Monday, November 10, 2014

What were they thinking? (#17)

I love a simple, repetitive, plant palette - especially in a municipal planting (which I believe this is - in Albany, California). This particular combination, with dark aeoniums peeking out of orange libertia, is all kinds of fabulous in my book.

Repeat it a few times in a row and you’ve really got something going on.

Well, unless you back it with phormiums that look like they’ve been whacked by a 3 year old who just discovered scissors.

For crying out loud people what were you thinking?

I want to appreciate those curvy aeoniums but instead my eye is pulled back to the horror of the flax.

What were they thinking?

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

32 comments:

  1. What were they thinking indeed. That would be a nice combination except for that little problem there. It looks like a few phormium leaves escaped the scissors...at least for now.






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    1. "except for that little problem there"... "well that would be a darn fine house, except for that little problem there" (points at the missing roof). Hehehe

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  2. Bla! Why oh why? They look like sticks now. Maybe they were cutting off fried foliage?

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    1. Yes that appears to be the consensus. But as Hoover Boo quoted ""So, they think the tips are going to grow back?"...

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  3. I know exactly what they were thinking. You're northerners. Look at the whole plant. It's all been trimmed. What happened with this summer's heat is that the flax turned brown even with adequate water. The gardener here wanted to get rid of those brown spots so he cut off the tips and some of the branches way down. Mine was a bit larger, so I was able to cut out the whole brown-tipped leaf all the way down to the base. Gardener will probably make a different choice of pruning methods next time. The care and the colors of the aeonium and phormium are a great pairing.

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    1. Yes, I see, but IMHO it would have been preferable to leave the brown tips, or as you say remove the whole leaf. Since that doesn't appear to have been an option (there wouldn't be any left) why not remove the whole plant?

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  4. Phormium do get burned. I usually cut the damaged leaves all the way back to the base as the choppy look doesn't appeal to me either.

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    1. All the way would be preferable, I do the same when a phormium leaf gets damaged.

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  5. The color combo is fab. Hope the phormiums recover! As Tacoma's streets were turning into rivers yesterday (big downpour - Stadium bowl flooded, concrete seating turned into waterfall) I was wondering what it might be like to live in a drier climate.

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    1. I saw a video of the Stadium High waterfall, yikes! That was intense. Hope your garden/house is okay.

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  6. Haphazard job with the shears there. Perhaps they wanted to retain the gradient of the phormium leaves but the job was obviously done badly. Oh well...

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    1. I wonder how long for them to look decent again?

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  7. Okay, I hope we can still be friends after my comment, and truth be told, I'm kind of horrified at myself for saying this, but in this case, I think it works! It's a different look, to be sure, but I greatly prefer that to brown tips, which I suspect is the reason they cut them that way. What does bug me though is that they left the unharmed ones. Cut them all if you want it to make a statement. In the fourth photo, I think it looks just fine. At least they didn't whack them all off at the same height, which tells me they gave some thought to what they were doing. Yep, the more I look at them, the more I like this. (What am I saying?!?!?!?!?)

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    1. Kylee, you crack me up! Of course everyone has a right to their opinion (however wrong it might be, haha - sorry I had to add that), after all some people must like the look of "pineappled" agaves too. You do have a point, they did stagger their cuts...

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  8. I agree with Kylee -- they don't look too bad. Kinda geometric. (Remember, this is from somebody who can't grow flax to this size, so might not know better. Also, I've been hacking down my tender plants and bringing them inside, so maybe I've got severe pruning on the brain right now...)

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    1. Yes that's got to be it, you're in the middle of the delusions brought on by intense winter prep.

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  9. The sad truth is that phormiums don't like full sun except near the coast. The reflected heat off the wall behind them only added to their misery.

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    1. Indeed, I'm sure that west-facing (I believe) wall does heat up with the sun. I am curious though with your mentioning the coast, is Albany really considered "inland"...isn't it still coastal-ish?

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  10. It runs counter to everything I believe about good pruning, but in a weird, punky kind of way, I actually like it - a little. (And I can't believe I just said that!)

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    1. Uhm...I can't believe you did either!

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  11. That is odd. I like the planting scheme but you are right with the phormiums.

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    1. Maybe they'll replace them, soon.

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  12. Right plant, wrong place?

    I am remembering another blog post--was it Gardenbook?--of other mutilated Phormiums, and the blogger said, "So, they think the tips are going to grow back?" I still laugh about that comment, and cringe when I see whacked Phormiums whacked. Why didn't they cut them into nice, neat cubes?

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking...AND...yes! That comment ran through my head too.

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  13. Yuck! I'm with you, Loree. That's painful to look at.

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    1. I like how most (but not all) of them are cut straight too, no attempt at replicating a "tip."

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  14. I 'm in the yuck category here too. Wrong plants wrong place, a waste of phormiums!

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    1. Indeed. I wonder if I'm just phormium sensitive since I lost so many beautiful plants in our PKW's? (phormium killing winter)

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  15. What a shame! They would be so beautiful. The colours are lovely.

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    1. Yes, they really did chose a nice color of phormium to balance the overall scheme.

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  16. Ugh. The hacked Phormium was the first thing I noticed in your very first photo. Bummer.

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  17. The colors and shapes would have been perfect without the hacking. But maybe they'll come back with time. This isn't my garden style at all, but like some of the others have said, maybe they wanted to remove the brown tips to encourage new growth in the plant? Will that happen with Phormiums with time? I'm not very familiar with them, but I do love the color and the natural shape (I'm imagining them without the hacking).

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