Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So indeed there is less lawn...

This latest project has been working it's way along, in one form or another, since last September. That's when I realized I wanted to remove a strip of lawn in front of the palm.

I last wrote about this project in February, when I asked what you all thought I should do with the third paver. The one that would now fall behind the line, the brick edging line that is.

The project finally got underway and I removed a strip of sod 30" deep and 14' long. In a small, maxed-out, garden that's a lot of new planting space!

And here's a preview of how I decided to treat the third paver. I had to wait until Andrew had time to move it to it's new spot. At 89 lbs it's beyond my ability.

This project was not a quick one. So much was going on inside the house this spring that outside projects were on the back-burner. I removed the sod in early April...

And two weeks passed before I got the edging in place. I was smart enough to move the Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ (orange blooming) early on, before some big rains came through.

It seemed to appreciate the attention, since it had been languishing in a less than ideal spot.

A big part of why this project had to happen was to create space to move the urn with Grevillea 'Austraflora Fanfare' front and center. Last year it spent the growing season mostly buried behind the monster Melianthus. That's the monster to the left of the Hakonechloa on the left. I had cut it back to the ground in February so it's just getting going when this photo was taken on April 21st.

Love that Grevillea!

Plants collected (some might say too many plants)...and it's time to get down to business and put them in the ground!

Of course once I got started I neglected to take photos. And then I wanted to mulch before taking close-ups. Here's the final result...

What do you mean those plants are too close together?!

Starting on the far left...at the back corner and hard to see that's the Colutea x media I picked up at Dancing Oaks.

Close up of the Colutea, and a confession. See those long stems with hardly any leaves? It's been quite dry here and I neglected to water in a timely fashion. The leaves on the tips turned crispy and fell, thankfully new ones are emerging.

Lupinus albifrons front and center.

This plant makes me swoon!

To the right of the Astelia nivicola 'Red Gem' just below the Hakonechloa is Correa backhouseana...

"One of the largest and most frost hardy of the Australian fuschias"...creamy white flowers. Love those leaves!

The Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue' is looking pretty much perfect right now, size-wise (in May). In other words come August, oh boy, look out...

The ground in front of the urn is planted up with assorted succulents, most of which (maybe all?) are not hardy here. The urn may need to be moved come winter (emptying of water before a freeze, access to the gutters for cleaning) so I purposely used the space in front of it for things that will get lifted in the late fall.

Yes those blooms are pink...but it's a strong pink, with purple and yellow. In otherwords, I like them. A lot.

I'm hoping these will grow quickly and create a carpet...

Greenovia aurea ‘Gran Canaria Form’

Abutilon 'Nuabtang' Lucky Lantern Tangerine (assuming the label was correct, as you can see those flowers aren't tangerine) with Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam'.

Brachyglottis greyi (Senecio greyi)

An Eryngium whose name I've forgotten. Maybe I'll decide to go look for the tag. Of course if you're reading this that means I did not.

I brought the Echium fastuosum back from a visit to Annie's Annuals last fall and over-wintered it insde the sp-greenhouse. It's not hardy so this summer will be it's only time to shine.

There's the Sophora microphylla 'Sun King' I picked up at the HPSO plant sale labeled as Acacia 'Sun King'.

And at the base of the Edgeworthia Salvia discolor.

On the right (ish) in the slightly bare spot in the sea of Galium odoratum is Lomatia myricoides. Weigela ‘Dark Horse’ on the far right.

Another Salvia, S. apiana

A long view. I'm extremely happy with how this project turned out. Now the planting area along the neighbor's garage feels the right size, it was a little narrow before this change.

I had to end with a shot of the crazy Callistemon viridiflorus doing it's thing.

Isn't it fabulous!?

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

58 comments:

  1. You finally took the plunge, and it looks so much better than before, looks great even with the fine selection of new plants you've put in :)

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    1. Thanks guys. For such a small project it sure stretched on a long while.

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  2. Looks great! You'll post an update in a month or two so we can see how things have progressed? I'm wondering, what do gardeners who don't have "wild" space or compost piles do with sod that gets removed? It's quite heavy for yard waste bags or containers it seems.

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    1. I will! (or at least I'll show this area in my yearly tour in August). And that's a great question about how I deal with the sod. Notice in photos #4 and 5 you can see some pieces flipped over and laying in the bare soil area? I try to do that whenever possible. Shake and chop as much soil off as I can and then flip them over and let them dry out. That way they're lighter when I toss them in the yard waste bin. I also have created a bit of a pile behind the large round stock-tank with the Tetrapanax in it. They slowly decompose. When we cleared the front of all sod and dug out the area for the patio we paid someone to haul it away.

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  3. Looks soooo much better wider, not to mention filled with fabulous plants (I "need" that Callistemon). Now, what about that notch of lawn on the left hand side in the 2nd to last photo?

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    1. You do need that Callistemon! The notch of lawn makes more sense in person. As you walk into the back garden it's a nice hidden area, almost as though you could walk back around the other side of the house. Also once the variegated Echium puts on it's seasonal growth it will be hidden from the path. In other words I like it now, and it serves a purpose. In the future? Well, anything is game!

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    2. Hidden corners, good. Napping spots for Lila. :)

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    3. You have no idea how right you are. There's a huge Hakonechloa over there which she loves to curl up in/under.

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  4. Looks great so far, and so much promise!

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  5. Wonderful! Just the right amount of lawn and pavers to counter all the fun new stuff happening in the beds. Do you work from a detailed plan or just start planting?

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    1. Thanks Amy! And - there's no plan. I did cut out the sod based on what would allow me to keep 2 of the 3 pavers in place in the corner, but that was the extent of planning. Then I just bought plants I wanted and thought would look good. When it came time to plant I did place them all and moved them around until I was happy with the look.

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  6. I was wondering the same thing as Hoover Boo, I think you could definitely get away with taking out that little peninsula of lawn to the left of the Callistemon. The new area looks great, love the Grevillea urn front and center.

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    1. Thanks Alison - see my answer to Hoov as far as why that but of lawn will stay for at least awhile.

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  7. Very nice! And with your patented "crammit" style, it looks full and lush already. I actually don't know how you resisted converting that strip of lawn as long as you did, as you're a plant lover through and through.

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    1. Guilty, indeed. Just think of how much of my tiny lawn I've chipped away at since you were first here.

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  8. It really looks fabulous! I love the extra depth on that bed now -- it's really wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing how it all fills in.

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    1. Thanks Kate! I must share that my husband looked at the deeper planting area and said "how am I supposed to get to the gutter this fall?"...such a practical thinker.

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  9. I may have missed it the first time round, but the little drystack wall of brick in the fifth picture -- I like that. I'm going to feel quite foolish if it is, in fact, just a temporary but nicely organized pile of brick you're using for this/another project, because it looks neat to me. The hardscape skeleton of your garden is always very clean and nicely turned out.

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    1. You're the second person to have thought I was building a wall. Sorry to let you down. It was just a place to put the edging bricks while I removed the sod. However since it was there for quite awhile I did get used to it, and it had me thinking about the application for future projects.

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  10. Very exciting! You always make excellent choices and this is no exception. The bed looks marvy and the placement of the stone is perfect. Looks especially great through that Callistemon!

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    1. Oh gosh, "excellent choices"...I don't know about that.

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  11. Wow, this is all quite nice! Everything looks so lush and beautiful.

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  12. I was wondering when the update would arrive! Love the new wider strip. I always find growth to be amazing in areas of newly removed lawn, so this should fill in quickly.

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    1. Hopefully. It's been dry and there's hot weather ahead...they might panic and up and die on me.

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  13. AnonymousJune 02, 2015

    Awesome!! the shot stepping back after all the planting is just spectacular! How long has your yellow Callistemon been in the ground here in Portland? Do you have to protect it any special in our winters? I have a red one thats doing well but, yellow not so much

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    1. Thanks! That Callistemon probably went in about 2010? That's a complete guess. And no, I've never protected it at all. I've got another out front that gets hit with cold winter winds and it's doing fine too.

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  14. It looks splendid already and it hasn't even grown in! I noticed barely a dangerous plant in sight...are you going soft? It will be fun to see how it fills in over the summer. The layers in this deeper bed are very appealing!

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    1. Ah come on! There are 3 Agaves next to the urn, and at least 2 Eryngium agavifolium (maybe more) and that Grevillea is pretty darn sharp!

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  15. Amazing how you manage to squeeze more space out of a small garden. PLEEEEASE come visit us again soon and let me know how I can do the same in my garden!

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    1. Maybe it's just that I'm not in touch with reality?

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  16. Wow, i love the newly planted strip! I always place things mostly to appeal to my eye at that moment instead of giving them space for the future. I think it's natural to want to see it arranged nicely for all that work digging sod and preparing beds. It's (nearly) immediate gratification!

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    1. And you can always rearrange later!

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  17. It looks great, Loree. I thought I squeeze a lot into an area but you have me beat many-fold. I wish I could grow that Sophora (too much water required!) but I'm laying odds that there's one of those Callistemon in my future.

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    1. The Sophora is supposed to be drought tolerant, but so far it's the thirstiest of the lot. Glad you like the Callistemon.

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  18. It looks great - I could never understand how you managed to hold back with such a narrow bed there before. Now it all looks proportionate, and much more, well, you. I'm interested to know how you prepared the new soil after sod removal - if yours is anything like mine, it's solid clay under the grass. It looks like you might have added some pumice? Maybe gravel? Of course the mulch will help over time, I know. Love the Salvia discolor!

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    1. Really? That cracks me up that others thought it narrow when it hadn't really even occurred to me until last summer. I wish I could claim to have done something to the soil but no, just mulch on the top. That's all I ever do except when I'm planting agaves and building up the soil (the agaves here will be pulled before winter). I do take the pitch fork and loosen up the soil a bit.

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  19. And because the plants are too close together you are going to have to dig out more lawn. You know you want to.

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    1. ha! Actually I don't. Maybe someday, but for now I'm happy with it. Check back next spring.

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  20. I completely forgot that you expanded that area! I could see that the plants were new, but it just didn't connect. The bed really does feel more the right size now, and the planting is so well done, as usual. Yes, those plants do seem so very close to me, since I tend to place my plants so far apart in an attempt to fill all my space in the cheapest way possible. Things fill in eventually, but it's nice to get that instant impact.

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    1. Small garden = smash them all too of close together. Big garden = spread them out. We all have our coping strategy don't we?

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  21. I´m in love with Callistemon viridiflorus. It is just fabulous. And the new space with plants is very nice, I like the contrast of all those echeverias with the black pot and love the silver foliage of other plants.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I hope your starting to think about planting up your expanded space too!

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  22. It's ALL fabulous. I even like the negative spaces with the dark mulch while you're waiting for those plants to take over.

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    1. That mulch is a little crazy dark isn't it? Thankfully it's already bleached out to a slightly more soil-like color.

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  23. Looks even better than before and even better that there's room for more plants!

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    1. More plants is always the answer.

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  24. Incredible!!! Where'd ya score that grevillea ??? ... looks like some of those are destined to become a fairly good size :)

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    1. My friend JJ picked it up for me at San Marcos Growers. She's and enabler of the best sort!

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  25. The garden is really looking top notch. I love this new bed, incredible work. Such a great selection of plants. Many new to me. Will be exciting to see how it fills in. Your succulent collection is insane. I love planting frivolous amounts of exotics. Pushing the northern gardens boundaries and generally making people cock their heads and think. Does this stuff really grow here? Nice work. Very nice!

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    1. Thanks Nat! I feel exactly the same way, even if they're only in the ground for a few months they're happy and they make me happy so why not? If it causes a few questions from visitors all the better!

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  26. Holy shit, this looks AWESOME. I'm so impressed and not at all surprised. And I love the hidden corner of grass. Don't listen to the others.

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    1. Hehe, thanks Heather. Lila was just sprawled there today enjoying the cool lawn on her tummy.

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  27. I really, really, really like the new bed. A lot.

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  28. Woah! The Callistemon gets that big!!!??? Awesome. Upon Greg's (Xera) recommendation I picked mine up in spring of 2014 and am finally about to see my first blooms, maybe in the next week or so (I am in Bellingham.) Hmm, up to 8 lovely feet, eh? Might have to move it back from the walkway just a wee bit...

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    1. Xera also sells a compact version, maybe that's what you picked up?

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