Friday, April 2, 2021

Wide Shots - April 2021

Every quarter I take a series of wide shots of my garden, which I use to track differences from year to year.  While the volume of flowers is noticeably lower this year, presumably due to our pitifully low rainfall, the differences aren't as substantial as I'd felt they were, at least in early April.

I took the following photos at different times over the course of two days, which is why you may note differences in the amount of sun and shadows.

I'll start, as usual, with the back garden.

View from the back door looking toward the harbor.  This week's very warm temperatures took out most of the Freesias and have been making quick work of the Dutch Iris.  On the positive side, Echium webbii is getting an early start on its bloom cycle.

View from the back patio looking north.  I've let my bird feeders stand empty for now given the higher risk of salmonella outbreaks among songbirds this season.

View of the back garden from the north end looking south.  The white Marguerite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens) in the foreground came back like champs this spring.

Back on the patio looking south

South end of the back garden looking north.  The Ginkgo tree ordered in late February to replace the dying mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) we removed in October has yet to come in.


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

South side garden looking west.  Leucospermum 'Goldie' is blooming right on schedule but the Gazanias have been slow to take off and the Freesias here are done.

View of the same area looking east

We'll take a look at the lower level of the garden containing the lath (shade) house before continuing through the main level of the front garden.

View from the south side garden looking down (west) from the garden's main level.  It may be hard to see in this photograph but I actually got some dwarf pink snapdragons to bloom in the small window boxes attached to the lath house.

View from outside the lath house looking north at the succulent bed along the slope I replanted in late November

View from the west side of the area looking east in the direction of the harbor.  We'll head back up the dirt path we came down to return to the garden's main level.

Back on the main level of the front garden we head toward the house's front door.

View from the south end of the front garden looking north in the direction of the front door and driveway.  Grevillea 'Superb' (on the right) blooms non-stop all year but the volume is somewhat greater during our cool season.

This photo was taken from an area close to the front door looking south.  My husband gave me the three half-barrels as a birthday present last May.  I originally planted them with edibles but they didn't get enough sun under the Magnolia tree so I've switched to flowers.  The Echium candidans 'Star of Madeira' on the right is getting ready to bloom.

View from the west edge of the driveway looking east at the house
 
The area to the right of the front walkway is flush with blooms of Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' and Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' among other plants.  The roses aren't blooming yet.

This is a view of the garden area on the left side of the front walkway.  Climbing rose 'Joseph's Coat' has produced the first of my rose blooms.  The Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) still has a handful of flowers.  I've yet to figure out how to cover up the new AC unit we acquired during our 2019 home remodel. 

View from our garbage can path in the area on the west side of the garage looking east in the direction of the front door.  I removed a huge sweet pea bush (Polygala fruticosa) from under the ornamental pear on the left late last year and what I planted in its place has been slow to take off.  (A visit by a hungry rabbit didn't help.)  There are zillions of Polygala seedlings in that area that may overtake those I purposely planted in the end.

View from the driveway looking at the area on the west side of the garage.  I took this photo in the late afternoon when I was able to capture the backlit Festuca californica and, in the distance, the glowing Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty'.

This is the succulent bed on the other side of the garbage can path

A last look across the front garden beds bordering the driveway on either side of the front walkway.  The two large Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' shrubs are lovely but hard to control even with regular pruning.

The cutting garden sits on the east side of the garage.

View from the driveway.  The snapdragons are happy growing in a half-barrel but my foxglove, larkspur, love-in-a-mist, sweet pea and white lace flower seedlings are taking their time getting their bloom on while I'm already eyeing the space they occupy for the dahlias tubers I've got in temporary pots.

View of the cutting garden from the other side.  The blue Anemone coronaria 'Lord Lieutenant' performed well but the other Anemones less so.  Anemone 'The Bride' was a complete dud.

Walking through the gate I was standing in to take the second photo of the cutting garden brings us to the north side garden, created as my first dry garden after we removed the lawn there ten years ago.

View looking north toward the concrete stairway that leads down the back slope.  I recently removed a Mangave 'Silver Fox' that was planted with other Mangaves in the foreground area after it bloomed, replacing it with a pup of Mangave 'Lavender Lady'.

View of the same area from the back garden.  A variety of Grevilleas and scented Pelargoniums are blooming here.  The white Osteospermums on the right are self-seeded.  Just outside the frame on the right, Iris douglasiana 'Santa Lucia' are starting to bloom.

This shot of the north side garden area was taken as I was headed down the concrete block stairway.  I liked it because it showed off two of my largest Agaves and the emerging leaves on the persimmon tree.

Continuing down the concrete block stairway takes us into the back slope, which sits below the hedge that runs behind the beds on the main level of the back garden (where we started this tour).  Our property intersects with those of two of our neighbors in this area.  The original owner of our property subdivided the parcel decades ago, creating two flag lots on either side of us.

View looking down to the bottom of the slope.  One neighbor's property starts several feet beyond the lemon tree on the other side of the three Pittosporum 'Slver Magic' we planted to mark the property line on that end.  The bay laurel hedge on the left runs along the other neighbor's chain link fence.

View looking back up the slope.  The artichokes are returning despite our low rainfall.  I thought the Centranthus ruber and Echium here were late in blooming until I checked last year's April wide shots; however, the calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica)  are definitely in trouble this year.  I haven't seen a single bloom and we're already getting the summer-like heat that sends them packing.

The only area we skipped is my street-side succulent bed, which is best viewed standing in the street.

The Xylosma congestum shrubs we planted five years ago to continue the hedge that runs along the front of the property are almost (but not quite) as tall as those making up the original hedge.  I planted a Yucca rostrata in the gap between those shrubs and the lath house but it'll be some time before it gets large enough to screen the area behind it.

That's a wrap for this post and this week.  Best wishes for a happy Easter weekend to all of you who celebrate the holiday.  May the weekend weather favor you.


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

25 comments:

  1. Wow your garden is looking fabulous despite the lack of rain. The back slope is also looking neat and tidy. We are just moving into Spring here with the first of the bulbs popping up. An exciting time. Happy Easter.

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    1. Early spring is always a fun time - enjoy it, Elaine! Happy Easter to you as well.

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  2. So much to love here, Kris, and such a transformation from where you began. I remember the grass and the digging out of it, the new small plantings and project after project. The projects will never end, I'm sure, but oh my what a wondrous journey you have made of this garden.

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    1. At the time, it felt like we'd never be done digging out the grass, Barbara, and now I barely remember it was ever here. You're right that the projects never end. Our latest water bill indicates that we have a plumbing leak somewhere out there in our half acre. We weren't successful in isolating it today so that's the next challenge...

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    2. Oh no!!! Good luck with your search - I'll keep my fingers crossed that you find it quickly and it's an easy fix.

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  3. Your wide shot posts are among my favorites because it flows like an in-person, full garden tour. Your garden is so beautiful and reveals the work that you put into it. An amazing work of art!

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    1. Thanks Eliza. It's a survey for myself as much as for readers but I'm very glad you enjoy the virtual tour too.

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  4. I echo the commenter above, your wide-shots are my favorites. All of your hard work is also made obvious. Why would you ever want to go inside when you have such a beautiful garden?...Oh yeah, you have a husband and a kitty inside, plus you did a big house renovation. I truly love your garden.

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    1. Thanks you! I enjoy my garden and I spend a LOT of time out there, more than usual during the past year. The kitty, Pipig (Swedish for squeaky), would love to go outside too but, ever since I met a coyote at the back door at 9am as I was about to let her out for her supervised 5-minute tour, she's been confined indoors, although she has her own screened in (and reinforced) catio, built by my thoughtful husband.

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  5. Your garden is so full of life and so well kept. I so enjoy seeing it. Even though I can't grow many plants you have your garden is an inspiration. Happy Easter to you and yours.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I sometimes see my garden's warts rather than its beauty so I appreciate the reactions expressed by others. Happy Easter to you and your family as well.

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  6. All those incredible wide-shots remind me how enormous your garden is. An amazing labor of love, your attention to detail showing in every photo! As a shade-lover who is always on the lookout for a spot to hide from the sun, I'm partial to (shady) photo #3, with the very sweet Marguerite daisies (do you shape/prune them at all?).
    I read that Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' can eventually reach 25' tall. Did you ever see it used as a screen/hedge?

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    1. Those Marguerite daisies get morning sun, which seems to be enough to support their bloom. I don't shape them but I do deadhead them regularly.

      You're right that Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire' can get very tall, although I've only seen them at roof height (about 10 feet tall). I've never seen them used as a hedge but that might be an effective privacy screen, especially as breaking any piece of the plant releases its milky sap, which can be a skin irritant. I can't imagine allowing the plants to get that big myself. My "mother" plant (in the cutting garden) is in a pot, which contains its height if not its girth - I cut it back a couple times each year.

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  7. What's the hold up with your gingko tree? I know there is a shortage of many plants this spring, what with weather losses and an increased interest in gardening, but I wouldn't think it's a shortage of gingko!

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    1. I didn't receive a very satisfactory answer when I asked for a status last week but I didn't press the matter as the garden center had a long line of customers. As most plant suppliers don't seem to ship dormant plants to the local garden centers, I suspect the issue is that the Ginkgo trees are still dormant. I've been watching for leaves to develop on my neighbor's trees across the street and will push matters once I see the first signs of growth.

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  8. Your garden just seems to keep going and going and going! I absolutely love that idea of taking wide shots from the same vantage point to see the changes from year to year. I'm still at the stage of taking lots of "before" photos, lol - am definitely looking forward to getting to the after, lol!

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    1. As other commentators have rightly said to me, there is only "now" and "then" as our gardens will change evermore, Margaret ;)

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  9. Garden looks more mature. Looks good. Happy Easter!

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    1. Yes, and even overgrown in some areas but I imagine it'll continue to change, just somewhat more slowly.

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  10. I love these wide shots because they provide a better overall view of the garden than anything else short of a drone video.

    So many of them could be a in a coffee-table book on coastal gardening. I'm not kidding! I was going to say my favorite was photo #4, but what's the point in even ranking them :-)

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    1. Thanks Gerhard, that's very kind. My own favorite photos this month are #17 and #24 but that's because both were taken from unusual (for me) angles.

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  11. I enjoyed your garden wide shots! It is such a great idea to document changes in one’s garden. Your garden is an excellent example of xeriscaping and yet keeping it colorful, well landscaped, and tidy. Are you starting to write your book?

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    1. Ha! I already wrote a novel that I've left on a very dusty shelf so I don't imagine writing another one, even one with lots of pictures.

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  12. I love the wide open, deep breath, feeling of your garden. It is a welcoming and inviting look.

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