Tuesday, July 31, 2018

B. Jane, a garden from the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling

Back to Austin and our stop at B Jane's Garden...

From our Fling materials: "The garden is about year-round visual appeal, extensive privacy screening, a resort-like environment, and an architectural approach to planting and the use of stone and steel. Multiple rooms offer private and larger entertainer spaces, and the garden is low maintenance thanks to the use of native and adapted plants. I replaced the front lawn with steel edging, stone walkways, live oaks, Mexican wild olives, spineless prickly pear, agave, gulf muhly grass, blue sotol, and silver ponyfoot, among other plants." This is the personal garden of the owner of B Jane Gardens, a design build firm, the garden is 6 years old...

Is wrong that I enjoy seeing tree-debris lodged in the spikes of other people's plants? Misery does love company...

This garden unfolded in a much more logical way than it will appear to in this post. I don't remember if there were people in my way, so I photographed the edges first, or if I was just in a fog. As I look back on my Fling photos overall it's obvious I wasn't completely in the moment, we'd just lost Lila, the whole trip has a bit of a gauzy feel to me, but in this garden in particular I remember feeling out of sorts. The owner let her two black dogs out to play with us, and one of them was a senior with some grey, seeing them the loss hit hard.

But, to the garden! There's a pool — you can see just a corner — but instead of focusing there I focused on the edge, the small outdoor cook-top, and a few planters.

More planters and a dining area, as well as a small guest house, or maybe a studio.


Fabulous attention to detail.

The pool!

And fire-sticks.

Looking back at where I just was.

Picture perfect...

I should have tried one of these out to see if they were comfy.

I also should have inquired if the slit in the wall served a purpose beyond decorative.

Moving on to examine the plantings...

Several of us plopped down on that wall in the shade and took it all in.

The view from the shade.

The back garden is small, but it seems to live quite large.

Now I've moved on to the smaller, private area beyond the cement wall...

There was a soaking spa/tub set-up, and an outdoor shower.

With a fabulous green wall.

Speaking of green walls...

Doggie rest-stop area.

And now we're back out in the front garden.

Opuntia, Agave ovatifolia, Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)... quintessentially Austin (to my mind).

Lovely pruning on the trees too.

I'll end with what I think is the blue sotol referenced in the garden description, aka Dasylirion...

Weather Diary, July 30: Hi 92, Low 67/ Precip 0 — another 90+ degree day which sets a record for the number of days over 90 in a single month, 15. Coupled with the fact we've only had 1.22" of rain since May 1 (the driest on record, normal for that period would be 4.82") ... well, here's hoping everyone is very careful with combustible materials...

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Schefflera down, SoCal dreaming

When I began blogging I noticed the first photo of each post would show up on other blogger's blogrolls, next to the name of my blog (if they had their settings set to include photos). Aware of this I made sure the first photo was always a pretty one. Obviously I've gotten over that issue because this is not a pretty photo...

The above shot was taken at the end of June, when I returned from a week away. I'd been kidding myself the Schefflera taiwaniana was just going through it's annual old-leaf drop. After all the new growth looked fine...

However by mid July even the new growth had turned crispy. Root rot? Verticillium wilt?

Here are the stems I cut off, yes there's a little brown smudging, but is that enough to indicate a Verticillium problem?
The fact I'd been trying to water enough to keep the sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis) — planted at the Schefflera's base — happy and green does make me suspect maybe root rot is the case.

Whatever caused it, the fact is I now had a dead (or dead looking) multi-stemmed shrub in my garden. What to do?

As happens my friend Evan had recently posted (on Facebook) photos of some plants he ordered from Bird Rock Tropicals. They looked great and I ordered a couple. Faced with bare stems — and emboldened by a birthday check in the mail from my parents — I took inspiration from Lotusland and the Nichols Garden and ordered a few more. Here are my inspiration photos, first Lotusland ...specifically I'm looking at the Tillandsia mounted on the branches...

And the Nichols Garden...

Of course I am very aware these gardens are both in climates where these plants can be outside year round.

I'm not that lucky.

Here's my small attempt at a similar thing in my garden...

And yes, that's one random Scheflerra branch on the far right that never showed any signs of stress. The shorter one on the far left is a separate plant.

The incredibly bright and insistent sun we've been experiencing here in Portland over the last few weeks made photographing this all quite difficult. Not that I'm complaining, I LOVE the sun.

I wired the Bromeliads and Tillandisa in place and then used Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) to hide the wire and tie it all together.

I'm happy with how it turned out — giving me something to enjoy while I decide what to do with the blank spot where there used to be a handsome Schefflera. However, there has been a large number of people through the garden in the last couple of weeks and only one of them even mentioned it, the rest kind of threw a sideways glance and quickly adverted their eyes. So I've gathered this might not be for everyone. Which is fine.

There's another new addition, a pink Cryptanthus, hanging on the trellis

And a couple new Tillandisa there as well.

It's all temporary of course, because unlike SoCal this will all have to come down when the temperatures drop in a few months...

***late breaking update*** working on this blog post I realized maybe the branches especially were a little underwhelming; an installation made of thin sticks, an obviously dead "something" dressed up. So I pulled in a couple of largish moss covered branches I was holding aside for a future fern table. I like the extra dimension. But of course that means I may need just a few more Bromeliads....

Weather Diary, July 29: Hi 99, Low 64/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.