View from the front porch looking north, towards the neighbor's driveway...
Once I was out there it was good to spend time up close and personal with the plants. To see the details I might have otherwise missed, like the flower buds of Mahonia gracilipes using the sturdy leaves of Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' as a backdrop.
Here's the second of the pair of 'Frosty Blue' in the planting area against the front of the house. It's the smaller of the two!
Fruit and thorns of the Citrus trifoliata (or Poncirus trifoliata).
The carpet of Adiantum venustum on the north side of the house is super lush, even with no water. Hopefully it will stay that way, it's hard to get the water to soak in on this slightly sloped part of the garden, I tried.
My well behaved (because of lack of water) patch of Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' (Japanese Blood Grass).
Out in the hellstrip the volunteer sedum is looking a little dry—and somebody needs to trim those dead leaves on the yucca! The sedum will carry on no matter what, that stuff is tough, it hitched a ride here from my garden in Spokane...
The one and only Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific' that produces cones. I have 7 of these plants. I wonder if this one wasn't mislabeled?
I finally did some hard-core pruning on the Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Harmony'... I am so happy with how it looks now. The creeper growing under the manzantia is Podocarpus alpinus ‘Orangeade’, or at least that's what it was when I bought it. I don't think that's a valid name any longer.
The trunks of the Tetrapanax papyrifer in the NE corner of the garden are fabulously grizzled old specimens (old at 9 years).
I love their moss... and the fact it's still green!
One of my many Agave parryi 'JC Raulston'. I had a garden visitor over the weekend who pointed out I haven't done a comprehensive agave report in quite some time. I vow to do one "soon"...
I was told 'JC Raulston' isn't supposed to pup. Thankfully my plants don't know that. They aren't crazy prolific puppers, but they have thrown out a few.
Agave 'Mateo' is being over taken by the rosemary. I can't let that happen! At least pruning will smell good.
For the longest time I was set on a balck mondo grass monoculture bordering the sidewalk to the front door, I'm glad I got over that. Now it's a mix of the mondo, sedum, sempervivum, Grevillea x gaudichaudii, Eryngium proteiflorum...
And whatever else I mix in, like a Mangave 'Whale Tale' (just left of center) that made it through last winter but hasn't put on much growth since. Maybe some water will help...
This is probably kind of a confusing photo. I was standing in the garden, looking toward the street, and liked this view of the Erica arborea var. alpina. Its neighbors are photo-bombing from every side of the image!
The Yucca aloifolia I transplanted this spring seems to have taken hold. The Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' appreciates the support.
Whereas this Yucca rostrata seems to be a little irritated that it's neighbor, a Pittosporum
divaricatum, wants to get cozy. I had threatened to move (or get rid of) the pittosporum, but decided I really like it here. I just need to do a little pruning.
Tucked under both plants, but still getting sunny southern exposure, is Mangave 'Bad Hair Day'...
It was in the ground through last winter, and lost some leaves, but seems to be recovering well.
Lavandula allardii 'Meerlo' sill looks good after a couple of winters, it's a Zone 9 plant (that's Agave 'Silver Surfer' keeping it company).
This pair of Agave bracteosa seem frozen in time, and size. Not every agave has to grow big, but a little increase size would be appreciated.
When I planted the adopted Agave 'Sharksin' this spring I miscalculated how big the cotinus would be. Hmm. I should probably wack it back a bit and give the agave some summer sun. Do you see it hiding in there?
Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths' and more Agave parryi 'JC Raulston'. It's the time of the year "Austin" sheds bark and drops leaves.
Here's the sad Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Hindwarf' I've recently mentioned I might tear out. This exercise in watering and really looking helped me to realize it gets to stay. Sure it's not got the super dark foliage I would love, but it is growing and put on a great bloom show late last winter. Plus the color is a nice contrast, even in it's less than dark state.
Yep, another 'JC'... and the color is so odd in these photos, my phone wasn't liking the light that morning. I should have gotten the camera...
I had to laugh at these arctostaphylos berries stuck on the opuntia spines. They look like miniature opuntia fruit, kind of. They are a little hard to see, but there is four of them in this photo.
Another wide shot, from a slightly different spot.
And a Cheilanthes, a dry, rock-garden fern. The blue plant is my moon carrot, Seseli gummiferum. It doesn't want to bloom. Maybe next year...
Agave ovatifolia and beneath that I think it's an Agave ocahui (bought without a label).
This is the other side of the first 'JC' I shared in this post, behind it a long suffering Agave ovatifolia that gets shaded by the Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Harmony' until I get around to cutting it back.
Fading Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Lemon Queen' blooms
The same, with a Corokia cotoneaster.
And one last shot, of the area to the south of our front porch. It needs work. I don't want to mess with the in-ground agaves but something has got to change. That Euphorbia rigida is no longer earning it's keep (it's annoying me). A future project...
Thanks for joining as I did my watering chores!
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Weather Diary, July 27: Hi 100, Low 63/ Precip 0
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