Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our garden after our summer vacation

As much I was looking forward to seeing our garden after our trip to Maui, the transition back to reality wasn’t easy. I wasn’t ready to come home, and there were still parts of Maui I hadn’t been able to explore. But I guess it’s good to leave something for next time…

As for our garden, it didn’t look much different. In spite of the incessant summer heat, the perennial beds in the front yard still look decent. And the areas I planted earlier this spring (on the left in the photo below) are filling in nicely. I’m happy about that.

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Perennial bed inside the front yard fence

Let’s take a closer look at the front and back yard.

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The bamboos in front of the house are looking great

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The golden lotus banana (Musella lasiocarpa) is doing well, too, although I’ve cut down the water it receives as part of a general effort to reduce our water consumption

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One of several flowers on our Musella lasiocarpa

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Front porch with Asian lemon bamboo (Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’)

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Succulent bed by the front door

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Tropical foliage bed adjacent to the front porch. No, definitely not the same as Hawaii but the best I can do considering our summer climate and water scarcity.

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These succulents are about as un-fussy as a plant can get

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My fish hook barrel (Ferocactus wislizenii) is finally going to flower. There are LOTS of buds!

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Perennial bed outside the front yard fence

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Perennial bed outside the front yard fence

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Black elderberry (Sambuca nigra ‘Black Lace’) forming a cascade of finely dissected leaves

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The biggest change since our trip: Our tropical clumping bamboos are shooting! All of our bambusas—the Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ in the front yard and the one in the backyard, Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’, Bambusa oldhamii, Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’ and Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’—are actively pushing new culms.

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Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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LEFT: Bambusa oldhamii
RIGHT: Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’. This bamboo is not growing as straight and tall as I had been led to believe. Unless this year’s culms are erect instead of wildly crooked, we will remove this bamboo in the fall and replace it with a palo verde tree.

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Moving on to the backyard…

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Chocolate bamboo (Borinda fungosa). This needs trimming NOW!

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Backyard patio with three potted bamboos behind the table

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From this photo you might think it’s fall. Our bay trees shed in the middle of summer.

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The hammock can get covered with leaves in just one day, especially if there’s wind.

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Aeonium bed in the backyard. Ignore the pots; I should have moved them before taking this photo. The point is that these aeoniums look great even after our recent heat wave. I didn’t expect them to deal with the heat quite so well. I’m very happy about that.

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Jalapeño peppers turning red. I don’t like jalapeños when they’re still green; they taste grassy to me. But once they turn red, they acquire a wonderful rich and almost smoky flavor.

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Gymnocalycium schickendantzii, a small cactus I brought back from our Southwest trip last year. I wonder if the flowers will open wider than this?

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola getting its coloration back. It had been in the front yard where it hadn’t received much sun and it had lost that purple glow I so love.

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LEFT: Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) beginning to dominate this bed. When will they flower? And when will I be able to harvest their tubers?
RIGHT: My much neglected Agave parryi is done blooming. I wonder how long it will be before it dies now?

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Aloe peglerae, a recent acquisition from the Ruth Bancroft Garden. When stressed (heat, lack of water, etc.) its leaves curve inward, forming a ball. This is my favorite plant right now.

9 comments:

  1. Looks good to me! You trim that Borinda every few months it seems. :)

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    1. Yep, once every three months. That's how I keep track of the seasons, LOL.

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  2. About center of the photo labeled "Succulent bed by the front door" is that a HUGE Agave desmetiana 'Variegata?' How big is that thing? (It's gorgeous)

    I know that feeling upon returning but not quite being ready. I hope you garden works it's charms on you quickly.

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    1. Yes, that is an Agave desmettiana 'Variegata'. It's 5 ft tall now. I got it as a small baby and have been pampering it ever since. I'm afraid it will bloom soon; from what I've read A. desmettiana is one of the earliest-blooming agaves. But there are lots of pups.

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  3. Glad to hear that despite your absence for a week or so the garden remained and is looking great! Holiday hangover, we know the feeling and can imagine that the time you have spent there haven't been long enough indeed.

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    1. We were gone TWO weeks. Amazing how quickly time flew by. I barely remember what those lovely beaches on Maui looked like.

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  4. Your garden looks beautiful. Did you have someone water while you were gone? Had fun making pots with you at SCSS. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

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    Replies
    1. We have an automatic sprinkler and drip system. And our neighbor watered my potted succulents once while we were gone. (I only water them once a week anyway. If they don't survive that way, they weren't meant for me.)

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  5. Glad to see it is how I remember it from a few weeks ago. Missing Davis.

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