Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Containers at the Office

 I was asked to join a 'facility beautification team' last fall to help tart things up for a group of visiting dignitaries. My mission was the exterior landscape--basically we needed a temporary solution for a vast expanse of ivy and Liquidambar . It was decided to have three 15 foot long redwood planters made that would be terraced into the ivy slope with a few dg steps to access them for planting and maintenance. The plantings would be done seasonally , twice a year. In spring of this year I selected the summer plants, arranged to have them delivered and planted them. Mind you, I normally sit at a computer all day and buy stuff so this was outside my normal duties , but very consistent with how I spend my time at home !

 This box had a couple of Acubas on either side of the Asparagus meyerii , however they burned up before the landscape dudes installed the drippers. The Acubas were supposed to add height.

This is all that's left of them-only viewable if you walk up the steps and peer into the box. Because I had the mow-blow guys limb up the Liquidambars, there was less shade than I expected.

 The center planter had 2 bright red Abutilons (red is prominent in the company logo) one of which mysteriously disappeared a couple weeks after I planted -there goes the balance ! The Ipomea has also engulfed the Japanese blood grass .

In retrospect , two Ipomeas would have been more than adequate.

More engulfed Imperata. I also planted fiber optic grass (Isolepsis cernua)  on the edges , which could not compete.

Kale-o-Rama is on tap for winter.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bloomday August 2015

  An inch or two of rain would be welcome now-smokey skies, dry dry soil, and that dull patina on plants that have seen no water from overhead for many months. Still the garden grows and flowers bloom in their restrained late summer way.

 The Erygium is 'Jos Eijking'  and is growing and blooming splendidly . Unfortunately pronouncing 'Eijking' is beyond my language skills. It's Jos for short.

 A seedling Verbena hastata ...damn it's cute !

The Lantana here is one of the few plants that continues it's exuberance..a trio live on the hell strip and require frequent trimming to prevent pedestrian obstruction. They receive only occasional water.

 Passiflora loefgrenii caerulea..this plant is being carefully monitored. It is exceedingly happy. But look how cool it is! Do you think the neighbors would really mind if it took over their house ? Maybe I should do my entire garden in Passion Vine and Lantana.

 Getting a photo of Pelargoniun schiztopetalum is a challenge. This year for the first time it bloomed twice, a fleeting event both times.

 Caryopteris incanum

Erygium yuccafolium.

This unnamed seedling Sanguisorba from Far Reaches Farm is one of my favorites. The pink is fading now, but the plant remains upright and the foliage looks pretty decent .

My new Sedum crush, S. 'Cherry Tart'--I bought 4 and have taken cuttings as well. It's really about the foliage with this one, but the flowers are nice too.

 This dwarf Buddliea has been blooming since spring with some modest deadheading.

 No flowers open yet, the the blooming of Crassula falcata is always one of my favorite flower events of the year..

 Thanks to Carol at May Dreams who monthly hosts the blooms from around the globe...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Visit to Digging Dog

 Way back in June I made a Mendocino county loop that featured three Garden Conservacy open days , among them was  Digging Dog Nursery. Though they are open for visitors often throughout the summer, in my experience their private garden has only been open in conjunction with the Open Days program. I try not to miss the opportunity, and this garden as a whole remains my favorite California garden.
 As with any garden that is frequently visited, changes are noted and pending changes are looked forward to. This summer, an area that had long been enticingly viewed in the distance  over a barrier  of caution tape for the last few years was open at last.

 The abundant borders were in their summer best- the tail end of the 'green times' here in summer-dry Northern California. The nursery is in our coastal Redwood belt, and only a couple of miles inland from the Pacific, so summer temperatures are moderate.

 Sanguisorba (which one ?) hangs out with Nepeta.

The proprietress , Deborah Whigam , collects and propagates a wonderful selection of Kniphofias.

 The path that runs along the west border has seen many improvements. On the right is the vegetable garden , an area that has been in development and off limits for visitors for several years , the left side is the magnificent west facing border that will feature prominently in a future post pending my fall trip back to the coast.

I took this photo in Oct 2009, where we see the juvenile versions of the Hornbeam pillars that now provide a vertical accent throughout this area of the garden.

Mature Hornbeam pillars...

In this photo from Oct 2011 , one of the pyramid features can be seen in the distance.

 The same view , current. The pyramid tip can barely be seen above the jar.

  Now in 2015 we see the pyramids completed and planted with what appears to be Tuechrium fruticans.

Steel pond , formerly a caution tape festooned hole.

 In the private garden, paths meander through portals a- device seen frequently in this garden -that move the visitor from shady retreats like this ,

..into sunny colorful borders.

Rammed-earth columns lead the way .

 And June was Thalictrum season out on the coast. This is a challenging plant for my garden-I have grown them with success but they would prefer cooler summers. It's a matter of the absolute correct location.

Lobelia tupa season too...

Digging Dogs fall plant sale this year runs 3 days , October 9th 10th and the 11th. Guided tours of the gardens are offered at specific times throughout the weekend.