Friday, July 2, 2021

Wide Shots - July 2021

A very dry winter was followed by a very dry spring.  Thanks to regular irrigation, the wide shots of my garden don't show any severe impact of the pathetically low rainfall but, as our drought worsens, I have to wonder if I'm going to be able to continue watering as much as I have been.  I reduced my water use in the garden in 2015, when restrictions were previously imposed, and I didn't increase my usage after those restrictions were lifted the following year.  In April of this year, I'd already exhausted the last of the rainwater I'd collected in my three tanks; however, last week my husband drained "his" spa tub and emptied that water into my 160-gallon tank so I'll have use of that once the chlorine has evaporated, which is a boon of sorts.   My well-established plants are probably fine with my regular irrigation routine but the newer plants will be at risk if I can't offer them extra water.  

I took advantage of the lingering marine layer on Wednesday to take my quarterly wide shots, although the sun came out part way through the process so there's more sun-shade contrast than I'd hoped for.  This time, I'm starting at the front of the house.

View of the beds surrounding the front door from the west side of the driveway

View from the northwest side of the house looking across the front borders

The beds on the north side of the front walkway.  The Agapanthus are in full bloom.  The Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana) is looking sad next to the tree-like Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' but it should leaf out more fully when cooler temperatures return in the fall.

The beds on the south side of the front walkway

This is the view behind the shrubs shown in the prior photo, looking south.  You can see my lath (shade) house in the distance on the right in the second photo.

View looking across the front garden from its south end toward the garage, barely visible in the distance.  This is one of my favorite views at the moment.

View from the front walkway looking across the driveway at the garden area behind the hedge that lines the street.  I recently replanted a portion of the area under the ornamental pear tree on the right which you may be able to see if you squint.  It's partially covered by upturned plastic flats to keep the rabbits from eating the new plants.

This is the succulent bed in the northwest corner of the property.  The tiny succulents I used here when I replanted the area in January are still struggling to get established.

Moving to the other side of the garage, we come to the cutting garden, followed by the north side garden and the slope below.

Some of my cool season annuals bloomed later than expected.  I pulled the sweet peas in May and the last of the larkspur in June but there are still some foxgloves and Nigella in the raised beds.  Fifteen of my dahlia tubers sprouted and I've planted eleven of them in the cutting garden, with the rest tucked in elsewhere.  Despite my best intentions, my dahlias got a late start and I expect it'll be August before I see any blooms.

After some pruning and general cleanup, the north side garden is looking tidy, if not especially colorful

The back slope, on the other hand, looks truly awful.  The bay hedge and the lemon tree get some irrigation and the shrubs along the south property line (not readily visible in these photos) receive graywater but the rest of the plants have received very little water.

Back on the main level of the property, we enter the back garden from the north side.

The white-flowered Argyranthemum in the foreground is looking sad but I probably won't replace the shrubs unless/until inspiration strikes in identifying an alternative.  I've been giving the plants between the Arbutus 'Marina' (the red-trunked strawberry tree on the left) and the tall Leucadendron 'Pisa' (on the right) extra water every 10-14 days and they're looking pretty good.

This is a look at the area between the Leucadendron and the Arbutus from the other direction

View from the back door looking at the harbor when the marine layer was still in place.  The red-orange daylilies (possibly Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell') are among the very few plants I inherited with the garden I still have (other than the trees and hedges). 

View from the middle of the back garden looking south

View from the small south patio looking northeast across the back garden

The south side garden is next up.

The Hesperaloe parvifloa and Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman' are blooming but the succulents steal the show here

View of the same area, looking from the west end toward the entrance to the Los Angeles harbor.  I recently pulled the last of the bunny tail grass (Lagurus ovatus) that had overrun the area in the foreground on the right.  I think I need to add more succulents there as groundcover.

Heading to the right (southwest) from the vantage point of the last photograph takes us down to the lower level of the front garden.

This photograph was taken looking down from a mulch-covered path toward the lath house and the street beyond

This is the area I replanted in November using succulent cuttings and small plants.  Generally speaking, it's doing better than the succulent bed in front of the garage, possibly because it gets shade for about half the day,

View of the area looking east toward the harbor

This is a partial view of the inside of the lath house.  As temperatures are likely to climb over the next few months, I put up sun shades late last week to provide additional protection. 

We end this tour with the street-side succulent bed on the west side of the lath house.

I cleaned up this bed in early February, filling in with succulent cuttings and pups.  I'm fairly happy with its progress, although there are still holes that could use filling.

I'm hoping summer temperatures won't be too brutal this year.  Fingers are crossed that my next wide shots post in October won't show major damage from the combined effects of heat and drought.

Best wishes for a pleasant weekend.


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


24 comments:

  1. An amazing garden! I wish you a nice summer and ideal temperatures.

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    1. Thanks Margi! We can but hope that we will avoid major heatwaves this summer.

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  2. Great street-side view; I bet folks walking by wish they could come up and visit the rest of the garden. Photos 18 and 21 are particularly charming. Fingers crossed for less fires and smoke than last summer.

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    1. My SIL, who lives in the northern part of the state, remarked yesterday that she fears it's more likely than not that her house burns down one day. My husband was so aggravated by the fireworks exploding in our area last night, he pulled out our "bug out" (emergency) bags to check whether any updating was required :( There are a lot of crazy, irresponsible people out there...

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  3. Your garden is gorgeous - great texture and color, Love your view as well.

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    1. Thanks Jason. I can't take any credit for the view of course. We were just lucky to buy the property at the right time.

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  4. Beautiful! I'm make in a note of the bench that surrounds the tree, on which you then placed a slew of potted plants - such a great idea! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you get some moisture your way - we've been on the opposite side of that coin, with torrential downpours a few times over the past couple of weeks. No one seems to have the perfect mix of weather these days.

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    1. My husband built that bench several years ago - the plants get more use out of it than I do ;) Mother Nature is certainly not even-tempered.

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  5. Dare I say it's looking quite lush! Here's hoping you have a forgiving summer, temperature wise.

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    1. Your historic heatwave in Portland has me very nervous about what we can expect here this summer, Loree.

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  6. I know I sound like a broken record, but I really LOVE your wide-shot garden tours, Kris. My favorite areas are looking north across the front garden, the view with fountain in the foreground, and south through the succulent bed. Color and texture in beautiful combinations!
    Hope your 4th is a safe one and that your summer is truly uneventful. x

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    1. Thanks Eliza, I appreciate the comment. Even posting a full review on a quarterly basis, I have fears that the wide shot posts will seem repetitive.

      Best wishes for a happy fourth to you as well. We've been listening to firework displays nightly for a month now, despite the warnings that fireworks are a) dangerous, especially given our tinder dry conditions, and b) illegal here except when supervised by official Fire Department personnel. Tomorrow's unlikely to be the end of them either.

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  7. In a word - wow! So much to see and it looks so good. What do you collect your water in? I'd love to see your set-up. This past week got me thinking about how awful it would be if our water was ever restricted. I remember seeing a garden on TV that had a water tower and I've always thought that would be great.

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    1. I would love to have a huge cistern to collect water but I don't really have the space for one and, with a lot of sloped areas, installation would be a challenge and a pumping system would be required. I have 3 tanks: one holds 50 gallons (a rain "butt" of the kind easily found from garden supply retailers), another 165 gallons, and the largest, a Bushman model, holds 265 gallons. All receive water fed from our roof surfaces via gutters so all have to be flush with the house, which poses placement challenges. The Bushman tank is situated behind our garage but the others are readily visible.

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  8. I always enjoy your wide shots. Your garden has so much to offer.

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  9. The heat and drought are taking a toll on gardens but yours looks to be doing fine. In the photo overlooking the harbour I am quite taken by the lovely clumps of flowering grasses. They add a nice lightness to the mix.

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    1. Most of the grass you see in my back garden is Mexican feather grass (Stipa/Nasella tenuissima). It has a nice way of wafting with any breeze; however, it has a reputation for being invasive here. I haven't had much trouble with it in most areas but it has an annoying habit of cementing itself in between the flagstones in my south side garden. Since the feather grass showed its "dark side" I've been using other grasses like Festuca californica in other areas.

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  10. That agapanthus is AMAZING with the hits of blue ! I really have to try it out even if it is a one time thing (I would have to lift the bulbs/tubers ?) in Autumn, they won't survive winter here. You have such an amazing variety of plants and trees it is like a botanical garden(s) .. and the view from where your house/gardens sit is spectacular. Is that groupings of ornamental grasses in picture 6 ? the very dark green lush looking plants ? they look so soft and prone to wave in the breeze .. so pretty ! I understand you have severe challenges with heat and water availability , great way to recycle the spa water ! LOL

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  11. You might want to try growing Agapanthus in a large pot as that would make providing winter protection somewhat easier. There are minature plants well-suited to pot culture.

    The lush green grass-like plants in the foreground of photo 6 are Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'. It's an Australian native well-adapted to my Mediterranean-like climate. It's VERY happy here and I have it planted in 3 different areas. It produces tiny yellow flowers but they're not profuse.

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  12. The two or three mounds of gold? Phylica?

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    1. I wish I still had some Phylica, Diana! Mine died out and I just can't being myself to pay $40 for one relatively small plant. I think the gold mounds you're referring to are probably the Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold'.

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  13. So many wonderful vignettes and combinations. They can only be appreciated in wide-angle photos.

    Your plants look well-established so hopefully you'll be able to string them along until the fall. Hope hope hope. What more can we do?

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    1. Too true. Gerhard. So far, we've been lucky to get a morning marine layer most days. Although that usually disappears by 10am, it helps keep the afternoon temperatures down some anyway.

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