Monday, June 3, 2013

Yes as a matter of fact I did get rid of some lawn…

This update is a long time coming! Back in December I queried you all for your thoughts on what shape my lawn removal project should take. You all shared many excellent ideas and in the end I went with a version of Option # 4, adding to both the border off the back of the house and the one between the lawn and patio. Here’s a photo of the area taken last summer.

And here’s the now…

Does it look like much of a difference? Depending on who I ask it’s either “nothing” or so much “I might as well of just taken it (the lawn) all out!” I played around with different sizes and shapes for awhile…

…before deciding on this layout. Bonus! I found that if you decide but then leave your edging material in place for a couple of sunny days the grass will discolor and give you a perfect outline of where to dig.

Once the sod was dug and I laid the brick edging it just felt right. Not too big, not too small…of course here’s Lila for scale.

West side…

Looking north-east…

East side…

And now planted.

This one isn’t quite done, pending the removal of the Echium and the planting of the spikes.

Several plants went in, although they look so small! The rocks are not a decorative touch but rather to keep the neighbors cats from using the nice new mulch as their litter box, damn beasts. Hopefully they’ll come back for a visit when the spikes are in place and learn a little lesson.

Magnolia laevifolia 'Snowbird' owns this corner.

Acanthus sennii

On the other side…

In one corner that’s supposed to be a Trachycarpus fortunei but the growth habit and leaves have me thinking it might actually be a little Trachycarpus wagnerianus, but then again what do I know about palms? Not much at all.

And yes, I bit the bullet and put my Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ in the ground.

It wasn’t happy in a container and I do so love the foliage. If it overwhelms I can always get rid of it…right?

Here’s a peek back at Schefflera-land.

This is my second Embothrium coccineum (the other one is in the front garden), it’s so small!

Blooming at the back of this image is Grevillea ‘Poorinda Leane’ which was transplanted from elsewhere in the garden. In front if it is Eryngium alpinum, an over wintered but tender Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' and in the front a Grevillea victoriae also moved here from elsewhere (and yes there will be some plant shuffling in the future when these babies get bigger).

How many Eryngium venustum does a gardener need? More than five for sure…

This Pseudopanax crassifolius was a hard one to plant in the ground because it’s so cool and bizarre that I want to protect it.

However it was a gift from Sean at Cistus and he said I should put it in the ground, so here goes!

These agaves have been planted here (and dug for winter) a few years running. I couldn’t end the tradition.

Part of me looks at these images and thinks “I should have gotten rid of more lawn” but I can honestly say that when I’m in the space it feels just right, and really that’s what matters.

No doubt the plantings will evolve but the big guys (eventually) are in place and the rest will play out over time.

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

54 comments:

  1. It looks like just the right amount. I like the elegant mix of straight line edging, softening plants, and lawn. Lila approves since there's still room for her lounge. That was a lot of work, especially the decision process of placing your plants.

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    1. Planting was the fun part...digging the sod, not so much. Thank you for the Facebook share!

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  2. I LOVE your new beds, I think it is just right! You know what else I love about your garden? The sharp angles of the edges. I love that you don't care for the now very common practice of making your beds all flowing and curved. That last image with the two beds mirroring each other, and the pavers at the back, is very satisfying to look at.

    I also tried to make a comment last Friday about your Schefflera-Land post, but I made it from my iPhone, and it probably didn't take. I think you did a really masterful job on that area where you took out the Hydrangea. There are some great foliage combos going on there.

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    1. Thank you Alison, I feel like I should send you a check for all those kind words! When we moved in the beds had the curvy, flowy thing going on (and no edging) but I knew right away I wanted straight lines. Grey brick was affordable and easy to work with so that's what I used. It is nice to still like the look some 7 years later, plus it is flexible and allows for changing things up like this!

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  3. Just when we all thought that your garden couldn't possibly look any better, you go and do this. I'd been wondering if you had done it or not. It's magnificent like everything you do! LOVE IT!

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    1. Thank you Peter...your check is in the mail too!

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  4. Love love love the new shape, the amount you took out, and the new plantings. Fabulous, as always!

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  5. I also think you have the right amount of lawn left. It adds much-needed negative space and allows the eyes to rest before continuing their exploration. I love the result.

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    1. Thanks Gerhard, I can't imagine how busy the space would be without the green carpet and gravel would be so much hotter!

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  6. I like how it looks. You can never have enough space to plant cool things.

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    1. Spoken like a true plant lover!

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  7. I think you did a nice job! I also think you expect too much of me, giving me compass directions for each shot. With so many unfamiliar plants, it's hard to get the "big picture". Stitch together some panoramic shots and let us see the whole thing! :)

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    1. My camera does have a panoramic setting...hows about when I put in the spikes (after the Echium leaves the party) then I'll do a panoramic?

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  8. It looks fabulous! All those clean lines and just the right amount of grass. Albizia 'Summer Chocolate' has been a strong grower in my garden. In fact I was surprised to see it's already almost growing into neighbor Cornus controversa 'Janine' when I thought it would take a few more years if ever.

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    1. Yikes...you're scaring me Sue!

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  9. I think you absolutely made the right decision, especially if it feel right to you. You gained some more planting space, while retaining just enough lawn for lounging...plus, if you had dug it all up right now, it'd be full of plants and you'd be out of room...now you always have that little bit of lawn left in case you get the itch to dig up more in the future ;-)

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    1. You know I hadn't thought of it that way but I like the logic!

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  10. I adore your space optimism, Loree! The A. juibrissin, the T. fortunei or wagnerianus (and it looks like wagnerianus to me from the filifers on the leaves) AND the E. coccineum in the same beds! Plus I think I see an Acacia there, too. I'm still trying to figure out where in the garden to plant just the E. coccineum! You go, space warp girl!

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    1. "space optimism" is such a nice way of calling me crazy (I know that I am)...you're right about the Acacia but it's the (reportedly) even less hardy Acacia cultriformis so I don't see it lasting long term...as for the others I know something will be leaving eventually. In the mean time I get to enjoy them all!

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  11. Perfection! I like the mirror image box-out that you've made, and the remaining grassy space seems like just the right amount of negative space. I only wonder if you have some sort of focal point at each end? (Can't tell from the photos.) The narrowing box-out beds seem to be framing the walls at each end, drawing the eye toward a focal point. I know you don't love garden art, so maybe a dramatic, stand-out plant on each end, or a large, colorful pot (one against the neighbor's garage wall and another against your own)? At any rate, you have a really great eye for laying out garden beds, and those crisp, geometric edges contrast so nicely with your exuberance of plants.

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    1. I think by "each end" you mean the straight axis (parallel to the house), especially since you refer to the walls? I do not have a focal point there...I think it's hard to tell by the images but standing in the space those aren't really the primary place your eyes go. Instead it's the diagonal ends where the pots are on the pavers with the circle pot hanging above (not in these pictures because I'd taken it down due to extreme rain) and in the other corner the stock tank and smaller planters in front. You need to come back and visit again to see it in person cause I'm sure I'm not explaining it well...

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  12. Looks great. If there's enough lawn for Lila, there's enough lawn.

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    1. Ah so you understand who's really the boss around here!

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  13. This looks terrific! Love the shapes you've used for the new beds. Great that they echo the paving stones embedded in the lawn. Very nice! I'm always amazed at the diversity of your collection. Fabulous!

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    1. I didn't even think about the shapes echoing the pavers...duh.

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  14. Not too much, not too little -- perfect proportions for your small, intimate space. Nice job! And thanks for showing the progression so we could follow the design changes.

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    1. I myself was kind of shocked to see the before picture (I've been living with this version for awhile) so I thought you all might enjoy the before and process too...thanks for saying so!

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  15. It looks great, and your lawn looks so lush too! As you know we got rid of all our lawns but it really does work well, especially the new shape.

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    1. Thanks Gaz, it's been raining so much that I've had to mow about every 5 days! (can't let the lawn get ahead of you when all you've got is a reel mower) I do love the lush green.

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  16. Well done, nice dialogue between the new edged beds, not to mention more space for all your new plantings. Your wetter Portlandia climate allows one to effectively create a number of small lawn spaces, without having to worry about trying to irrigate them, or pricey subsurface irrigation for them (like here would have to do). Your space really works so well. This is stunning, Ms. Danger!

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    1. Thank you! However you'd be surprised at how quickly the lawns turn golden here once the rain stops for the summer. Very few people irrigate so it's "Portland gold" all over town. I do keep it green (although not THIS green), I just hate the look of brown turf. It's so small I feel no guilt...

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  17. Look at all the space for new plants you found! Looks like it's been this way forever. Great to see wide shots of your garden again. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Denise, that's exactly how it feels to me, like it's been this way forever. I did sprinkle the Nicotiana seeds you sent in a few places...fingers crossed!

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  18. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE it!!!!!!! it looks so very wonderful! and good on ya with the palm! I think it might be a regular trachycarpus but you're right, it looks a bit different. maybe trachycarpus fortunei x wagnerianus?

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    1. A palm hybrid, fun. Thanks for the Loooove Louis!

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  19. looks good to my eye!

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    1. Thanks for the unknown eye approval.

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  20. Oh it looks fabulous. I love it. You defiantly have a great taste and design eye. I love your garden and your blog. Have you got the eryngium v. to over winter yet?

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    1. Thank you Heidi! I have overwintered a few Eryngium venustum with no problem. There are a few "leaves" (they seem more like fish-bones) have died/rotted but overall the plant stays solid. You've had trouble?

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  21. I really like it!!!! Love how you packed so much into each space. The Abiza I think you will love. I love ours. It all looks really good- great choices!!

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    1. I've heard my style of gardening described as "crammit" and yes, that's what I do. Thank you, and alwyas nice to hear when someone else has good experiences with a plant (tree in this case).

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  22. I love the changes, Loree!!! Very nicely done!!

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  23. Aha! I see another Fine Gardening tip in the offing: what a great way to mark off the area to dig. I love your crisp lines, but lazy folks like me are stuck with the curvy, flowy thing for lack of discipline if nothing else. The dark mulch sets off the grey edging nicely, and even more-so the Eryngium venustrum. You did good!

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    1. I almost thought about sending that in as a tip Ricki, you've started something!

      The dark mulch was pretty fresh when I took these pictures, it's faded to a bit more natural tone now, which is a good thing in my book. So did you show R these images and was he terrified of how many gonna-get-big plants I crammed in a small space?

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  24. Pretty sure it looks perfect!

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    1. Ha! That's a pretty strong word.

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  25. Zonal DenialJune 12, 2013

    Looks fantastic. Well done!

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  26. Lovely work! Curious to see your chocolate Albizia Julibrissin's progress. Any new photos?

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    1. It hasn't put on much growth at all, but it's only been in the ground a year. There's a decent photo in this post: http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2014/08/garden-tour-2014.html

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