1/27/10

Not Really Wordless, Not really Wednesday

My general level of dissatisfication with the winter garden runs high these days. On top of that, I'm very unstable. Enjoy what you see ... a big plan is always just around the corner. I'm much too busy to actually implement any changes. That doesn't matter; a plan is always just around the corner....

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It doesn't help that a lot of my plants look like weeds, for example this Oenothera. So pretty and interesting when it flowers in the summer with bright, fragrant yellow. But for now just a clumb of weedy leaves and nothing more.

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I cherish this aspect of my garden. The design plan is, there is no design plan. I placed big plants with some strategic considerations that I will be flexible about evaluating down the road. After the big plants, use small plants. Next!

Here's a little bit of strategy with the yummy black Phormium cookianum 'Black Adder', framed in line of sight with California buckeye (Aesculus californica) which should be leafing out soon. The buckeye only has leaves for 6 months. The rest of the year, especially during the summer, the tree stems are silvery-gray and quite elegant in the long, dry summer light. Hopefully 'Black Adder' will make a good companion.

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I cut back some cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) to highlight the ropey vine. You know I love ropey vine. This part of the garden has an old, established feeling I am grateful to have. Come clean up work around the periphery is clearly in order.

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The view from a distance is muddled, over the top of Geranium maderense. Geranium maderense! Exciting plant to have in the garden. It's been a few years.

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There's so much going on against the north wall, it's a hot mess. Tree fern, Fuchsia 'Miep Aalhuizen', 3 Echium pininana, 2 Carpenteria californica, Cantua buxifolia, Senecio cristobalensis, two Hammamelis, Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman', 3 Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba', Montanoa grandiflora, Abutilon, Dierama, Asarum, Tiearella, Heuchera. A few foxglove, two Rehmannia. One rose. Good times.

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I am confident Cestrum elegans can handle the space-filling task it has against the south-facing wall.

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Even when that happens, this area will still need some work. The plan for that is, there is no plan. I'm tucked in some foxglove and three Lobelia tupa I grew from seed. I used Juncus patens and Salvia spathacea for filler.

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I do have one place where I'm happy. Up on the deck, with Hardenbergia violacea.

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Very happy.

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7 comments:

Les said...

I spent the past three days at a regional horticulture conference. One of the classes I took was taught by a guy whose company brings Australian natives and Australian bred plants to the U.S. When he showed a Hardenbergia he asked if anyone knew of the plant, mine was the only smug hand in the room, thanks to you. He was touting a cultivar called 'Meema' that is shrubby, does not climb and would be a root hardy perennial for our zone.

fairegarden said...

Well Chuck, not exactly wordless is right! While we think your garden is divine, especially the nice large leaves and vertical interst, maybe you need some more colorful foliage to help when the flowers are not blooming. Gold is good, not as busy as the variegated. We have found red to be pretty, but does not catch the eye as well. I was wondering about the Dierama. We started ours from seed at about the same time, although mine is D. galpinnii, or something close to that. Has yours bloomed? Mine has a few very long leaves that are evergreen. This is the third year, hoping to see a flower sometime.
Frances

Noelle said...

Hello Chuck,

I like your garden as is, but look forward to you showing us any changes you make. I agree with you about the Oenothera, they do look like weeds for much of the year. Love you Hardenbergia...mine is about ready to bloom.

queerbychoice said...

Wow! The Hardenbergia makes your balcony look like spring already!

Julie said...

I think the whole back 40 looks awesome! Very relaxed and comfortable!!!!!

Christopher C. NC said...

I'm beginning to think your dissatisfaction is a deliberate method to keep you working and involved in a garden that could for all intents just be maintained.

lisa said...

The most enjoyable aspect of gardening is the fact that it's always dynamic, IMO. I can't even imagine my garden ever being at a "maintenance only" point, unless I'm too old and feeble to do anything else. I did a double take when I saw your Cestrum elegans trellis...I have a fence/trellis combo that's nearly identical (aside from the green and blooms, that is :)