Some more of the garden

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.



Pam/Digging said...

I like that first photo especially.

And speaking of (in a previous post), that is a particularly phallic birdbath, don't you agree?

JvA said...

Earlier I told you your garden was very green. But now I think it has the perfect amount of color. Nice work on the design and, of course, on the execution.

lisa said...

Wow....looks GREAT!!

mmw said...

Do you leave those Cymbidiums outside year round?

I am so jealous of your living green hookup. Ask him if he's got any Vriesea hieroglyphica when you get a chance.

chuck b. said...

I do leave Cymbidium out all year. I see them out all over the place in San Francisco.

I don't thinkmy birdbath is phallic! Pam, sometimes a birdbath is just a birdbath! :)

Annie in Austin said...

Chuck, when you look at your garden do you see the young plants as they actually are... or do you sort of visualize them as larger, the way they'll get with time?

Sometimes my mind must know that a certain shrub or perennial will have a larger bulk in the not-so-distant future. Looking at a photo of it sometimes takes me aback, and I realize I've been projecting into in the future.

That exfoliating bark is pretty cool - in my garden it comes with the crepe myrtles.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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chuck b. said...

Well, I sort of try to do both. I have a lot of slow-growing young plants that will eventually become the right size. I'm very impatient. Sometimes I wonder if I should plant more large plants as temporaries, or bring in more containerized big plants to fill space.

Deviant Deziner said...

Lucky you having a friend who works at Living Green!
One of my most favorite stores in the City.

The big pot looks great as does the rest of the garden.

I'm with you all the way in regards to our appreciation of exfoliating and colorful tree barks.
A few favorites of mine are Acer griseum ,Betula jackmontii, some Platanus' and even some of the Eucalyptus.

chuck b. said...

They use what must be the Queen Bee Tree of Exfoliation, Melaleuca quinquinervia, exstensively as a street tree in my neighborhood. I'd enjoy them more it they also got a regular thinning, but that's unrealistic.

chuck b. said...

And, thank you, everyone, for your compliments, and ongoing support & encouragement. :)