Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tour 2017, the front garden

Sharing a detailed pictorial tour of my garden has become an annual end-of-summer tradition around here, one that seems to get pushed back further and further each year! Rest assured that even though it's now October, these photos were taken in summer, on August 31st and September 8th...

Today's tour is of the front and side gardens, tomorrow we'll visit the back garden. All the Agaves and Opuntia you can see here were in the ground through last winter.

They definitely enjoyed the hot summer and — for the most part — have grown out of the damage they suffered from the repeated snow, ice, cold and wet of winter 2016/17.

I added a couple of Gaura lindheimeri, thinking the nodding flowers would be a nice addition. They've since been removed...they kind of annoyed me.

That Agave ovatifolia (the large one on the right, below) was about the size of the two little ones to its left when I planted it, several years ago.

The planting area in front of the living room window makes me so happy! But before we take a closer look, let's walk around the north-side of the house...

I'm standing in the neighbor's driveway as I take this photo, that's their house just peeking in on the left. Mahonia x media 'Charity' is the large plant on the far right, followed by (working our way to the left) a pair of Adiantum venustum, Mahonia fortunei 'Curlyque', Hakonechloa, Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' and Fatsia japonica.

The glowing Imperata cylindrica gets its own photo.

This shrinking pathway is used by the mailman, however as the Agaves and the Poncirus trifoliata continue to grow he may be rethinking that.

Both this Tetrapanax (under our ridiculously large mailbox), and the one you'll see in the next photo, are volunteers I'll be attempting to dig — hoping to get enough roots they'll live — in the next few weeks. They came from the large plants at the street-side corner of our property, visible in the north-side shot.

The tall guy at the corner of the house is Rhamnus frangula (Fine Line Buckthorn), I highly recommend this plant! It's been carefree and has great foliage and bark.

Of course the real stars of this area are the Yucca rostrata and pair of Agave ovatifolia...

Last winter's blemishes are almost just a memory...

Here's the "mailman-impaling" Poncirus trifoliata I mentioned earlier. This is its second year to have a large crop of fruit.

Best of all the thorns just keep getting spikier and spikier!

The summer-long flower power of my Bougainvillea has all but come to an end, I enjoyed every moment of it while it was in action.

Dasylirion wheeleri

I was unsuccessful in my hunt for Echium wildpretti at any of our local nurseries this year, thankfully gardening friends, Lance, and Bruce and Doug, came to my rescue...now if these tender beauties (one's bottom center here) can just make it through our winter...(truth be told I kept a couple in containers to act as insurance)...

Agave parryi 'Ruth Bancroft' (my name for an unlabeled plant) is looking grand. I love how the Sedum ternatum 'Larinem Park’ is finally starting to wrap around it.

Newly planted this spring (to replace a mushy Agave americana), A. montana 'Baccarat'.

If you're really paying attention you'll remember this Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' from Tuesday's winterization post, it doesn't look nearly as large outside.

After our harsh winter both of my Feijoa sellowiana lost all their leaves and looked rather dead, they've both sprung back nicely though...

One more look...

Okay I lied, another, from further back...

Here's another survivor of last winter, looking fabulous heading into this one, Grevillea x gaudichaudii.

An overall shot from the southeast corner, standing in our driveway.

The Yucca rostrata were nice size plants — but not yet "trunking" — when they were planted in 2011 (see the "not so big reveal" of the front garden back then here). Oh what a difference 6 years makes!

This Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' went in last April, a replacement better suited to my climate than the "melting" (but still alive — you'll see him in just a bit) Agave americana that was there.

A visitor recently commented the blades in this particular Y. rostrata look thinner than usual, a little more Y. linearifolia-ish... I can see it too. Interesting...

Walking up the driveway we'll pause to check out the fabulous blooming Aloe aristata.

Backed by a happy Grevillea rivularis.

Now that the blooms have faded on the Aloe there are seeds forming.

The other "refoliated" Pineapple Guava.

Finally we're at the end of the driveway...this year's crops included two kinds of basil, Sungold tomatoes, and three kinds of Zinnia for cutting. The Mexican sour gherkins had already been harvested and turned into (fabulous) refrigerator pickles by the time these photos were taken. I must point out the large-ish Agave americana in the round metal tub, that's the one I removed from the front garden since it almost perished over winter, it was too ugly to leave out in such a prominent spot. It's making a triumphant return however, and its pups are growing too...

The Sungolds were amazing this year!

Here's where we end today's tour. Come back tomorrow for a look at the back garden...

Weather Diary, Oct 11: Hi 57, Low 45/ Precip .16"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

38 comments:

  1. Amazing as always. That's funny that the guara annoyed you - I mean in a lighthearted way. I guess they don't go with "spiky" after all. What is the groundcover in the Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' photo, by the way?

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    1. I loved them at Blooming Junction and thought they'd kind of fit right in with the rangy/weedy look of the front garden. Nope.

      Groundcover...well, there are two: Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific' and a NOID Sedum I picked up at Means.

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    2. Ah, it's the Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific' that caught my eye. I found them at our local ACE Hardware and bought two. Love them, but so so slow.

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    3. They'll take off soon...the 3rd year "leap" thing...

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  2. I found Gaura annoying too, and removed them. They just got huge. I want to know what the plant is in the closeup photo of the Gaura flowers, in the lower left corner? I think it's some kind of thready conifer, but I'm wondering which? My itty-bitty pineapple guava survived the summer, now if it can survive the winter, I'll be happy. Great tour, looking forward to tomorrow.

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    1. Mine didn't have a chance to get huge, but your saying so made it all the better that I ripped them out. The plant you're asking about is Thuja plicata 'Whipcord'.

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  3. I grew Rhamnus Fine Line in my old garden. Funny, I was just thinking about it the other day when looking for a tall, narrow accent plant. Love your gate and can't wait to see what awaits on the other side.

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    1. Hope you can find another Rhamnus, they seemed a little hard to locate here, for awhile, but now they're everywhere.

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  4. I'm impressed at how well your garden sprang back after winter's horror show, Loree. Your pineapple guavas look better than either of mine (both inherited with my garden) - maybe a good pruning would snap mine into shape. I'm off to look up Grevillea rivularis, worth growing for the foliage alone by the looks of it.

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    1. My Grevillea rivularis came from The Desert Northwest up in Sequim, WA. They do mail order...

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  5. Gaura is annoying. I planted three of them and they refused to flower. I don't understand how they can look so good in other people's gardens. ... How do you get your Hesperaloe to bloom? And I have to give you props for that sweet, dark-leaved Daphne x houtteana. It's on my wish list. Love yours.

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    1. I've been told that summer water is the secret to blooming Hesperaloe. And ya, I LOVE that Daphne. You need one!

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  6. I really enjoyed this tour Danger Girl. I had to laugh when I read that guaras annoyed you. I could just hear your voice on that one. Love the gate at the end. I'm trying to think of any spikiness in my garden right now. Roses are spiky. Very spiky. Pretty much everything else is layered and soft. Gauras annoy me also. They are a pain here in Oklahoma even if they are native.~~Dee

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    1. Roses are definitely spiky! It sounds like I'm in good company with my Gaura annoyance.

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  7. I gotta know... what's that tall, blue Opuntia straight out in front of the yellow door? It looks spineless... is it? Looks like a winner.

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    1. It is — a winner. It's not spineless though. Here's another thing, it's the same type as the others that read as "greener". I have no idea why the color difference, except for it being something in the soil/or a signifier of unhappy plants (the green ones I mean, which are actually a little yellow). All of those Opuntia came from a neighbor who grows them in her hellstrip, having brought the plants out with her from the Midwest. I have permission to take the broken pieces. I have no idea what the plant is!

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  8. Everything looks so lush and healthy. I am always in awe of those big leaved blue and grayish plants you can grow. They put Hostas to shame. It is really hard here to get those contrasts in scale and texture that you can do. Or maybe it's just me. Our two months of drought have my garden looking sad. But at least we are getting a little rain which we really need. Love your big Adiantum venustum. Great specimens.

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    1. This was one of our warmest and driest summers on the books, so I understand about the drought. Glad you're getting a little rain, we are too...I wish I could send it south to the fires in California.

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  9. Awesome as expected. That is funny about Guara, in the wild here it is mixed in with grasses and other wildflowers and rarely seen alone among the spiky. It's great how you fit all those yuccas and agaves in there.

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    1. Thanks Shirley, another vote for my having removed it. Hope you're planning on attending the Austin Fling. I would love to meet you!

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  10. It's always a joy to see your amazing garden! Loved the link to 2011, so much has changed since then but it seems like only yesterday.

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    1. It seems like a lifetime ago to me...

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  11. I'm so glad you posted this today Loree--I'm so garden starved with all this smoke cooping me up inside, and strolling around the Danger Garden was just what I needed!

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    1. Ugh. I'm so sorry Kathy, what a nightmare. More distraction coming up today!

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  12. Looking fantastic as usual! I briefly considered planting Gaura, once, but thankfully decided against it. I would have taken it out, too!

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  13. Great tour though overwhelming in one dose, so I'll stick to my favorites: green door, dancing Opuntia pads in front, and walk to front door. Tomorrow that may change...

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    1. Thank you for remembering the door is green. It was called yellow here earlier and must admit the bright sun brings out those tones. Maybe it's time for a slightly different shade of green.

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  14. Beautiful blue hues and textures, Loree. I am curious about your love of spiky plants, from where and when did it originate? I get annoyed at my quince and few rose thorns, you must get often hurt tending this herd!

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    1. I think it happened when I visited Phoenix for a work trip. I was in awe of the magical desert then and it's stuck with me.

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  15. Fabulous. Your Opuntia are desert-southwest-worthy (OK, I've never been, so probably not, but they sure give that impression.) The dark leaved daphne jumped out at me. Have never run across it in my online shopping forays, but haven't looked lately.
    Love how the Agaves have recovered from the moss-removal-roof-whatever episode.

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    1. The Opuntia aren't quite up to that level...but certainly for Portland. That Daphne can be kind of hard to find, and when you do...expensive. I scored it when I went to interview someone at a wholesale grower for an article I was writing...lucky me!

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  16. The Poncirus spine makes Opuntias look positively meek.

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  17. What a difference 6 years make!!! The plants, for sure, but the house too. It doesn't even look like the same place; I understand why it makes you so happy. I've been eyeing Fine Line Buckthorn for a while. I love how it looks, but need of make room for it. Your positive review is encouraging me to make a move.

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    1. It's a fabulous plant! And ya...that white paint didn't do anything for the house or garden...

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  18. Your front garden looks great. I really love the Imperata cylindrica. However, I may have to report you to the National Association of Letter Carriers.

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    1. There's always the public sidewalk...

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