Friday, November 20, 2020

My back garden, tour 2020

Yesterday we stopped the garden tour right in front of the gate to the back garden. Today we walk through the gate and look to our right, at the area along the back of the house.

This used to be home to a large phormium, one that managed to live through several PKW (phormium killing winters). I took it out late last summer because it was infested with mealy bugs—too much shade at it's base. I like the replacement planting even better.

Passiflora 'Snow Queen' climbs the trellis (seen above). This is the year she also started popping up around the garden. So far the volunteers are easy to pull and I've re-homed them with friends. 

Agave lophantha 'Splendida' in an upcycled metal planter.

Wanting to break up a sea of black mondo grass I sunk a potted Agave americana 'Variegata' into this spot. It did well over the summer and wasn't too rooted-in when I pulled it for over-wintering.

Now we're looking west, down the paver pathway towards the patio, but instead of walking that way we turn to our right.

The northwest corner of the lawn includes a small container grouping.

And to its left a trio of dish planters.

If you're a regular reader you've seen these planters a couple of times recently—so perhaps this is a good time to mention we're about nine photos into a post with over fifty images. This is going to be a long one folks! I should also give a shout out to Gerhard, who helped me to finally resolve the issue I was having with Blogger posting my photos backwards. It's an amazing treat to be able to upload photos again and have then show up the way I intended!

Those planters from above...

Looking north now, towards the side of the neighbor's garage.

The  fronds of Trachycarpus fortunei appear to be weighted down by the sheer volume of fruit produced this year, the vines of Passiflora lutea are enjoying the extra sun.

The two begonias at the front, towards the left, lived through last winter. I don't expect any of them to be so lucky this year.

Pretty much everything in front of the V-shaped trunk (which belongs to Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart') was newly planted this spring when I dug up another bit of lawn.

My chartreuse circle pot hung from the Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' this summer.

It took a beating in our harsh Labor Day windstorm, but managed to hang on to most of its leaves.

I fear for the large Echium wildpretii that didn't bloom this summer. It's so big now and winter is predicted to be cold.

Turning now, to look south, at the shady side of our garage.

The Metapanax delavayi makes a nice perch from which to hang tillandsias.

And of course the bromeliad collection continues to grow.

If this wasn't such a perfect place for them over the summer I don't know that I'd have such a large collection.

No signs of a pup on this one, hopefully it will hang on after blooming to generate at least one.

One of my 2020 NWFG Fest's "orchid on a stick" purchases, Bulbophyllum sp. mini rambling laxiflorum type (so said the label).

Shifting our gaze slightly to the west we look over to the shade pavilion—so weird to see these things in their summer best, now that my reality is firmly planted in autumn—but we won't be walking over there, not yet. Instead we're going down to the patio.

Pausing on the way to admire the jungle cactus perched on Clifford's branches (Clifford being the name of our big-leaf magnolia).

These plants really did well here this year.

Next year though I'll have to find another home for them as I've finally agreed to cut Clifford's bottom three branches. Something Andrew has been wanting to do for a few years.

Down on the patio looking back at Clifford.

And now towards Sammy, the tall Yucca rostrata.

Containers and a look at the Ficus pumila 'Monier's Hardy' at the base of the steps.

Another angle...

This group is just to the left of the last.

And a bit further to the left (north-ish)...

That Agave ovatifolia is now under an improvised PVC and plastic cover as the rain comes down in buckets. Improvised because every year it gets bigger and bigger!

The Symphytum × uplandicum 'Axminster Gold' failed to really thrive this year. I think it was complaining about not gettig enough water.

The Passiflora 'Amethyst Jewel' however, it was very very happy.

The carniverous collection.

Looking to the left/west...

And then turning to look south, at the shade pavilion, the new and improved version with the neighbor's light-sucking conifers gone. This is what the light looks like at 12:10 pm.

And now at 4:42 pm, both photos taken on September 20th.

Table top plants.

The gang on the right-side wall as you look at the shade pavilion.

And again, at the pavilion and the fence behind...which seems to have more and more things hung on it every year. Oh! Also new this year, that fabulous light-fixture shade table!

Towards the back of the garage.

The fence...

The fern bowl and friends...

I was still rather shocked by the increased light (from the neighbor's tree removal) when I took these photos.

I am thrilled to report the trashcan lid staghorn fern is doing wonderful. 

As is the vertical trashcan lid planting. I didn't make either one with a thought to what overwintering might look like, but they're both in the basement and doing well.

Ferns in the short oval stock tank, behind the garage.

And one last look out at the patio. It looks nothing like this now. I miss summer!!!

Weather Diary, Nov 19: Hi 52, Low 43/ Precip .03 

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


  1. You have such an amazing collection of really cool plants. Wondering how full your basement is this year as your collection of potted plants seems to have grown from last year? I know my light shelves and every flat surface in the house are packed.

    1. It's full! My husband is very understanding as the plants encroach upon his workspace. I intend to do a basement tour at some point!

  2. Your garden has grown a whole lot, the trees are much taller. Will too much shade become an issue? All the green is so restful. The Agaves look great, and also have grown a lot.

    I have that issue with blogger photo order too. What's the solution?

    1. Oh yes, as things grow and the light changes there are definitely shifts in the light. Although this summer's tree removal next door helped bring in more.

      I'll send you the link to the solution!

  3. A wonderful, startling jungle you have there, Loree. The fall migration must have taken you ages to complete!

    1. I do it in stages, so it never feels overwhelming.

  4. Your plant combinations are always so fascinating, Lorrie. I like them all; everything looks so healthy and lush.

  5. I enjoyed this post tremendously, Loree. I expect I could spend a week in your back garden and there would still be something I missed - it's so carefully layered, it seems much larger than my own space. These photos allowed me to more fully appreciate the impact of losing the neighbor's "light-sucking" trees - the light you have now is wonderful.

    As an aside, I found myself thinking about your raised dish planters just today as I was pondering the problem of how I could plant succulents on the front slope near my lath house without seeing them crushed on an annual basis under the feet of the crew that trims my trees. Removable dishes may be the answer.

    1. I hope that you someday will visit my garden Kris! As for it feeling larger than your space, wow, that's hard to wrap my head around.

      You could have a lot of fun with really large dishes. Something along the lines of the big metal bowl Alison gave me, here:

  6. Oh my, Lorre, your back garden is a symphony! I "listened" to it twice now, trying to take it all in. The volume of "notes" is astounding. I had pesky questions about so many of the plants, I couldn't put all of them in a post comment. Agave lophantha 'Splendida' in an upcycled metal planter is a gem. All the hanging planters and plant grouping in the shade pavilion make me drool. The bromeliads bursting out of the maiden hair fern is a contender for my favorite vignette: the contrast is magical.
    In the newly planted area in front of the V shape trunk: what's the dark leafed left of center?

    1. Glad you enjoyed, and feel free to email me your "pesky comments" and I will try to answer them. In the meantime the dark leaf beauty is Astilbe 'Chocolate Shogun'.

  7. Your sarracenias are so you keep them outside during winter or what? I have a couple that have wintered over on the deck but they are often slow to get going the following year, so maybe I should be doing something different??

    1. These stay outside in the winter, are yours getting enough sun in the springtime?

    2. I think so but will make sure come next spring. Thanks!

  8. Lorrie, I have followed your Danger Garden for so many years and it just gets better and better! A Question: Is there a big carnivorous plant in a huge green pot! Is it a Venus Fly Trap?

    1. Thank you Nancy! Hmmm, the only green pot in which I have a carnivorous plant is actually a pretty small one, but of course it could be hard to tell that in a photo. Is it sitting on the patio wall, next to a cement pot? If so it does have a venus fly trap in there, as well as a small saracennia. Neither were looking particularly great, but I didn't want to toss them so I combined them.

    2. It is in photos #33 and #34 I believe. In back of the Agave ovatifolia that you moved because of the heavy rain.

    3. Oh!!! Duh, thank you. There is a trashcan lid sitting on top of that container. The lid is planted with saracennia.

  9. This post is everything. I love discovering new things in your garden. There's always something I hadn't noticed before!

    Note to myself: I need to plant Passiflora. I need to plant Passiflora.

    1. Plant passiflora! I bet you could get away with some borderline hardy ones (borderline here I mean) that are fantastic!

  10. You have an amazing collection of succulents. I love your begonias too.

    1. Ya those begonias really grew on me this summer. I wonder what winter has in store for them...

  11. Summer fullness is good, though your winter fullness-lite is also a feast. Now to look through your past garden tours...

    1. The sun decided to bless us this afternoon, after two very dark days. I was just standing at the front door soaking up the goodness in the front garden—thrilled that I've managed to bring in so much winter interest out there. The back garden has it too, but it's a different look.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!