This is roughly my view as I open my eyes each morning and look out our bedroom window. The softly arching foliage belongs to Metapanax delavayi.
Once I drag myself out of bed and walk over to look out the window this is the view. The Metapanax only gets better the more of it you see. And to think, I paid just $2 for a 14" tall, deformed twig, at the 2010 Cistus Tough Love Sale and it's grown into this...
Down on ground level, having just walked into the back garden, the Metapanax view isn't quite as dramatic. In fact the Schefflera delavayi may steal the show, along with the Polygonatum odoratum and Schefflera brevipedunculata.
But what really matters is the Metapanax delavayi is helping to block the view of U.G.L.Y. — aka our neighbor's garage painted two wall colors and two trim colors for a total of four headache inducing shades of bad (detailed here). Once you're down on the patio level U.G.L.Y. is really obscured. In fact, it's a jungle!
I look back at photos of when this area was newly planted (that would be spring 2014, prior to 90 garden bloggers visiting that summer....) and I cringe. It was all so little. The jungle effect is what I was always after...
Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' is both a star, and a thug. I love it's dramatic foliage, but it's already 5ft tall, and it's only May! It will continue to grow and sometime in July I'll hack it back and it will (hopefully, always has) regrow to a manageable 3ft or so.
I still love the variegated Daphniphyllum as much as the day I bought it, maybe even more. I'm so glad it's carefree because I've lavished no TLC upon it.
The Paulownia tomentosa was hacked back to manageable size earlier this spring. It's exciting to watch new growth explode from what looks like dead wood. I think this may be the last year it's pollarded and next year we may go for the more drastic coppice.
The non-variegated Daphniphyllum macropodum (on the left, below) has definitely settled in and is looking fabulous, putting on tons of new growth (another photo from a different angle follows in a bit). The Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' also gets cut back severely in early spring, and quickly regrows a substantial amount of that dark lacy foliage. Barely visible behind all that is an Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat) that's actually large enough now to provide an evergreen screen (hence my thoughts on coppicing the Paulownia).
Smashed into all the jungly goodness is Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' — a very special plant that deserves a bigger spotlight than it's getting in my garden. Its new growth is amazing.
Here's that Persicaria at eye level...
And again (I do rather adore this plant)...
And before we can back away from the jungle, proper love must be paid to the Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida’ (Cutleaf Emperor Oak)... cause it's so cool!
Weather Diary, May 17: Hi 68, Low 55/ Precip 0
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