Thursday, April 9, 2020

Too late for the annual tour? Photos from my garden last August; the front garden

August 2019 was a lifetime ago. Things were so different then. The garden was hot and dry, I was deep in the throes of writing a book. A hug upon meeting up with a friend wasn't something you turned away from. Nobody had more than a week or two's worth of toilet paper on hand...

So yes, these are photos I took last August, intending to post my them as my annual garden tour (2018201720162015), but I never got around to it. I had no idea how much I needed to see these photos now, to remember that summer will return. I also I have no idea why I didn't cut off those expired yucca bloom spikes before I took this shot...

I do plan to trim up that archtostaphylos which is completely blocking the front door, just as soon as it stops blooming. This photo was a great reminder that it needed to be done, but the pollinators swarming it were an an even better deterrent.

Things were pretty much left to their own devices last year, and it shows.

I did finally trim the dried flowers on the Santolina chamaecyparissus, I think it might have been at the same time I was doing autumn leaf clean-up.

Ditto for cutting back the verbascum spikes (there are two in this photo). I'm hoping my laziness means seeds scattered and there will be several babies popping up soon.

Peeling bark on the Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths'

The volunteer sedum that lines our driveway is so lush and green right now, it's hard to imagine it's orange summer drought coloring.

Note the dormant lawn across the street, that's your Portland summer standard (and I hate it).

Although I imagine my cramscaped plant madness isn't for everyone either.

The mailman pathway keeps getting smaller and smaller.

And the spikes bigger and bigger.

Another angle...

Our house faces east, so the pair of Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' get plenty of hot sun, until about 2:00 pm in the height of summertime.

Those low blue/grey mounds are Euphorbia rigida and they're in bight yellow/green bloom right now, just another few days and their seeds will start popping. Trimming them back is not a job enjoy. The sap is sticky, messy and dangerous. I have to suit up like a bee keeper.

The north side of the house, and the neighbor's driveway. Close quarters, eh?

The Mahonia x media 'Marvel' is certainly looking fabulous here, ditto for the Adiantum venustum, aka Himalayan maidenhair fern. This photo was taken before the neighbors had their kitchen remodeled and the contractors machinery exhaust burnt a large swath of it. Fingers crossed this year's new growth hides the ugly.

Okay I'm about to take the mailman path of pain (spikes) and swing around to the south side of the house.

Where I leave you at the gate to the back garden, we'll pick up back here tomorrow...

But wait! I had to share these two sunny shots I took later that day. You miss the details which you can make out in the cloudy shots...

But the sun lifts my spirits, maybe yours too.

Weather Diary, Apr 8: Hi 73, Low 40/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

18 comments:

  1. Your front garden looks way larger than it actually is and way more interesting than dried up grass. Your neighbours should look to you as their role model. Love those Yucca(?)spikey grass-like with a trunk)) in the front. Look forward to tomorrow's tour.

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    1. Yes, those are Yucca rostrata, a favorite! I do wish more people would abandon the lawn...it's just not attractive in its dormant state!

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  2. I am always amazed at the side shot that shows the depth of your front yard. It is proof that good design really fools the eye into seeing something much larger than the actual size. The closeup photo of the plants by the front steps/window is just a stunning combination. My shade/climate really limits blue foliage and I just go nuts when I see your gorgeousness.

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    1. The side shot from our driveway (with the sidewalk to the front door) is deceiving as the sidewalk cuts a chunk out of the garden and divides it. Viewed from the other side it's actually a little deeper. As for the blues, I'm addicted and I understand the frustration of not being able to grow them.

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  3. I haven't seen your front garden for a while and it is interesting to have a guided tour around it!

    It looks so well designed and thought out. The environment is obviously very dry, as shown by your neighbour's straw-like grass, so you have had to put a lot of thought into the planting.

    Do you do any supplemental watering or is it all mature, drought tolerant planting?

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    1. Oh gosh "well designed and thought out" it is not, but thank you. Once it stops raining (used to be in June, but every year now it seems to stop earlier and earlier) and the temperatures warm it is very dry. Things that are newly planted (there's something every year) get additional water, but other than that things are pretty tolerant of the drought.

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  4. Thanks for the tour, Loree. I adore the plant vignette around your front door. I'm sure the mail delivery person has adjusted to it - in fact it probably keeps him on his toes!

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    1. I did some trimming in that spot last week. I would rather he didn't walk through there, but since he does...

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  5. Lot of growth! The limbed up(?) 'Austin Griffiths' gives your front garden an airy quality so it really doesn't seem too crammed at all.

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    1. I haven't cut all that much off of Austin, but agree he looks like I have. That's just his natural state! I do regularly hack on the A. densiflora ‘Harmony’ though, and need to do it again soon.

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  6. I hope you'll do a before and after post on the archtostaphylos that's outside the front door. Pruning this shrub in particular is very rewarding, as so clearly evident in the picture of ‘Austin Griffiths''s stunning bark and shape.

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    1. Request noted, I will try to remember to do so!

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  7. Sunshine and all your spikey wonderfulness does make me happy. Have a great weekend.

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  8. Spirit-lifting is your job, and you do it well.
    rickii

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  9. Wow, gorgeous. Your garden is insane!

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    1. Goes to show what getting rid of the lawn (and lawn service) can do!

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