Thursday, March 23, 2017

My friend Luisa's Inland Empire succulent container garden

My friend Luisa, who blogs at Crow and Raven, is one of those people you click with right away. Talk to her for an hour, and it feels like you've known her all your life. She's as easy-going and generous a soul as you're ever going to meet. And if you're lucky, you get to visit her garden at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains

But Luisa's garden doesn't consist of stuff growing in the ground. No, virtually every plant she owns is in a pot. And all her pots are in her small backyard, arranged on a retaining wall, on tables, or on the ground. I don't know how many individual containers Luisa has, but there are many. MANY

Lest you think this results in clutter, rest in peace. It's actually quite the opposite. It's like walking into a store selling rare books. You don't know what you're going to find, but you know that it'll be an exciting journey of discovery.

The photos I took during my recent visit are proof of what I'm talking about it. Take a look at this wide shot and tell me that you're not curious to see what all there is? 


It's your lucky day, because I have many more images to show you.

I'll keep my commentary to a minimum because the images truly speak for themselves.

You'll see that pallet against the wall a few more times. I think it's an ingenious idea. My eyes kept going back to it.





Check out the manzanita branch resting on top of the pallet. A nice touch.


The cactus is Opuntia sulphurea.


Here are two of Luisa's three dogs. I was amazed at how adept they are at avoiding the potted plants as they run up and down the backyard.

This is the Ferocactus Luisa had dug up for her at Granite Hill Gardens Nursery at Jurupa Mountain Discovery Center

Standing at the far end of the backyard looking towards the covered patio

Agave guiengola 'Crème Brûlée'


Variegated Agave shawii

LEFT: Agave victoria-reginae in what looks like a metal ice cream container (Luisa loves to go treasure hunting at salvage stores). RIGHT: Echinofossulocactus in Mike Cone pot 

Opuntia robusta and Agave murpheyi 'Engard'

Variegated Ferocactus

More treasures Luisa found at a local salvage yard

Opuntia sulphurea

And the treasures keep on coming


Ferocactus cylindraceus

Ferocactus pilosus, maybe?

Cardon (Pachycereus pringlei) in the front, saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) in the back
One last photo of Luisa's magnificent collection

Before I headed to Palm Springs (about an hour away) to meet up with my friends from Portland, Luisa took me on a drive through the Crafton Hills to see the hillsides covered with California poppies. What a fantastic vista, especially against the snow-covered mountains in the background!




RELATED POSTS:

Index: Trip to Palm Springs, March 2017

25 comments:

  1. I don't know which view is more overwhelming - the huge collection of pristine specimens in pots or that mass of California poppies. I visited a poppy display in western Riverside County myself last week but can't say it was any better than this one. Wow!

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    1. I wish we had poppy displays like that where I live...

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    2. Kris, the wildflowers have been insane this year, haven't they? An Instagram buddy wrote, "I'm not sure my heart can take much more of this!" I'm very lucky to have hillsides of poppies so close.

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  2. Wow! Both the garden and the poppies are gorgeous... Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I was touched and VERY happy, Renee! Thanks!!

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  3. What a fabulous garden full of many treasures, growing and otherwise. Thanks for the link to Crow and Raven. This is a garden and gardener I want to learn more about!

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    1. I think you and Luisa would get along famously!

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    2. Thank you, Outlaw Gardener! (A shop-vac is at the top of my garden Want List, thanks to you. Do you really use one? Genius.)

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  4. Wait, I thought she had a lot of containers?

    Holy moly! So many fabulous plants and containers, all pristine. And her doggies are adorable! Thanks for sharing the bigger picture of this fabulous garden, Luisa your garden is wonderful!

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    1. She may have you beat when it comes to the sheer number of containers :-)

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    2. Loree, thanks so much for the kind words!! 300+ containers at last count, oy. (Where was young Jasper when that photo of the pups was taken? Weeding, probably.)

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  5. Wow, her plants look so happy and healthy! Thanks for the tour.

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    1. I wish my plants and garden were half as neat as Luisa's!

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    2. Thanks, Hoov B! When the plants start to look unhappy... prune with a shovel, as the man said ;~)

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  6. So true about Luisa, one of those "old souls" you feel like you've known forever after 5 minutes. She is as much a treasure and rarity as any plant in her amazing collection. So glad you documented her world.

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    1. Denise, I'm feeling profoundly soulful right now, thanks to your most kind and generous comment!

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  7. Amazing. How often does she rearrange them? I expect that some with obsessive tendencies might find this a bit maddening, trying to find the "perfect" companions for every plant.

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    1. I would have neither the patience nor the eye to arrange containers as beautifully as Luisa has. That's probably why I was so excited to see her collection.

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    2. Alan, I'm a little bit obsessive - see below! Gerhard, thanks! Most of the time I'm just happy to avoid the cactus spines. I'd give a lot for an artist's eye like Reuben's...

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  8. Gerhard, thanks so much!! And thanks, all, for the kind words!

    Alan is right: now that frost cloth days are a thing of the past, I'll be moving plants and objects around, opening up space, and purging what seems unhappy or isn't working. An ongoing process :~)

    Gerhard, thank you again for this most thoughtful springtime gift. (Next time you're in town: Gloria's Nursery!)

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    1. You have so many wonderful plants, you could continue to create new clusters and vignettes for years to come! I can't wait to see what you do next.

      And YES to Gloria's Nursery!

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  9. What an amazing collection of gorgeous plants! What is the tall spiraling cactus? Noticed that your all your plants are in generously sized containers. How often do you need to transplant?

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  10. Holy Moly! This is a display after my own heart! I adore the combo of terra cotta and Talavera containers. The plants are pretty fab too. Thanks for sharing your photos.

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