Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Wide Shots - January 2021

One month blends into another and, as is the case for many of us these days, I lose track of time.  I completely forgot my own eighth blog anniversary late last month and only belatedly remembered that it was time for my quarterly wide shots post, which I use to track the general changes in my garden that otherwise can get lost among all the close-up photos.

I'll start as usual in my back garden looking out toward the Los Angeles harbor.

I've cut back a lot of plants, most notably the bush violets (Barleria obtusa) that were threatening to swamp plants adjacent to the fountain, as well as others in the back border.  You can see bulb foliage coming up around the fountain now.

View from the back patio looking north

View from the northeast end of the house looking back toward the main patio

View from the main patio looking south.  Although there are a lot of empty spots in the beds on both sides of the flagstone path, it doesn't look bad from this vantage point.  The Echium handiense on the foreground on the left already has bloom spikes as our weather turns unseasonably warm.  We could reach 80F (26C) before the week's end.

View from the south end of the back garden looking north.  The most obvious change since my October wide shots post is that the mimosa tree (Alibizia julibrissin) is gone.  Its planned replacement, a Ginkgo, isn't available at my local garden center yet.

The south side garden is next up.  The area looks a lot different to me since the removal of the dead native Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) along the property line.  I planted a new tree, Olearia albida (aka tree daisy), just inside the hedge that runs along the perimeter but it's still too small to be seen in a wide shot.

This view of the south side garden looking west is one of my favorite garden views

The loss of the Toyon is most evident in this view from the area outside the "catio" looking southeast.  Hopefully, the tree daisy will someday screen those scruffy trees in the distance and the neighbor's house.

View of the south side garden looking east.  Last week, I cut back the two vines growing up the arbor, a Wisteria on the left and a Clematis on the right.

Next we'll move into the front garden but, instead of continuing along the main level, we'll dip down to the lower level where my lath (shade) house sits.

I cleared the slope on the right in November and replanted it, mostly with small succulent specimens, some cut from elsewhere in my garden and others received by mail order

View of the same area looking east

The area shown above sits next to the road that runs through our neighborhood so we'll take a quick look at the bed running parallel to the street now.

My husband cut back the Agave 'Blue Flame' on the right as it had spilled out into the street.  I cleaned out various dead succulents and planted a couple of things I had in reserve.  I'm thinking of removing some of the iceplant (Delosperma) on the far right in order to plant some of the 'Blue Flame' pups I pulled out of another area.

The barely visible stick in the back is a Mexican sunflower tree (Tithonia diversifolia) I cut back after transplanting.  The specimen grown in the local botanic garden is cut back hard each year but I'm not confident this one will spring back the way larger specimens do.  The blue plant in front is an Agave colorata I dug out of the back garden before we had the dying mimosa tree removed.  I had a larger specimen but it wasn't as symmetrical as this one so I left it in the driveway with a sign as another of my giveaways and, despite its weight and sharp spikes, it was gone in the morning.

Walking back up the street to the driveway, we face the front entrance to the house.

I pruned the shrub roses and cut back the overgrown Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' shrubs in the front beds this week.  The two Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' shrubs on either side of the front walk have been harder to manage than I'd hoped - every time I cut them back, they almost instantly produce a couple feet of new growth.

I still need to cut back the California lavender (Lavandula multifida).  I'll wait another month to cut back the Pennisetum 'Rubrum'.

This is a closer view of the succulent bed that runs from the driveway back to the lath house

View from near the front door looking southwest

View from the south end of the main level of the front garden looking north.  Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' (sited next to Grevillea 'Superb') is flaunting its colorful yellow bracts.

View from the north end of the house looking southwest

A poor photo of the bed on the west side of the garage looking toward house.  After removing an ungainly self-seeded sweet pea bush (Polygala fruticosa), I planted three Verbascum and one Salvia in the area below the ornamental pear tree last month only to have rabbits eat the plants to nubs overnight.  I covered what was left with overturned plastic flats in an effort to save what remained.

I'm planning to renovate this succulent bed next to the garage (again) soon

On the other side of the garage is the cutting garden, which currently doesn't have much to say for itself.

The Anemone corms I planted in early November are well on their way but most of the other bulbs planted and seeds sown later in November have yet to do much.  The plastic flats provide seedlings with protection from critters.

Next up is the north side garden, which I cleaned out in December, leaving a lot of blank spots I'm anxious to fill when it's safe to do a little plant shopping again.

Grevillea 'Scarlet Sprite' is just starting to bloom


Continuing down that gravel path shown in the last photo takes us down to the back slope, still largely neglected on my part.

I had plans for the back slope I never implemented last year.  A few run-ins with fire ants significantly reduced the time I spent down there.

As we've had very little rain - just 1.2 inches since the start of our "rain year" on October 1st - I need to get down there and water by hand if I'm going to have much of anything survive

That's a wrap for this quarter's wide shots.  If we're lucky enough to get more rain before our rainy season ends, April's update should be significantly more colorful.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

21 comments:

  1. Paradise! What is the size of your property? The two trees on the back patio - is that manzanita? And I thought I saw a magnolia further down? I'm glad you said that time seems to blur for you. One of the things that unnerves me since I haven't been working this winter is that I forget what day it is. Sometimes I'm way off! haha

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    1. The property is just over half an acre in size, Phillip, although I think all the level changes help make it look even bigger. The two trees in the back garden are Arbutus 'Marina'. I actually have four of those (two more in the front garden), all inherited with the garden. And yes, there's a Magnolia grandiflora in the front garden.

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  2. Your garden looks extraordinarily neat and tidy for this time of year. Mine is quite the mess.

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    1. I find that difficult to believe, HB. Your garden always looks spectacular. You probably just feel it's a mess as you're actively engaged in moving and removing plants.

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  3. Definitely anticipating your Ginkgo!

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  4. Off the patio to the North the tree with the red bark is outstanding. I love that color in the garden. Your garden looks so lush even tho you haven't had much rain. We are going through a warm spell here too. Way above average, 50F today and we have had sunshine for two days!!

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    1. Fifty degrees sounds downright cold to me, Lisa! On the other hand, 88F, if we indeed reach that number, is WAY too hot for January even here. The trees with the red bark are Arbutus 'Marina'. I have four of those in total, all magnificent, although they really need annual pruning to stay healthy.

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  5. I found myself humming 'California Dreamin' while looking at this post. ;) How I'd love to be there right now!
    Looking great, Kris. Hope you get that rain.

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    1. It sounds as though we have at least another 6 weeks to wait for a chance of more rain, Eliza, but fingers are crossed it shows up before our rainy season is over.

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  6. I do hope you get more rain... Seattle had 2" in the last 24 hours alone. I'd gladly share the deluge with you. It was followed by a windstorm that knocked out my power for over 13 hours...
    The panoramic view in picture #7 is breathtaking. I admire your willows and variegated Aeonium. There is an example of it in picture #9 that seems to be as big as a dinner plate!

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    1. That Aeonium 'Sunburst' does get VERY big! It's one of my favorites and generally relatively expensive in nurseries but luckily it produces some pups. A friend and I periodically discuss where we might move but every area poses difficulties of some kind. Still, persistent drought is hard for a gardener to stomach.

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  7. Yeah, your view has to be one of the best/most impressive in the garden blogosphere. I agree with Eliza's comment. :) I have quite a few relatives in S. California, and you have me plotting to get out there one of these winters. Every time you post, Kris, is a treat for your readers/followers!

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    1. LA County isn't the best place to be right now, Beth, with Covid-cases and deaths at record numbers but, if we're lucky, winter 2021-2022 will be much better.

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  8. Your garden looks beautiful, not like there’s a drought at all. The combination of trees, lush greenery and desert plants make a marvelous combination. The tree with the dark red bark sets off the succulents so well.

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    1. I was lucky with the trees that came with the garden - at least until the mimosa and native toyon decided to up and die on me!

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  9. Beautiful. It looks like the height of Spring in those shots. With Spring usually comes rain - and as much as I like the sunny days I hope we have several more stormy ones.

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    1. In the "old days" we got rain much earlier in the "rain year," Hans. Our rainfall used to be reliable in November and December, coming to a halt by the end of March or early April but one of the predictions I've heard about the impact of climate change on SoCal is that we're likely to get fewer storms within more condensed periods. I look forward to that prospect with mixed feelings as heavy rain often means more mudslides.

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  10. Wonderful shots Kris! So now that some time has passed are you able to look around the garden and not be shocked by the removal of the Alibizia julibrissin and Toyon? Or is it still a little too new?

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    1. The big empty spot right off the back patio is a constant reminder of the mimosa, Loree, but I'm trying to be patient waiting out the timetable to get the Ginkgo. I'm a little more accustomed to the change on the south side, although every time the neighbor across the way struts around on his upper deck talking on the phone I remember how I miss the toyon ;)

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  11. Wow ! The garden looks beautiful. I wish those variety of succulents could be grown so easily in my region. Your succulents are looking so healthy. Thanks for joining in Garden Affair. Keep joining.

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