Monday, September 6, 2021

Reworking a small driveway-side planting area

Last winter was incredibly mild here in Portland, well until late February. Plants were actively growing when a quick cold snap complete with snow, ice and cold temperatures swept in. One of the plants this was especially tough on was my Grevillea rivularis. Its thin leaves were coated in ice making the plant incredibly heavy, it bent under the weight.

Most of its leaves turned brown and dropped. Was the plant itself dead? I'm not sure, but as I wrote in the post "Sad but also excited; removing my Grevillea rivularis" it was time to get rid of it—I'd planted it too close to the driveway and it had outgrown its spot. Here's what the bottom section looked like when I went out to do the deed...

And here's the same spot on August 7th. I planted several plants to fill the empty spots back in May, before the ankle break. I'd meant to take photos earlier, but never managed to do so.

Here's the same area on September 2nd. Dappled sunlight makes it hard to see the plants but they're filling in nicely...

There were a couple of Aristaloe aristata that survived for years growing under the grevillea, they seemed happy to be liberated and bloomed in June...

Spurred by the success of that original plant I decided to add more of the same.

I also tucked in (behind the pineapple guava) a sizeable opuntia I'd been rooting...

And since other agaves (above) had done well here I planted a couple more.

I mean, of course, right? Here is Agave 'Streaker', a 2020 birthday gift-plant from Sean Hogan that never quite settled in to it's previous home.

And a small but exquisite Agave 'Baccarat'...

Some of you might remember the striking Sedum obtusifolium I discovered back in March (photos here). I was taken with the foliage, which was reminiscent of an aeonium, but hardy. I worried because every photo I found was of the annoying pink blooms, perhaps the foliage didn't hold up? Sure enough they bloomed and then collapse into this unattractive mess. Photo from early August and taken after I cleaned up the worst of it.

After more clean up this remained, and gave me hope.

It's coming along nicely now.

Another photo from early September...

I first discovered this tiny grevillea seedling in 2019, if I remember correctly. Originally I thought its foliage indicated it might be a cross between Grevillea rivularis and G. x gaudichaudii—a ground cover grevillea growing nearby. As it's grown on in size I feel more confident that it's simply a Grevillea rivularis baby, which is fine... 

I've had several others pop up since, as the ground under the mother plant has been worked and received more sunlight and water than previous years.

I've even potted a few up to share with friends.
Here's and interesting aside; when potting up those babies I reused a soil mix in which I'd sown a few bomarea seeds from my friend Lance. Those seeds had failed to produce, that is until I used the soil for grevillea seedlings and then bam! I had baby bomarea too, yay! Gardening is a never ending adventure, that's for sure.

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. What is the gorgeous broadleaf tree in first few photos? Almost looks like Drimys Winteri?

    1. In the photos labeled August 7th and September 2nd the large leaf in the center belongs to Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold', on the left is Acca sellowiana, commonly known as pineapple guava. Hope that helps!

    2. ahhh the edgeworthia it is - what lovely clustering foliage. thank you!


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