Friday, September 26, 2014

Fail!

Here’s a sure-fire recipe for a successful garden vignette:

1. Buy a super fabulous (large) focal point urn
2. Score a hard to find (and equally fabulous) plant to put in it
3. Bury them behind a couple of big plants so that nobody but you knows they’re there

Brilliant no?

Never one to do something halfway I took it a step further and also hid this excellent small tree, a Magnolia laevifolia.

The hidden container plant is a huge Grevillea 'Austraflora Fanfare' my friend JJ found for me at San Marcos Growers last spring. Back when I positioned the container and grevillea (and planted the magnolia) the melianthus hadn't yet emerged from the ground and the hakonechloa was only about 6" tall. Now I know. I won't make the same mistake again, at least not here. No doubt something similar is bound to be repeated elsewhere...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. At least it didn't snuff it!

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    1. So true, I've been making sure to water it and keep an eye on it's overall heath. Ideally I would have taken the time to move it but I've just been too busy this year...

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  2. So excited to snag a Magnolia laevifolia at Xera yesterday. And then they took it back. it was already sold. Dagnabit! But that is a good trick, Loree...

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    1. Damn! Cistus had a few lovely (larger?) ones last time I was there...

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  3. Most of us have done something similar so you're not alone there :)

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  4. Oh that silvery foliage! The others are too pretty to hide too. Now that you have more planting space back there you can correct it next year...unless you've filled that up too.

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    1. Are you kidding? Of course it's already filled! (remember I had 85 bloggers here in July, that as a great excuse to waste no time in getting it planted).

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  5. LOL, I'm glad you unearthed this vignette for us because it's beautiful. What are you going to do? The urn looks too heavy to move easily.

    My Grevillea 'Fanfare' died this summer. It needed more water than I gave it, or the drip emitter was defective. I will definitely replace it, it's such a neat plant.

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    1. It's not too heavy, as long as there isn't water in it (there are no drainage holes). I've started scheming on removing some lawn in front of the trachy/melianthus and moving the urn/plant combo out in front of the melianthus next spring. I think that's the plan...

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    2. (p.s. I should have clarified that the grevillea isn't actually planted in the urn, it just looks that way)

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  6. I thought what you did was a good thing. They can get bigger & stay safe...

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    1. Thanks for putting a positive spin on it!

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  7. No fail! As long as the plants are alive and happy you still pass! I'm an easy grader that way. That grevellia is gorgeous! Will you try to take it in for the winter? The magnolia will eventually grow taller.

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    1. Thanks for the pass. Indeed I will do my best to overwinter the grevillea. It's still in a pot within the urn so it should lift out fairly easily. And yes, I figure the magnolia will eventually win the race...although if we have a mind winter I might need to cut back the melianthus to keep it from taking over the world.

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  8. Aw, you're just trying to make us feel better by revealing that you, too, have flaws.

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    1. You're funny! I could construct an entire blog out of stupid things I do in the garden.

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  9. Hey DG,
    Been many moons since I visited DG so I enjoyed poking around. Although I've lived in Zone 6 for over 30 years, I grew up in Australia where grevilleas were some of my favs so I enjoyed my visit. The streets of my grandparent's small country town were lined with G.robusta, the Silky Oak. Ever seen it?

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    1. Hi Patrick, my husband and I were just talking about how we hope to visit Australia someday, what a place to spend your childhood! I have seen G. robusta, if my memory is correct it was at the Huntington Garden in California. Beautiful!

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  10. That Grevillea has recently shown up in our local nurseries. The tag says it grows 15 feet wide, which creates a challenge as to where to put it. If it and the Magnolia grandiflora could co-exist, it'd be perfect under the tree but the Magnolia doesn't like competition. If it works for you in a pot maybe I could try that, however.

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    1. So far so good, although I imagine over time it will want more space. I've also seen it growing down over a wall in a garden in the Bay Area, it's gorgeous that way.

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  11. I'm sure it was a nice surprise when you uncovered it to see how much it had grown without you noticing? It's a great combo (the urn and grevillea) and looks very happy!

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    1. Actually I've been keeping an eye on it Amy, I didn't want it to die in our long hot (and dry) summer so I've been sure to water it every now and then.

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  12. Great plant, great pot, everyone still alive: I'd say WIN! (You can always move it out front next year.)

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    1. And that's exactly what I plan to do!

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  13. I've done similar things more times than I can count. Fortunately, they're all still alive. Usually when I do something like that I end up with dead plants.

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  14. You always have the most amazing foliage and the skill to combine them in the perfect setting. Plus you know how to care for them.

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  15. Another advantage of the desert - plants don't overgrow garden objects so easily! But with that bold blend of foliage, I wouldn't be concerned either.

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