More beauties from Troy McGregor's garden

I already showed you the first East Bay garden I visited with the California Horticultural Society (CalHort) a few weekends ago: Ellen Frank's “tropical dry climate fusion” garden. The second was Troy McGregor's, also in Martinez.

As you maybe remember, Troy used to be the nursery manager of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. In that position, he put the nursery on the map as one the leading plant destinations in Northern California for dry-climate plants, especially succulents and Australian and South African natives. Troy now runs his own business, Gondwana Flora, specializing in regionally appropriate landscaping.

I wrote about Troy's personal garden in April and again in September. In this post I'm trying to focus on areas I didn't fully cover before. But this mound in the backyard is so wonderful, it's worth another photo:

The most recent addition is chicken wire around the fan aloe (Kumara plicatilis) because Troy and Vicki's cats seem to think that the trunk of the aloe is a scratching post.

A perfect place to sit—personally tested and approved by my discerning rear end:

And another nice spot to shut out the outside world and enjoy a good book or an adult beverage:

Seeing a staghorn fern was a bit of a surprise but Troy and Vicki's house is close enough to the water to get moist air from the Carquinez Strait where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers drain into San Francisco Bay.

The remaining images were taken on the side and in the front of the house:

A dwarf citrus has a lot of ornamental value, doesn't it? Note to self: shamelessly copy.

Walkway to the front door

Foliage exuberance without ditching style

Tylecodon paniculatus just leafing out. The dyckia at the bottom is 'Brittle Star'.

The big agave is Agave 'Mateo' (Agave bracteosa × lophantha)

My new plant crush: White Cloud manzanita (Arctostaphylos viridissima 'White Cloud')

When I first saw these chartreuse flowers, I said, "I bet it's from Annie's Annuals." And I was right. It just screams Annie's. It's a canary bird bush (Crotalaria agatiflora) from East Africa, unfortunately not currently in production at Annie's.

Red-capped gum (Eucalyptus erythrocorys) planted by Troy in front of their neighbor's fence

Flowering Farfugium japonicum 'Argenteum' and Restio subverticillatus

"Look ma, there's a giant jelly fish in the tree!"
What creative minds (i.e. Troy and his wife Vicki) can do with a dead dryandra and dried-up ponytail palm leaves.
Lots to see in this succulent vignette

Pink pitcher plant (Sarracenia sp.)

The flower is from a grass aloe, Aloe cooperi

Protea cynaroides 'Mini King'

Encephalartos horridus and Echeveria agavoides

Aloe inermis aka "that olive-green aloe"

Front of the house

Aloe silhouette in front of Phylica pubescens

A heck of a hell strip!

And finally the one plant that stood out the most during this visit: a stunning sea-urchin hakea (Hakea petiolaris) in full bloom. This large shrub native to Western Australia loves the heat and seems to have found the perfect spot in front of Troy's and Vicki's house.

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  1. Lots of attention to the details that can make a garden. I love the pots outside the front door and the great mix of plants, most especially that Hakea, which has been on my must-have list for years. Please tell Troy that he should open a second store in SoCal.

    1. Troy's love for plants from his homeland is very obvious. He's done a lot to make Australian shrubs more popular in the East Bay.

  2. A treat to see more of this wonderful garden. The trio of planters on the porch are très chic!

    Outstanding shots of the Hakea with the sunlight streaming through the leaf veins.

  3. Wow, so many plants worth admiring in this garden ! That ! Also particularly loved the Euc and the great container combo on the front porch. I need to keep an eye out for open days at Troys garden.

    1. I'll let you know the next time there's an open garden at Troy's.

  4. Pretty darn fabulous! Those Crotalaria agatiflora flowers are drool worthy, and I really need to stick my Agave ‘Mateo’ in the ground...

    1. 'Mateo' in the ground will surprise you by how big it gets. Bigger than either of its parents!

  5. I grew that crotolaria quite a few years ago -- it gets big! I wonder if Troy grows it as a cut-back shrub. I have to join the chorus on the light through that hakea -- wow! Let me know about any open days tours here too...

  6. I loved the form of that Fan Aloe... it really looks happy. It has such an upright form compared to mine and others I've seen.

  7. I love the way you photo bomb a place, Gerhard. Being distracted by organizational responsibilities I missed a lot. Thanks for remedying that. I wonder if you can make a Hakea like that happy in Davis? Pretty sure we're too cool for it in the Berkeley flats.


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