hoping the vet is right in thinking it's just a shadow. She's 12 years old - I can't put her through another round of this.

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  8. Thank you for any type of tour of your amazing property! If the Fling is ever in the L.A. area, your garden must be included.

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    1. Thanks Beth. If our freeways were as clear as they are now, a Fling in LA wouldn't seem so improbable.

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  9. Such a beautiful - and BIG - garden! The only good thing that comes from social distancing is the ability to spend as much time working on garden projects as our bodies will stand. I'm a sucker for large sweeping panoramic photos that include a large tree and a path. I like the balance and mystery of such composition; this wide-shot post presented many. My favorite is the third from the top, with the white daisies. Gorgeous!

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    1. I spent almost the entire day working in the garden today. It was exhausting but left me feeling saner than I have in weeks. Thanks for visiting!

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  10. What wonderful gardens! You should be very proud of them :)

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    1. I am, Nikki. They offer me an exercise outlet too!

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  11. Wow Kris! I had no idea your yard was so expansive as you only show it in small sections. I was lost trying to figure out where I was and how it fit together. I don't know if I'm more impressed by how extensive your gardens are, the gorgeous windows on your house and the light you must get inside, or the fact that you know every botanical name of every plant. You are one impressive gardener!

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    1. Thanks Cindy. I'm better at the botanical names of plants I grow - and, if I have a memory lapse, I can usually rely on a spreadsheet I keep with basic information about each plant (provided I've remembered to update it!).

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  12. Che dire? È perfetto! Ogni zona è armoniosa e amo soprattutto quei camminamenti con i sassi e le piante tappezzanti! Complimenti!

    Ti auguro una buona serata :)

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    1. Perfect, no, but I'll keep working to improve it for as long as I can wield a trowel, Gabriel! Best wishes to you.

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  13. Your garden is absolutely superb Kris - both the situation and what you've done with the planting. As someone else has said - you are some gardener! But I did feel like weeping when you spoke about the mature grevillea being cut back!Also - I see from this and Vase on Monday that you have a cat going through chemo at the moment. I wish Pipig and you all the best.I dragged my favourite boy all over the place a year or so ago and I'd have to agree that it's tough/stressful and hard to know when to stop. Take care of yourselves!

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    1. Thanks Cathy. Seeing that Grevillea cut back made me momentarily sick. As to Pipig, she's been a trooper thus far but, if this round of treatment once complete isn't enough, I won't put her through more.

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  14. I am always so impressed by the way your garden spreads out to embrace your view. Walking garden laps each day, gives me time to notice and rethink bits of my space. Prune prune prune as the shrubs crowd my path.

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    1. Be careful Diana! I was prune-prune-pruning myself a couple of months ago and managed to develop a ganglion cyst on my wrist.

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