Friday, October 20, 2023

2023 Tour, the back garden

Welcome back to my annual garden tour. In the last post we took a look around the front garden, which means today we'll explore the back. Please grab a beverage and get comfy cause this is gonna be a long one...

My lawn/moss/clover patch is is green now, thanks to the return of rain, but when I took these photos in mid September things were still pretty dry and thus a little yellow.

Just to the left of the entrance, that's my Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl', although sadly it's not achieved the dark color this species is typically capable of. 

Walking all the way in now and looking west at the patio and the hack-job on the neighbor's laurel that runs along the back fence. That "pruning" removed my peaceful wall-o-green. I'm still not at peace with the change, obviously.

Turning to the right to look at the north border of our "upper" back yard—the orange wall is the side of the neighbor's garage. Those agaves (with the exception of the variegated Agave americana) were planted years ago, when the back garden was a bit sunnier. I wouldn't plant them now, but they seem to be doing fine.

Lomatia tinctoria

Pittosporum patulum

This summer's trio of dish planters.

My oldest Trachycarpus fortunei.

Backing up to get the staghorn ferns in the shot. 

They're in the basement now (for the season), as I was checking them over before bringing inside I discovered a couple dozen slug eggs in this one. It's been hanging in that spot all summer, HANGING. That's a determined slug.

Turning to look at the side of our garage, which is the southside boundary of our upper back garden

I can't resist hanging containers in the branches of the Schefflera (Heptapleurum) delavayi and Metapanax delavayi.

That epiphyllum under the window was a floral explosion back in July. I'm hoping it puts on another show next year.

My Pyrrosia love affair continues.

The shade pavilion.

Better view of all the plants.

But before we explore over there, we're gonna go down to the patio and have a look around.

To the left...

And to the right...

A better shot of what lays to the right.

I am THRILLED this Ficus pumila 'Monier's Hardy' has bounced back from last winter and is working it's way up the wall. To it's side (on the left) is a Lonicera crassifolia working it's way down the wall.

At the north end of the patio...

I'm still in love with this ring idea I stole from my friend Denise, although in this photo the blue rocks look a lot less integrated than they do in real life.

The table planting over what used to be the stock tank pond is aging well, although the wet winter months will be it's big test.

Ditto for the Pyrrosia lingua planting on the rock in this mixed container. There's a little soil under the moss but not a lot. I'm definitely going to have to rig up some protection if our temperatures dip too low for too long.

Cassiope lycopodioides, another occupant of the container, is doing great.

Pulled back for an over-all shot.

Deuterocohnia brevifolia in a nearby container.

Looking back towards our garage and Clifford, the big leaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), of course I should also mention Sammy (the original and largest) Yucca rostrata.

I considered doing another container count this year (like this), but never did get around to it. I suppose I could almost do one with this post and the one on the front garden. Maybe if I get bored this winter.

Ah the step, finally! I have loved having a step up to the shade pavilion this summer...

It's been fun to move plants around on and near it too.

Looking towards the SW corner.

Straight on south, and at the growing collection of plants hanging on the fence.

Here's where I share these are all in the basement now, as we put up the shade pavilion greenhouse walls last weekend. I'm not done with The Great Migration, but there will be no more lounging under the shade pavilion for me this year.

I had such a good summer. I feel like the garden really looked great and I enjoyed every moment I could out there.

Well, make that great with an asterisk. Areas like this still look bare to me since the neighbor took away the background foliage. This corner is where four different properties meet, one fence new and taller than the others.  

Turning around, with my back to the area I just photographed above.

Looking north...

Along the fence line...

And finally I conclude this look at the 2023 version of my garden with the area at the back of our garage.

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  1. Your garden is an art installation, Loree. Your repetition of similar shapes, like the circles, create cohesion even though each individual piece begs for closer examination.

    1. Thanks Kris, I agree that I've gotten a little repetitive, I hope not predicably so.

  2. I've really been enjoying these posts of your garden and the other really fantastic gardens you've posted lately. (This most recent tour has finally gotten the arrangement of your property clear to me. Very helpful, it makes sense now.) I'm slowly doing a big transition and it, well, isn't anywhere near these- tbh, to think I can ever get to the level you've been showing is quite possibly too far of a reach for me. Nonetheless, I'm working at it. But I've got to ask, while acknowledging these gardens have been carefully tended and tidied to be at their best for visitors when you post them, where do you put (hide) all the "stuff" you need to get a garden so perfect? How do you share space with another hobbyist/creative and their project stuff as well without having that one corner of chaos? Or is that what your garage is for?

    1. I can only speak for myself, but all of my stuff (tools, tub trugs, extra containers, etc) are in our garage, because really it's just a shed—too small for a car. If we cleaned everything out of it (and I do mean everything) we *might* be able to get my husband's Subaru Forester into the garage, but he'd have to really squeeze to open the door of the car and get out. My husband's project stuff is all in the basement, he's not really a guy who does outdoor projects unless they're of a specific purpose like to redo the siding on one side of the house or build the shade pavilion greenhouse walls. (glad you've enjoyed the posts!)

  3. The third photo of this post is my favorites: did you use a panoramic lens? It's very well balanced, the palm trees are looking extremely good, lots of light everywhere. It is pretty spectacular.
    'Ebony Pearl' not being Ebony is frustrating... The table planting, Pyrrosia-on-a-rock, ring planting (your ajuga is gorgeous) and Deuterocohnia brevifolia: all looking great.
    About the asterisk: I understand you miss the green background but to my eyes, at least in your photo, that corner looks very good, better lit, showing off your pillars. I hope you'd come to love this new look.

    1. No panoramic lens, although I guess I could do that with my camera. The increased light defiantly helped the bromeliads color up, so that's a positive.

  4. Everything is beautiful, I agree with Kris the repetition is so spot on. I feel like a took a little class just by looking at the pictures. *Do we get to see a picture of your basement set-up? I've put things in the greenhouse, but the big move from the porch to the inside (where ?) hasn't started yet. I'd love to see how you handle it.

    1. I love that you felt that way! (the class) Coincidently I do have a couple of basement photos coming up at the end of Monday's post!

  5. What is that light gray wispy stuff that hangs down? there's some in the last photo.

    1. Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides. It's not winter hardy here but I love to use it in the garden.

  6. Your garden, both structure and plants, is perfect.

  7. doug ballingerOctober 22, 2023

    so awesome lori, your garden is an inspiration!

  8. Absolutely lush. I could get lost in there for hours (or days?). The mix of textures just sucks me in.
    And your Schefflera is stunning! Any idea what happened to those? I haven’t been to find delavayi anywhere: Etsy, Amazon, online nurseries. Been looking for a couple years.

    1. Thanks! Interesting, about the schefflera. I haven't been looking so I wasn't aware of the shortage. I can suggest Secret Garden Growers, and in fact the plants they're selling are babies of my plant!

    2. I just checked— they’ve got it! Thank you Loree😊

  9. The new step is a great addition. Incrementally, year by year, the garden strengthens its themes, materials, colors, details are mastered, the vision is clarified, and it becomes even more cohesive than the previous year -- such a show garden! So glad you managed to enjoy it thoroughly despite what the neighbors threw at you.

    1. Time in a garden gives it something you just can't buy. I am so happy to have been able to watch (and make) this garden over 18 years!

  10. I love your garden, especially the back garden. So many beautiful, interesting plants and innovative ways of displaying them.


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