Friday, June 28, 2013

Alberta and friends, happy in the ground…

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…

Before long…empty!

Time to do a little plant placement and planting...

And voilà!

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!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

33 comments:

  1. It looked lovely before but now it looks smashing !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll take smashing over lovely any day, thank you!

      Delete
  2. Oh my gosh, it looks wonderful! And our mailman does the same thing--it drives me crazy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once I was working out there when he came by, he was talking to me and not looking down and stepped RIGHT ON a couple of plants, I let out a whimper scream and he looked at me like I had just grew a third eye.

      Delete
  3. Great makeover Loree.

    Another example of your eye for planting combinations.

    The last plant made me chuckle slightly because I have been away on holiday for the last week to Portugal and when I came back I did the normal garden check and I noticed spots of brown down one side of the garden and I realised that my neighbour had sprayed his side of the fence and because we have open open slatted fences some of the overspray had come through onto my plants :(

    The colour of the paint he used is the same as the spots on the plant in the last shot.

    Oh well, it could have been worse, it could have been weedkiller or something else that could have harmed my plants!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG...I love your specked plant story, although I guess wouldn't be so happy I'd this were my plants. I hope they're all okay.

      Delete
  4. Any space for Opuntia basilaris 'Baby Rita' - the purple of the pads would play off of the 'Macho Mocha' nicely. Let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I didn't even think of that but you are so right! I would love some, but you have to think of what I can send you...

      Delete
  5. Looks fantastic! Planting a Yucca rostrata in this space was a stroke of genius. I'm glad you were able to incorporate two Agave ovatifolia as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah you're just saying genius because I called you one! Seriously though I always kind of thought one would end up there, I was happy when Andrew agreed.

      Delete
  6. Looks great. That mangave is looking amazing. Are you leaving it planted, Not something I have every considered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am leaving it, I love it there but was so done with it when it was in a container. Hopefully Mother Nature will see fit to let it live on for another year or too...

      Delete
  7. AnonymousJune 28, 2013

    I love the new planting! Hope it all grows great for you. Also, if you dont like the yellow flowers of the brachyglottis greyii, why not try Salvia discolor? it has almost the exact same foliage as the brachyglottis but is fragrant and has jet black flowers! -Branden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Branden I wish I could! See the Brachyglottis is hardy here in Portland, the Salvia, well, not so much. I did have a hard time walking away from one at Xera the other day. It was GORGEOUS!

      Delete
  8. I love what you did with the space! Great plant choices. I sure did notice that Agave right away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gorgeous new space! Your staff is much more dedicated than mine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My staff (especially the watering contingent) is working very hard...

      Delete
  10. Looks groovy, well done, I love yucca's :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bless you for taking pictures of the rhodie dismantle! I've got two rhodis to dig out, likely this fall. They are ancient, crusty things. I hate them. Your pics made the process look incredible do-able! Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised Jenni, it's really not that difficult.

      Delete
  12. Fabulous choice with the Yucca for that spot!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your Rhamnus frangula -- I'm a sucker for lovely bark. That one is going on my list of possibilities for the narrow side yard screening project. Congratulations on a lovely make over!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got mine at Cornell Farms, have you been?

      Delete
    2. Oh, thanks! I really enjoy that place. Last time I was there, I nearly bought a Stachyurus salicifolia -- there was one in every corner! Now that the blasting hot sun has arrived, I am hoping I can find what I need a month or two down the road.

      Delete
  14. The Rhody did look terribly out of place in your garden, especially when in bloom. The new plantings look right at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it odd that it never bothered me before?

      Delete
  15. Beautiful, and congratulations on taking out the rhody. Very inspiring! I have a crusty old one I just hate as well...it really must go.

    ReplyDelete
  16. fifi la fontaineJuly 05, 2013

    Oooh, this new area looks fantastic already! I must say, while I agree that the Brachyglottis greyi's flowers are not so attractive, the foliage is so wonderful that it's really worth it. So glad you planted it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Are you kidding - there are actually still places where mailmen walk to deliver the mail?

    Lovely plantings.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!