Corners in the garden - May 2010 photos
My garden looks best April - June, I think. Should we ever sell our house, it will have to be this time of year, when the nasturtiums and poppies are in a dazzling technicolor show, LOL.
One of the things I read about Japanese gardens is the philosophy that wherever you stop and look, there should be a new 'vista' before you. IOW, seeing a scene from different angles should present something visually new each time. When I started organizing these photos, it occurred to me they mostly showed various corners of the garden; hence the title of 'corners' for these shots.
Hope everyone enjoys the show.
When we walk out the front door, the silver Dusty Miller is putting up flower buds but the shrub roses and pelargoniums are in full bloom:
A closeup of that trailing pelargonium. Its in a tall planter that helped it survive the winter, and really took off a few weeks ago:
On the opposite side, the yellow Lavatera olba 'Aureum' is still a couple of weeks away from full lavender-flowered glory. The bearded iris and Loropetalum chinense have just finished flowering. The Meyer lemon is in bloom, though, and even in the chilly spring air you can smell the wonderful fragrance! The glads should be opening in another week or two as well:
As you face the house, here's a close-up of some of the flowers that border the sidewalk. When the nasturtiums and poppies fade, however, it will be fairly blank. I've had a hard time filling this corner with color, as it dries out the fastest in summer, but in winter gets the coldest drafts:
Again on the left side facing the house, standing in my neighbor's driveway and looking downwards, a side view of the front yard bed:
A close-up of the red salvia and orange CA poppies shown in the above photo:
Further down my neighbor's driveway, you see the start of my shaded, north-facing bed. The callas are fading now, so I rely on foliage interest and a few hydrangeas, along with that spectacular 'Emperor 1' Japanese maple, to keep it looking interesting all year long:
At the foot of the 'Emperor 1' maple, these two variegated plants mingle very nicely together. Alstroemeria and Plectranthus groundcover:
Continuing to walk downwards, this same north-facing bed is divided into two halves. It looks quite different when you're looking upwards, instead of downwards! The 'Emperor 1' maple can barely be seen on the RH side. The tree in this half of the bed is a 'Sango Kaku' coralbark JMaple, which took off like gangbusters when I finally moved it from a large planter into the ground:
Standing in the same spot as the photo above, but turning around to face downwards again, here's the beginning of our backyard. The shed is original to the property. We restored it in 2003 as 1/3 dry storage and 2/3 shaded seating area.
Close-up of the thriving Coleonema and pelargoniums from the photo above. These live entirely upon run-off.
Continue walking down the pathway that curves off to your right. When you get to the bottom of the stairs and turn to face the house, you see this modest vista. On the left is a vigorous Meyer lemon, and on the right is a trailing lantana that has bloomed almost continuously since its 2003 installation.
Keep walking back down the hill Â yes, gardening is real exercise on this lot! The furthest part of the backyard is terraced into a second patio, where two big existing trees were surrounded by curving block beds. The nasturtiums really love it down here, as the trees leaf out to shade the soil and keep it cool. TheyÂll often last all the way through July in these two beds. Bed 1, when looking across at the neighborÂs house:
Turning around to look at the very end of our lot. In front of that green schoolyard fence, see the top of a dark brown fence slanting downwards? That fence marks our property boundary, and itÂs a full 6Â tall! The slope here is around 30% - short and steep. The nasturtiums are surrounding a Tagetes lemonnii:
Close-up of the far corner of that above bed, showing a red oleander just starting to bloom, nasturtiums, and a variegated erysimum:
Almost done - now weÂre going to start again from the front! But this time weÂll walk down the sunny southern side (RH side when youÂre facing the house). This is where I grow my sun-lovers, like roses and passiflora. At the bottom of my driveway, when you turn to look upwards, you can tell by the nasturtiums that we park our cars on the street, not in the attached garage, LOL. They spill out onto the concrete and I have to fight to keep them from smothering the daylilies and alstroemeria:
Standing in the same spot but looking across at my neighbor, I have a ÂGingersnapÂ rose in what is really a terrible place Â not enough sun and my coral passiflora keeps trying to reach out and strangle it. But the sun hits this rose just right to make it look amazingly luminous, so I refuse to move it:
Walking around the corner of the house, these two beds are extremely narrow Â barely 2Â on the left and 12" on the right. IÂm always whacking plants back or tying them up Â bondage, CA-style! On the left, the ÂJackmanniÂ clematis is blooming against a variegated euonymous, and ÂDelany SisterÂs rose is putting on the big show. On the right, the cannas are just starting to bloom again:
A nice close-up of ÂDelany SistersÂ, with its rounded, peony-like petals:
As you walk down this sunny south path, you see this spirea starting to bloom. I thought I had yanked it out two years ago, but it persisted in coming back, to my surprise:
At the end of the house, if you turn around to look back up the path, it looks quite different, doesnÂt it? Yet itÂs barely 35Â long. On the LH side, a white ÂSister Mary AgnesÂ oleander standard has curved over to tangle itself with the ÂJosephÂs CoatÂ climber rose to form a natural arbor. JCoat has the most fearsome thorns, but I love the varied colors and this year itÂs really put on a show:
Final photo: a closeup of JosephÂs Coat. Sometimes IÂll get a pale cream rose, or very rarely, a true purple bloom: