March 2015 snapshot of the front yard
Tuesday was uncharacteristically overcast. We haven’t had have days like that very often lately—it’s been nothing but sun, sun, sun. I was happy and took the opportunity to photograph the front yard. These pictures will serve as reference points for later comparison, especially since in essence I’ve redone the area you see in the first set of photos. I didn’t set out to do a makeover but one thing led to another, and this is what I ended up with. It seems I’m destined to have a garden that’s forever stuck in the “immature” phase because I constantly keep tinkering…
I’m enjoying this Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’ in all its glory. Soon I’ll be pruning it to encourage bushier growth.
Contrasting foliage: Grevillea lanigera ‘Mt Taborintha’ (left), Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’ (middle), Lavandula × intermedia (right)
Wider look at this area. Yes, I know the saguaro is tacky, but what can I say? I like it.
Left: Aloe marlothii, back center: Sonchus congestus, right: Leucospermum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’
Leucospermum ‘Scarlet Ribbon’ (more info here)
× Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ (more info here)
Large cape rush (Chondropetalum elephantinum), looking much better after I removed the plants that had been crowding it
Clump of Echium wildpretii. A gift from a friend, it’s basically a cluster of seedlings I didn’t bother to separate. It’ll be a sight to see when the flower spikes emerge in May!
Sea squill (Drimia maritima) added in November 2013. It hasn’t flowered yet but it’s large enough to—maybe this fall.
The “artichoke monster” is back (click here for a previous post)
Superb beardtongue (Penstemon superbus) and variegated Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha ‘Variegata’)
The variegation is striking where it exists but this selection tends to revert quite readily to all green. For this reason, its future in this spot is uncertain.
Penstemon superbus again, on the left with Agave gentryii ‘Jaws’ and on the right with Aloe cameronii
Agave ovatifolia, twice as large as it was at this time last year, and Penstemon grandiflorus
Penstemon grandiflorus, with flowers that are more pink than they should be
The flowers in the foreground…
…are from a “dryland” seed mix and provide a much appreciated pop of color
Aloidendron ‘Hercules’. I’m curious to see if it will reach the top of the fence this year…
Bush marigold (Tagetes lemmonii ‘Martins Mutant’). This came from Cistus Nursery and was planted just five months ago, but it has already doubled in size. I like the aromatic foliage and the simple but cheery flowers (yes, I do like orange flowers).
Hesperaloe parviflora pushing a flower stalk (early this year)
My favorite aloe in the garden right now: Aloe ‘Erik the Red’, a Leo Thamm hybrid from Sunbird Aloes
Agave parryi var. truncata, a gift from Candy ‘Sweetstuff’s Sassy Succulents’ Suter
My largest Aloe capitata (left) and my largest Yucca rostrata (right)
Aloe capitata will flower soon
Agave sobria × Manfreda variegata from Greg Starr (check out how small it was when I bought it in December 2013)
Agave parrasana. See the snail? I’ve flicked so many snails off my agaves already this spring. They don’t seem to do any damage, just hang out.
Agave ‘Sun Glow’
Agave ovatifolia with one of the first California poppies of the season (Eschscholzia californica ‘White Linen’)
The newest bed in the front yard (click here to read more about this project)
Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’ leaning ever more precariously (click here for more)
I just know that one morning I’ll find it flat on the ground, flattening everything in its path
At least the flowers are now beginning to open up
Ponytail palm trio (Beaucarnea recurvata)
I’ve been progressively removing more and more foliage to expose the caudices. I hope someday it will look like this specimen at the Ruth Bancroft Garden.
After an overcast Tuesday, we actually got some rain on Wednesday morning. Not much—0.18” according to the paper—but we’re so starved for precipitation that we gladly take even such a small amount. At least I won’t have to water for another week!