Just a few short weeks ago this was the scene in front of our living room window:
Now it looks like this:
I’ve previously posted about our new short, but trunking, Yucca rostrata (Alberta) which we bought to anchor this area, I couldn't wait to plant her! Truth be told Andrew made pretty quick work of removing the Rhododendron, cutting off the rest of the branches…
And working the stump with the rock bar and shovel…
Time to do a little plant placement and planting...
The reason for the large empty path to the neighbors driveway is two-fold. First the mailman will cut though the garden no matter what, giving him a clear path reduces plant damage. And second we're friends with these neighbors and we both cut back and forth all the time.
You can see (above) I included a phormium in a container. It had been living with a few others on the left-hand side of the front steps but I wanted height in that corner and thought the consistency of containers on both sides of the steps would be nice.
Let's meet the other supporting characters…
Were your eyes drawn to the agave right away? I planted a pair of Agave ovatifolia, one which had been living in a container for awhile and another that was newly purchased. I’ve got 3 other A. ovatifolia in the front garden that have done *okay* over the winter, these are going in as already much larger plants. I have high hopes for them.
I’ve been flirting with the idea of a Brachyglottis greyi (Senecio greyi) for years but it’s obnoxious yellow flowers always stood in the way. I decided what the heck, I cut off hosta flowers, why not these too…I love love love that foliage!
The Amsonia hubrichtii (lower left hand corner) and Mahonia gracilipes (upper left hand corner) were moved from about 6ft to the north, they don’t seem to mind.
To some the dark leaf canna (above) probably seems like the object of a “one of these things does not belong” photo but I couldn’t find anything better to bring in the big, dark, leaves I wanted here. Besides they can be remarkably drought tolerant once established (as long as you don’t mind them remaining shorter than usual).
The Mahonia was getting too much sun in its previous spot; some of the white undersides of the leaves were scorched coming out upside down as new growth. I hope it will be a little happier here where it should get an hour or so less of the hot afternoon sun.
I had to work in an opuntia, hopefully it will grow big!
Hebe ‘Bracken Hill’
Hymenanthera alpina, a prostrate form…
I love this plant! This is my second; the other is an upright form. It was horribly root bound and I think is suffering a bit of planting shock.
For a little height in the corner I bought a Rhamnus frangula (Fine Line Buckthorn)…it’s supposed to grow to be 6-10ft tall but only 3ft wide.
I love its thin leaves, kind of reminiscent of Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium' (Spider Azalea) which I love, but hate it’s pink flowers. Plus these leaves are reputed to have nice fall color (like the Amsonia hubrichtii on the other side of this grouping).
The bark is pretty amazing too…
I added a liberal sprinkling of semervivum and sedum.
And was happy to see the new plantings tie in the Mangave 'Macho Mocha' (in the foreground) nicely.
I got annoyed by this plant last year and banished it from the patio (it had been in a container). It was planted it where I thought the drainage might be good enough to keep it alive over the winter and it worked!
I am thrilled with how this area turned out and glad we jumped on it now rather than waiting until fall!
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