Friday, July 29, 2016

Fav's for's all about the foliage (of course)

Those of you who have visited in person, or pay close attention to my photos, may have noticed our house only has two windows that look out on the back garden, and those are in the very corners of the house. When deciding whether or not to make an offer on the property that fact was almost a deal breaker for me, so much so we discussed putting in french doors off the bedroom. That hasn't yet happened (nor has the dishwasher installation) so in order to see the back garden I have to go into the very corner of the house and peer out the window. I do this every morning while I'm making the bed. This Asarum maximum 'Ling Ling' is one of the first things I see as my eyes sweep from left to right. Only recently has it bulked up enough to make me pause to appreciate it.

I have another, but this is what it currently looks like...

There was no cute little panda face flower this spring, but that's okay...maybe next year (if you've never seen the flower there are photos here). Meanwhile I am appreciative of the lovely green on green foliage.

Asarum maximum 'Ling Ling' is hardy in USDA Zones 7-9 and will eventually spread to a patch about a foot wide. It prefers a shady location with even moisture.

I previously wrote about how thrilled I was to have Canna 'Cleopatra' in my garden. Well it's since taken things up a notch by putting up a bloomspike, a striped bloomspike...

And the stripes continue right on up to the flowers, I can't wait to see what they look like!

Canna 'Cleopatra' is hardy in Zones 7-10, but of course the tubers can be dug and overwintered indoors in cooler climates. In my experience all Canna do best in full sun and with regular water. They'll grow in part shade and with a lax watering schedule, but not as robustly.

Morina longifolia was given to me last fall by Allison (aka Bonney Lassie). Although it has pink flowers Allison cleverly talked me into taking this plant by playing up the fact those leaves are very spiky.

And she's right, I went to pull a yellowing leaf for these photos (sans gloves) and let loose a nasty four letter word. I should know better!

My plant hasn't flowered yet (see Allison's Bloomday post from July 2014 for a photo, about halfway down the page) which I don't mind...after all it is all about the foliage!

Morina longifolia is hardy in Zones 6-9 and prefers sun and regular water, eventually reaching 24"-36" tall (bloom included I'm assuming) and 18" wide. Dancing Oaks Nursery claims the foliage is aromatic but I'm not rubbing it to find out.

I've shared this Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' before, as part of a favorite combination, but it's time it got it's own moment of praise. Check that thing out!

It's hard to tell just how big it's gotten so here's my iPhone for scale. It measures 31" from tip to painful tip. I think the mailman (who walks by it everyday) is going to have to change his route soon.

I love the delicate black outline on each leaf, as well as that powdery blue color which is the hallmark of the 'Frosty Blue' selction (a Cistus Nursery introduction).

For comparison here is the "plain old" Agave ovatifolia. Still fabulous, but not blue.

Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' is hardy in Zones 7-11 (as long as kept dry = great drainage) and loves sun, heat and regular water to grow big — but only in the summertime. Reports are it can reach 6-8 feet wide, I would have scoffed that being possible in my climate but it does appear to be on its way.

Since we're on the subject of Agaves I thought this worth sharing. Check out my furthest reaching pup from an Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston' (previously fav'd here)...

No not that one up at the top of the frame, that's another plant. I mean that little baby the arrow is pointing at below. It's two feet from one plant and two and a half from the other. For some reason that makes me really happy. Agaves be a travelin!

Finally I'll wrap up this month-end look at my favorites with a photo of my Trachycarpus fortunei, because I now know it's a girl! One, or both (?!) of the neighbor's two trees are the proud fathers of my first batch of palm seeds.

So now it's your turn, what's looking amazing in your garden this July?

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Exploring the Santa Barbara County Courthouse

We had but two full days on the ground in Santa Barbara, Day One was spent sleeping in (our arrival was much later than anticipated the night before, more on that later), strolling to the beach, exploring Lotusland, and a long, leisurely birthday dinner with another walk to the beach afterwards. Day Two held no agenda. We'd discussed various activities but decided to just explore and was perfect. For example we discovered the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse...

Beautiful just as sculpture, this fountain must be dreamy when the water is flowing.

Keep this sign in mind, when you see the photos I took from up in the bell-tower.

"The current courthouse was constructed between 1926 and 1929 and completed four months before the crash of the US stock market of 1929" (source).

Oh the details!

Now we're up in the bell-tower, and come to think of it I was so taken with the 360-degree view, I didn't think to ask where the bell was. I wonder of this strange little balcony had something to do with it, when there was a bell?

The view out towards the ocean (that's a smudge on my lens at pretty much dead center, not a tornado).

Araucaria bidwillii (L) and Araucaria heterophylla (R). Yes I had to look up both of those names, only remembering the common names (Bunya Pine and Norfolk Island Pine).

This is the photo I wanted you to look at and remember that sign about significantly reduced watering. Really? That's a lot of green lawn.

In-person those mountains in the distance looked so dry. Here the camera has managed to color them up a bit.

Back inside and descending the staircase to the ground...

Simply gorgeous!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Maude planted up, finally!

Remember when I visited apotspot? Well Claire generously shared one of her containers with me, a Maude. I've almost planted several things in it, but never felt that I hit on one that was "just right" until now...

This vignette is currently atop my patio table...planted in the Maude is an Agave victoriae-reginae 'Golden Princess', Aeonium 'Kiwi', Aeonium 'Some fabulous green one that I didn't get the name of' and Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea...

Four plants is definitely a little much for this small pot (and way out of my "one plant per pot" comfort zone) but they'll only be there for a couple of months. I'll pop the Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’ in the ground before winter and probably leave the Agave in the pot alone after that.

With this table-top vignette I'm joining up with Anna over at Flutter & Hum, who hosts our Wednesday Vignettes every week...check out what Anna's sharing and links to other blogger's WVs.

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An overdue garden visit, on a sunny afternoon...

I've been trying to make the huge 7 block trek to this garden for years now...but it finally happened. What took me so long? My most recent near-miss was a private party where the owners of Far Reaches Farm were speaking and selling their amazing plants. That was last spring, March I think. I got sick, very sick, and stayed home...bummer. Still, finally seeing the garden on a gorgeous sunny afternoon did kind of make up for all the lost opportunities...

Does this chair look familiar? The garden owner/designer Suzinn Weiss had just picked up a couple and when I remarked on their good looks and comfort she clued me in to where I could pick up a pair for my own garden. Thank you Suzinn!

There was so much to see and I had to find the sweet spot between enjoying Suzinn's company and personally experiencing the garden vs. photographing it for a blog post. This is something I wrestle with! I've sort of come up with a compromise — if it's an open garden on a tour, or through the HPSO, then it's all about looking and taking photos. Whereas if it's a visit to the garden of a friend or new acquaintance I try to keep the camera tucked away, to be there as a person not a "journalist"...of course the rules do get broken. Hence the fact I was taking photos on this visit...

The back of the garage has been converted to a studio. I love this idea!


A fountain for the birds.

But also quite sculptural.

The deep colors of the Hydrangeas seem extra magnificent this year.

Metapanax delavayi

At its base a happy Fuchsia.

Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'

And there were lilies, beautiful, fragrant lilies...

And these guys too. Suzinn grows them well.

Trochodendron aralioides

Trochodendron aralioides and Schefflera delavayi

Schefflera delavayi

I wish I could remember the name of this ground-cover. It smelled terrific.

Pathway made of salvaged stone, turned on it's rough side.

The house has one of those huge front porches dreams are made of...

Complete with a fabulous paint job and space to relax!

I had to leave in a bit of a rush (dog duties) but had every intention of returning to photograph the intensely planted hellstrip before posting on this garden. That was 3 weeks ago. I realized I'd better just post these inspiring photos now and hope to be invited back in the future. Thank you Suzinn!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.