Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rhody be gone: after


I don’t know about you but when it comes to planting a new space the only way I can really figure out what I’m doing is to place the plants in the landscape. Then move them around, and move them around again. Wait a couple of days and move them again. Finally I'm happy...then, it’s time to plant.

Planting this area took a good couple of days, and then I had to wait for another bit of dry weather to mulch. Then, I finally took the “after” pictures. Most of these were taken on May 16th a couple more last Friday, the 1st… you can assume the ones with the super dark mulch were the earlier photos, after a couple of weeks the mulch has lightened to a more realistic color.

The first thing you’re going to think is WOW she’s planted a lot of things…some of which are going to get really big! Yes, I know I’ll be doing some editing as time goes by. There are also a few things that are marginally hardy here, so they may do a little editing on their own.

Next you’re going to look at the Loquat in the back and think…doesn’t she realize that’s a tree? Well you see I do. And my hope is that as these things start to grow, especially the Loquat, I can get ruthless with the Privet and chop chop chop. I’ve been cutting back bits every few days. A stronger person might have made the big cuts already, but I hate too much change all at once, especially when it comes to my sense of enclosure and privacy in the back garden.

The "big" rock got partially buried kind of in the center, it acts as a surface for a Callistemon to sprawl over and helps (for my eyes) to divide the space between front and back. Not in a big way but subtly. I briefly (very briefly) flirted with the idea of a berm for separation but quickly decided against it.

Just in case you’re wondering these succulents (the Senecio, Kalanchoe and Sedum) are from the cuttings I took last fall and overwintered on the windowsill. I simply pulled them out of their little containers and planted them “as is”…instant succulent mix for color, I will definitely be doing this again.

So there it is, my "new" planting area in the back garden. It was a huge amount of work, which I didn't plan on for this spring, but now that it's done I love it. New plants = always a good thing. As I worked through these photos I realized there are a few other (equally wonderful) plants in there that I didn’t get a picture of, no doubt I’ll have plenty of opportunities to share images of them in the future. Those of you who were really paying attention might have spotted a rocky bit that I made no mention of. That’s for tomorrow!

38 comments:

  1. You'd never guess that this was a new planting area. It looks great. And I love the super fierce photo of Lila. :) You've given me ideas for underplanting my Corokia--thank you!

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    1. Thank you, and yay...I love sharing ideas! Oh and btw that's Lila's "I hear you but I chose to ignore you" face. She's just waiting for me to turn my back so she can carry on with illegal activities.

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  2. What you did completely redefines that part of your backyard. I love all the plants you picked. A very eclectic mix of succulents, foliage plants, trees.

    Until recently, I always planted with an eye towards how everything will look when mature. In other words, I used fewer plants and spaced them further apart. Yes, that's less work down the line, but it's such a sparse and dreary look, potentially for a long time. Now I tend to plant for the present and the near future and don't worry so much about plants getting too big eventually. Clearly, that's your approach as well.

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    1. Eclectic indeed, a little bit of everything eh? Actually I'm reminded of something Amy Stewart says "my garden is just the place that I put my plants" meaning it's not a designed garden.

      Yes you're right, I have great difficulty spacing for maturity...I hate how it looks! I'd rather over-plant and then edit or prune. It's all just a big experiment!

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  3. So you do plan. Ah hah!

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    1. I have no idea what you're talking about.

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  4. It looks great! I love the instant gratification effect...and like how you just accept that things will change after a while...such a great mentality (because they just will, whether we like it or not)! I have to admit, in the first 3 photos, I thought you had circled something in red for us to notice...not until the 4th photo did I realize it's a hanging pot...sheesh, I'm such a dork!

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    1. Thank you Scott...and that's funny about the Circle pot! The thought never even crossed my mind but I can totally see it now.

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  5. "The first thing you’re going to think is WOW she’s planted a lot of things…some of which are going to get really big!"

    Ha! Which means it's MY kind of bed! Why is spacing one of those things people get all verklempt about? I've always thought plants are growing things, and editing is part of the fun. This bed looks fab, just like everything you plant!

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    1. So you knew exactly what I was thinking about! I was stunned the first time I had someone comment on my blog telling me I planted something too close together ("In whose opinion? Yours? So what it's my garden!!!")...I guess I'm still kind of stinging about it since I pre-defended my choices (and I think I do it again in tomorrow's post). Anyway thank you so much for the laugh and compliment!

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  6. Oh my goodness!!! I am trying to think of an expression to capture just how wonderful that is but I'm at a loss for words! That is insane wonderful! I want to transport that to my yard!!!! Seriously epic.

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    1. Hahaha...you're funny! Thanks Louis. I'm surprised that you are okay with my planting only one palm though???

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  7. How fitting that you closed with a close-up of the circle pot. Like
    Scott, my eye went straight there in every shot in which it appeared. The plantings are wonderful: you are an inspiration to us all.

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    1. Well heck you're pulling out the big "i" word! Thanks Ricki...

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  8. Wow! What a wild extravaganza of plants! It will be so interesting to see how this area evolves over the next few years, as things grow in (and perhaps die, but we'll whisper that very softly).

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    1. Oh I do love the "e" word too! Reminds me of the time I used it in an ad for a family yard sale and we had people tell us they came just because they wanted to see what an "extravaganza" was exactly.

      Sadly one of my faves (the Euphorbia stygiana) is also one of the marginally hardy ones, I'm hoping maybe the overhang of the Privet will help to protect it?

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  9. Nothing better than a newly planted garden. All that potential -- what excitement! I've been doing a lot more work than I envisioned for this summer too. Sometimes the siren song of the shovel just won't stop calling. Except all my newly opened up space is in shade, dammit.

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    1. Funny you should mention shade, that was the other thing I expected people to comment on, that most of those are sun plants and I've planted them under a tall "shrub." I neglected to mention that everything gets southern exposure and sun most of the day, well ...that's not entirely true since the sun angle has changed over the last few weeks. When I was sizing it up it was most of the day, now a little less. Anyway I hope your garden math (I loved that title) provides you with space for new plants to love, shade or not.

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  10. Terrific! Nice work! And I like how you roll, planting everything together--there's always lots of yearly rearranging of the furniture any way.

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    1. Exactly...although I could do fine with a year w/o a "project"...

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  11. My eye was also drawn straight to the red circle pot! That's such a cool accent. Your "Lil Sanford" looks happy with all his new friends. I was looking at your mulch - what did you use? I've been considering mulch options for my new beds also, and I always like to see what other people use.

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    1. I just bought bagged compost mulch. It seemed most of the other gardeners around town had big piles delivered this year...but I didn't need much and working from a bag is less pressure than having a big mound sitting in the street.

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  12. A stunning new bed of plants, love the selection! The bed looks remarkably established for such a new planting. Your flowering echium is incredible, still crossing my fingers for mine to flower. You can almost watch them grow some days. Wow. Wow. WOW!

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    1. Seriously looking back at this series of plants it was amazing to see how much growth that Echium put on in only 2 months!

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  13. I absolutely love loquat - they are even great growers here in Texas - and the early birthday planter looks stunning amongst all the green and brown.

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    1. Thanks Dustin! I was amazed how many Loquats I saw around southern California too...

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  14. Looks great! Though will get crowded rather quickly. Loquat makes a nice shrub/screen for a while before it becomes a tree.

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    1. Hopefully you're right. Crowed means less space for the neighbors cat to take care of business!

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  15. Such a great post. I always love the new opportunities presented by removing older plants in favor of new choices. I am amazed by the variety you manage to use in such a rainy garden but loved the wide shots showing the whole composition!

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    1. Thanks Dave, rainy? You know we just completed our wettest spring EVER (well since they started tracking 71 years ago)...14.53" in March thru May.

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  16. So much going on, looks great.

    Loquat VS privet . . . I have privet bordering a neighbour too, i'd love to tear it out and replant. The labour I can handle but getting the neighbours and their landlord onside is something i'd rather not tackle, so planting in front of it seems the way to go. Here's hoping your choices can compete with it!

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    1. I think the neighbors whose backyard the Privet borders would love to have it all come out...I'm just not ready for that, yet. Good luck with your battle.

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  17. Portland trip! The 1st couple pics are stunning, such a nice contrast of negative space (lawn) and positive space (that exuberant planting behind it). It looks vast in scale. As some plants win and others lose over time, when the losers go, there won't be any room to miss them - that's good!

    What Rhody?:-)

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    1. When I read the first part of your comment I thought you were coming to Portland! What Rhody indeed... :)

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  18. Nice mixup! I love seeing this fab combination of plants. What is the cool plant (maybe a euphorbia?) in the picture right before the rock picture? (In pics 8 & 10.) Your loquat images make me hunger yet again for one of my own...too bad I don't have a place to put it :-(

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    1. That's Euphorbia stygiana...only borderline hardy however there is a happy one over at Kennedy School, at the St John's pup and out at Cistus...

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