Friday, May 31, 2019

Gerhard's Garden; spiky in Davis

I had the good fortune to visit Gerhard's (aka Mr. Succulents and More) garden in early April. In many ways his garden is my dream. He grows so many of my favorite plants in the ground: agaves, aloes, mangaves, bromeliads, leucadendrons, grevilleas, and on and on.

The reason for my visit was the Bromeliad Summit in Santa Barbara. I flew into Sacramento, spent the night with Gerhard and Heather, then early the next morning we packed up and drove down to Santa Barbara. It was a whirlwind few days full of amazing gardens, but it all started here. We begin street-side, on the public side of the front garden fence.

First up, a speckled Mangave grown to perfection, M. ‘Spotty Dotty’.

Several of his aloes were in bloom, I think these flowers belong to Aloe marlothii, and that beauty behind is Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star’.

Another look.

Aloe cameronii and it's red offspring.

I love this combination of the big velvety verbasum leaves with Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'

Long spikes, subtle variegation, what's not to love? Agave potatorum ‘Cameron Blue’

Spring in Davis is quite lovely, isn't it? Lush in fact if you're judging by Gerhard's garden.

Oh Salvia discolor, why must you be so hard to find? I really wanted to grow this one again this year but never could find any plants (it's an annual for me).

For the life of me I can't recall what this is. I just know that this is my favorite stage, once those flowers open, not so much. (Canary Island daisy (Asteriscus sericeus), thanks Gerhard!)

I think I take this shot every time I visit; Agave gentryi 'Jaws' and Yucca linearifolia.

Agave parrasana

Aloe ‘Moonglow’ (blooming), Agave americana var. medio-picta 'Alba', and Agave ovatifolia. On the far right is Gerhard's ill-fated Palo Verde, read this post for more on its demise.

The flowers of Aloe ‘Moonglow’ look fabulous next to the variegated agave...

Lovely flowers on Aloe hereroensis.

The white senecio has the Agave ovatifolia looking a little ghostly,

A look back at where we've come from...

Before retracing our steps along the length of the fence and entering the front, private, garden...

Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio picta', I believe.

Agave guadalajarana ‘Leon’

Surveying the front garden...

Another angle, before we look at some plant close-ups.

Agave parryi var. huachucensis ‘Excelsior’

Agave applanata 'Cream Spike'

Hechtia 'Wildfire'

Mangave 'Crazy Cowlick'

Gerhard's chimney flue planters are a genius way to raise small plants up a little closer to eye-level.

Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' on the right

Agave obscura 'Red Skyline' (SWOON!)

Doesn't everything look super happy and healthy?

This is what you see from the covered front porch...

I think I may have to track down Hippeastrum papilio to grow myself, of course not outdoors like Gerhard is.

On this visit I was even allowed to wander into the back garden with my camera. Or wait, maybe "allowed" isn't the right word, I just did it.

So many flowers! Grevillea ‘Flora Mason’

"The" plant of the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling! I had no idea Gerhard grew tractor-seat Ligularia...

*SIGH* look at those sexy Bromeliads. Gerhard just completed a rework of this area and wrote about it here.

Sonchus palmensis I think. I grow S. canariensis and these leaves are a little different.

Another surprise, lilacs! They smelled so good.

Just a few more photos...

Look...a bloom spike! Agave mitis ‘Nova’

I end this post with a couple of photos back in the front garden, taken as the sun was setting and we were heading out to dinner. Who could walk by this glowing Aloe vaombe without stopping to snap a photo?

Or this? Agave bovicornuta surrounded by Euphorbia tirucalli.

Thanks again for your hospitality Gerhard, I can't wait for our next adventure when I get to see your garden again!

Weather Diary, May 30: Hi 79, Low 55/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

In appreciation: Metapanax delavayi

My Metapanax delavayi takes my breath away, daily. At least these days. The new growth has fully emerged and is holding it's bright green coloring. These new leaves hang above the older, darker leaves. The effect is of billowy clouds of green, and impossible to capture in a photo.

As if that wasn't enough, my little "tough love" sale plant—only $2 and barely a foot tall when I bought it in 2010—has grown up to completely block the view of the neighbor's house and bi-colored garage behind our property. It has become an unintended focal point as you enter the back garden...

After sharing the image below on Instagram, I realized the big leaves/small leaves/big leaves mash-up of texture was all made possible by Cistus Nursery. Shefflera delavayi at the bottom, the Metapanax and then Magnolia macrophylla at the top.

Metapanax delavayi is a surprising unknown shrub for as wonderful and easy care as it is. An evergreen in the Araliaceae family it's hardy in Zones 7-9 and grows to approximately 6-8ft tall and wide.

I have also heard it called "pot-leaf" Aralia, for it's similarity in looks to the marijuana plant.

Even though I purchased my plant in 2010 it bounced around the garden for a few years before finally being planted in this spot in 2013. Click over to the post "Schefflera-land, all planted up…" to see a few photos of how small it was then.

Metapanax delavayi, it's a good one.

Weather Diary, May 29: Hi 77, Low 53/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.