Our backyard in June

For me, springtime is the most active time in the garden. There’s winter cleanup to do, removing plants that either died or don’t look good in a certain spot any more, buying new plants, and in general doing what I can to make the space as beautiful as possible.

Summers in our climate are very hot and like many people, I don’t feel like doing too much work outside. A little nipping here and there is OK, but nothing major. Mostly, I just sit back and actually enjoy the garden.

While our garden continues to be a work in progress and there’s lot that remains to be done, I’m quite happy with how things look in our 8000 sq.ft. suburban lot (less than half of which is in the backyard).

Container garden under the bay trees
Lion’s tail (Leonotis leonurus), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Knee High’), and Black and Blue sage (Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue') in bloom
Potted bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’) and giant farfugium (Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’) in the corner
Chocolate bamboo (Borinda fungosa) providing a protective canopy over our Asian-inspired woodland garden. All the way on the right you can (barely) see new shoots on another mountain bamboo (Borinda angustissima). It has much smaller leaves than Borinda fungosa, which will create a beautiful contrast.

Indocalamus tessellatus in one of our stock tanks. This running bamboo (well contained here) supposedly has the largest leaves of any bamboo in cultivation in the U.S. In another year it will look awesome in this spot.

Chinese walking stick bamboo (Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda) on the left and Rufa bamboo (Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa') on the right, with potted farfugiums, liriope and Meyer’s asparagus fern in the foreground
110624_rufa farfug
Rufa bamboo (Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa') on the left, leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum ‘Aureomaculatum’) on the right. Both are in pots.
Check out the new culms on the pigskin bamboo (Phyllostachys viridis) in the galvanized steel tub at the end of the path. This bamboo was supposed to go to my in-laws, but the new culms are 10+ ft. tall now and it would be impossible to fit them in our van since they’re 1” in diameter and won’t bend. I may just have to get a small stock tank and find a permanent home for this bamboo in our backyard. It certainly is beautiful.


  1. Backyard's looking lovely Gerhard, my sort of garden :) That hammock is very inviting...

    I understand about not feeling to do much when it's too warm outside. Amazing how too much can equally slow as much as cold does.

  2. Very nice! You've got a couple of bamboos still to plant it looks like.

    I grew lion's tail once, and it was 8' tall before it started flowering. How are yours so short?

  3. Mark and Gaz, you're right! The best weather is somewhere in the between. Most plants would agree with that!

    Alan, aside from Ph. viridis, the bamboos in the photos above are in their permanent homes, at least for now.

    We have two lion's tails, one in the back and one in the front, and both have been in the ground for 3+ years now. The one in the backyard is barely 6 ft. tall, the one in the front is only 4 ft. Both flower with abandon and don't seem to be in a hurry to grow skyward. It must be our dry climate. Yours probably got a lot more water.

  4. Your backyard looks so lush and inviting. Love the different bamboo. And that leopard plant is so awesome. Must be a nice and cool place to read in the summer.


Post a Comment