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When you want the bare stems to show...

Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 30, 12 at 18:42

I'm linking to a photo of one of the more gorgeous and popularly planted restios here in California, Elegia capensis. So often one hears requests to hide or visually distract from viewing bare stems on tall growing plants in the garden. This may be desirable when a privet hedge has gotten overgrown and lanky, but doesn't always make sense with other types of vertical growing plants. I think this photo represents a perfect situation where the bare stems at the base of the plant provide an additional source of visual pleasure when taking in a garden scene. Additionally, it doesn't hurt to play off this texturally with something both complementary yet of great contrast.

What are some situations you've encountered with perhaps different plants but utilizing the same sort of thinking?

Here is a link that might be useful: Your ankles are showing...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

If I understand the question correctly, in cases like Crape Myrtle where stems are very attractive. Or an Olive tree, where again stem has a very interesting texture. Lastly, bare stems and a tiny crown helps achieve a minimalistic look.

RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

I love that plant. It looks like horsetails.

RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

  • Posted by jkom51 Z9 CA/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 31, 12 at 19:09

Black bamboo. I'd never seen it until I went to Filoli and a big clump of it was growing. What gorgeous stems! Good thing my mom wasn't with us - I can imagine her lusting after a length of black bamboo with a couple of artfully curving white callas for a Japanese-style flower arrangement.

She would have had us looking out for witnesses while asking my DH to bring his machete along, LOL.

RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 1, 12 at 19:41

A mass of bare Aeonium stems is interesting.


RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

Love that Aeonium! Not a fan of succulents until this! Wow! Great against a dark background! Wonder how it would do next to a pool. The Aqua against the lime........


RE: When you want the bare stems to show...

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 10, 12 at 13:31

Bamboos and Aeoniums are two great examples of this design intent, and Aeonium arboreum in particular, along with Aeonium undulatum or Aeonium arboreum 'Swartzkop' are also good for this. Unfortunately for anyone who contemplates Aeoniums in the low desert, they don't do well in the low or high desert; they much prefer coastal environments. I am always amused when one of my design clients say they don't particularly like succulents, I usually manage to persuade them that they just don't know their options fully.

Here's a link to a Blue stem bamboo that I really like to use in gardens here in the SF Bay Area's milder zones, the trunks are just so gorgeous!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue stem bamboo

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