Thursday, April 18, 2019

Aloes in Wonderland; gardens near the house

Aloes in Wonderland, a genius name for a rare plant nursery that's located in beautiful Santa Barbara, don't you think? I was thrilled to find it listed as the location for the opening night reception for the recent Bromeliad Summit. Of course I looked at their website, which features a couple of drone fly-overs on the homepage (here). Still, I was not prepared for the sheer beauty and size of the place.

This is both a private garden and nursery, belonging to the Summit's organizer Jeff Chemnick, where theoretically everything happens to be for sale, if the price is right.

Up near the house (the subject of today's post) the plants are in designed planting beds, a garden. As you venture further afield (which we'll do tomorrow) things become a little more like growing grounds, but still completely spellbinding.

Of course Gerhard and I wandered around with our mouths hanging open in awe, occasionally looking at each other and laughing or asking "can you believe this?"...well, can you?

I was there and I still can't quite believe it.

Cycads were the subject of an previous Summit, Jeff has quite the collection.

After I took the above photo we headed down the hillside into a more "nursery-like" area. For today's post I skip ahead to when we had climbed back up—almost to house level—and a pair of greenhouses came into view.

One was full of a mash up of different plants, the second contained mainly baby cycads.

They sure were cute.

Moving towards the back of the house this vignette stopped me...

Tillandsia and cactus, who would have thought?

I was temped to climb the stairs, but I did not.

Orchids, outside, blooming away like it's no big deal.

There was another pathway leading off , back down the hill. I was tempted to follow it, but figured I'd probably already been where it was leading, and dinner (pizza in front the house) was calling.


So many plants...

Another hechtia...


Welwitschia mirabilis, in the tall container.

Agave albopilosa

So darn fabulous.

Hechtia lanata, in bloom.

Maybe Agave potatorum?

Pachypodium of some sort.

I think I was told this is an Agave titanota.

And Puya something or other.

Just a lot of cool spikes...

Of course we know the big guy is an Agave ovatifolia.


When I first looked at this image, for just a second I thought I'd got a Lotusland image mixed in (we were there the next day), but nope. This is still Jeff's home.

The colors!

Yes, that encephalartos really was that blue.

Turning around to the driveway island...

Another pathway!

And another hechtia...

Everything was pristine. No insect damage, no weather damage.

Come back tomorrow for more wandering around wonderland...

Weather Diary, April 17: Hi 67, Low 50/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday Vignette, our chimney garden

It had been awhile since I'd thought to look up and check on the sedum that planted itself on our chimney some 6 or 7 years ago.

I was thrilled to see it's doing fine, despite never getting a bit of summer water and just generally being ignored. Go sedum!

Weather Diary, April 16: Hi 61, Low 46/ Precip .03"

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My garden, mid-April

It has been way too long since I did a general "looking at my garden" post. Heck it's been way to long since I just strolled around the garden looking at things! Today I remedy that.

Stepping out the back door I must say I'm thrilled with the blueberries this year. It looks like they might finally amount to something. Oh and these were plants supposedly bred for life in a container, so I'm not crazy to think they should be performing there.

I'm also thrilled the Arthropodium candidum 'Maculatum' is coming back, I love this strange little plant with its dark speckled blades.

The new growth on Adiantum venustum is pretty wonderful.

Here with Podophyllum peltatum...

There are all sorts of good things happening at the base of Clifford's trunk (Clifford is our Magnolia macrophylla). See that Podophyllum pleianthum just to the left of the lower middle? It was not planted by me and just showed up this spring. Do podophyllum send out runners or is that a seedling from the group on the upper right?

Left to right we have Podophyllum delavayi, P. 'Red Panda" and P. pleianthum.

A different view. The fuzzy little umbrellas are Syneilesis aconitifolia.

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' is hanging out in a container.

Ligularia dentata 'Othello'

Before I left for California I emptied out the shade pavilion greenhouse so Andrew could perfect a few details he wasn't happy with from last autumn's build, and start to tear it down. That means there are containers plopped here and there on the patio, but it's definitely not patio season quite yet. The white structures are protection for a couple of containerized agaves that spend winter in place. The covers keep them dry, and after I had them off for a month or so they went back on because it's been so wet.

Looking back at the house...the white flecks on the patio are blossoms from a neighbor's tree.

Clifford is starting to push out a new season of leaves.

New growth on Aucuba japonica 'Longifolia'.

Both flowers and new growth developing on the Daphniphyllum macropodum.

Ditto for the variegated version.

And look, baby ginkgo leaves! They're variegated too, but that doesn't show up until they're a little larger.

It looks like my Passiflora 'Amethyst Jewel'  lived through the winter.

The leaf filaments of Yucca faxoniana.

Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ is so cute now, but by the end of summer it will be a 10ft tall thug weaving through all the surrounding plants.

Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty' is much better behaved.

I cut back the black Sambucus about a month ago, the new growth is pushing out fast.

Tiny fig leaves! (Ficus afghanistanica 'Silver Lyre')

The fern table has held up amazingly well. It's entering its third season.

I feared the Arisaema sikokianum ‘Silver Leaf Form’ I stuffed into the fern table last spring hadn't made it through the hot and dry summer, or maybe our sudden February winter. But look! It lives after all.

The gigantic Podophyllum pleianthum in the stock-tank never disappoint.

I really love these dish planters I put together last fall, but it's going to be time to bring out the succulent version soon. I need to come up with something to do with these.

Brachyglottis greyi aka Senecio greyi hugs the trunk of this palm (Trachycarpus fortunei 'Wagnerianus') so gracefully.

For the most part the lilies I planted around the garden have disappeared, but not this one. He's bulking up every year, but not multiplying.

I was sure the six Echium wildpretii I babied through our cold February (covers on over night and through freezing days, off when it warmed) would be skyrocketing upwards fixing to bloom by now, but so far that's not the case.

Still, I love the foliage and it was worth the effort to not have them all look like this, one of the smaller ones I didn't bother to protect...

These next couple of images upset me greatly.

Something caused this damage on both of my large Agave ovatifolia in the front garden.

It looks like something attacked them with a sharp object. I have no idea what it was.

Isn't this a great combo? Pittosporum divaricatum and Yucca rostrata.

Unfortunately they're a bit too close and I'm afraid the Pittosporum (which was a tiny stick when I planted it) is going to loose the coin toss.

Ha! This is at least the third walnut I've pulled from a Yucca rostrata this spring, silly squirrels.

All four of my in-ground Aloe aristata sailed through winter.

The moon carrot (Seseli gummiferum) is back! I hope it blooms this year.

Speaking of blooming, everyone knows Verbascum olympicum are biennial, right? No, not always. This guy has taken at least 5 years to attain this size. I think he might finally bloom this year, but I'm not counting on it.

Oh yes, and it's Tetrapanax hunting season. So far I've found two popping up where they most certainly cannot be allowed to grow, they were quickly dispatched.

Finally I end this long series of photos which the prehisptic looking new growth of Mahonia x media 'Marvel'...

Isn't it fabulous?

Weather Diary, April 15: Hi 54, Low 40/ Precip .11"

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.