As I said, not all of it is under constant redesign, and it's not all problematic.
Here are some of the things that are going right.
I think I'm doing a good job of getting a real California vibe.
A friend who works at Living Green gave me that big pot last year, for which I am eternally grateful. In it, I put Arctostaphylos bakeri 'Louis Edmunds' a popular garden cultivar of California's signature native shrub, the manzanita. It should grow into a small tree. Besides the winter flowers, my favorite part is the red wood and exfoliating bark.
Exfoliating bark is one of my absolute favorite features in a plant. I'm not happy with a garden unless it's got some exfoliating bark. To that end, I also have Hydrangea petiolaris which shows off its exfoliating bark during winter dormancy.
In front of it in that shot, you see a containerized Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba' that I grew from seed. I have three of them in my garden, and here it is on the right with that dark taro, Colocasia escuelenta 'Illustris' which I keep in a half-sunk clay pot so it can stay moist while everything else around it remains on the dry side. The 'Alba' is remarkably happy with summer drought.
I bought that taro a couple years ago, and it's moved around the garden quite a bit. It got severely beaten down during a hailstorm last year, or maybe two years ago. It's been cut down to the ground, divided, and relocated so many times. But just a few months ago, I put some of it here where it will stay. (Anyhow, that's why it's small. I'll be three feet next year (unless it suffers more hail damage.
All this is happening right next to a young tree fern, which has potted Cymbidium around it.
That frame and mirror survived the garage sale separately. Afterwards, I put them together and moved them to the garden. In real life, it reflects the fern fronds better than it does in the picture.
Also surviving the garage sale, this painted leaf from India
that I hung on the back stairs.
The big-leafed aster is Bartlettina sordida
And, underneath, I want to give a shout out to this Plectranthus.
This plant rocks my world with it's white leaf margins. I'm convinced nothing else would work here quite as well as this plant. The leaf margins brings light to a dark corner, and the rough leaf texture complements the Bartlettina. Plus, it's super-easy to root and spreads by layering.
I dug up this Abutilon several months ago, and found it a home in a container in the back corner. In time it should fill in the corner nicely.
Companion plants for it in this corner include Philadelphus lewisii, Acer circinatum, and eventually, that Hydrangea petiolaris I showed you above. Plus, the Digitalis 'Apricot Beauty' will provide a color accent next spring.
Also, over here in this corner, I put western native Heracleum lanatum (Cow Parsnip).
If you want bold, coarse texture for part-sun with little supplemental water, give cow parsnip a whirl.
The bird bath garden, as some commenters called it, is keepin' on.
Hummingbirds love snowberry flowers, and it's already got some big, snowy berries.
And I don't just grow tiny tomatoes.
And my 45-day cukes are doing well.
Although I have to promise never go try making trellises from bamboo and twine ever again. I keep thinking I'm going to get this right one day, but it always looks like crap.
The Echium wildprettii promises great things in store for next year.
And, of course, the Princess Plant.