Thursday, June 11, 2020

Something different: rarely seen sights from the back garden

Usually my posts focus on the plantings in front of the house. Arguably, that's the most photogenic part of the garden, and the area where I've invested most of my energy in recent years. But the back yard has seen progress as well—nothing flashy, but slow and steady.

Time to show you some vignettes:

Agave chiapensis, getting massive. Behind is the bottle tree I put up after seeing so many of them in Austin, Texas in 2018.


Same bottle tree, this time with pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) in a large ceramic pot

A combination that's come together exactly as I'd hoped: Philodendron 'Xanadu' and Ischyrolepis subverticillata (now Restio subverticillatus), the most shade-tolerant restio species. The philodendron has proven to be surprisingly hardy.

View of the patio

What does one do when one has too many bromeliads? Simply stick them in a large pot with a Brahea 'Super Silver' (which will surely turn silver any day now after 10 years of being green).

Potted cussonias; the large leaves on the right are Cussonia transvaalensis (from Annie's Annuals)

I love begonias with fancy leaves but they struggle here. They really want a goldilocks climate: constant warmth (without heat spikes) and constant moisture. Tough luck finding that in our garden!

Neoregelias do much better

Isn't this color just outrageous?

A jumble of textures and colors: just what I like
  
Carex phyllocephala 'Sparkler', one of my favorite plants at the moment. I have two now, both bought in Portland because they're simply not available here—I have no idea why. Every garden should have a 'Sparkler' sedge or two!

Aloe helenae, Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie' and Beaucarnea recurvata

Agave 'Blue Rapture' (Agave ovatifolia × flexispina)

A few potted treasures: Agave victoria-reginae 'White Rhino', Agave albopilosa, Aloe peglerae (and barely visible in the lower-right Aloe castilloniae)

Agave 'Mateo' has turned into quick a clump. I may be ready for something else in this spot very soon.

Speaking of something else: this is the umpteenth reincarnation of a cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) that showed up in the backyard many years ago. Not that I mind, quite the opposite: I like everything about it.

This year there are two massive clumps

This summer I'm trialing several hardy hibiscus for Walters Gardens, including 'Candy Crush', 'Holy Grail' and 'Perfect Storm'. I planted these bare-root just two weeks ago. Their growth has been impressive. I can't wait for the flowers!

The back garden isn't as neat as the front. It's my main work environment, and I don't always put things away when I'm done. Plus, there's a massive collection of used nursery pots and the usual assortment of tools, potting soil, fertilizer, etc. One of these days I'll get it all cleaned up. Most likely I'll need the push that comes from an impending visit by a large group!


© Gerhard Bock, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of the materials available through www.succulentsandmore.com may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Gerhard Bock. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Gerhard Bock is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States and international copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Gerhard Bock. If you are reading this post on a website other than www.succulentsandmore.com, please be advised that that site is using my content without my permission. Any unauthorized use will be reported.

14 comments:

  1. Why not feature this area more? So many great plants! Is the Brahea getting lots of sun? That would silver it up. There are a few in the neighborhood and they are very, very silver, nearly white-silver.

    However every did you find a 'White Rhino' and can I buy one of the offsets? Please please please please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read that the juvenile leaves on the Brahea 'Super Silver' are always green. The last leaf that unfurled last week is noticeably more silver, so maybe it's entering early adulthood? Being in pot all its life hasn't sped up its development, I'm sure.

      As for 'White Rhino', I'm certain Goddess Flora will intercede on your behalf and make it happen :-)

      Delete
  2. Some wonderful plants back here. I really enjoy viewing other gardener's work areas as it provides a view into the whole garden process. I echo HB in that you should feature it more often. Those broms really are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen some work areas that were, pardon the pun, works of art. Not mine. I'm a makeshift kind of guy :-)

      Delete
  3. Oh your Cardoon is beautiful ! I have so many plants I bought in Portland and Oregon at large. I'm interested to see you Hibiscus results. My east coast friends are plagued by sawfly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far so good on the hibiscus. No sawflies here; I don't even know what they are. However, I could see whiteflies taking an interest...

      Delete
  4. A great collection of plants. I love the cardoon, which looks better than the artichokes on my back slope which are starting to fall over from the weight of their chokes (and the excessively dry soil). I was just contemplating the possibility of moving my Agave 'Mateo' from a pot to the ground but, after seeing yours, I think mine's going to stay in its pot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on cardoon vs. artichoke. Artichokes crap out long before cardoon does.

      'Mateo' likes to spread out given the chance, that's for sure.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the look-see, almost like being there. Your bromeliad collection continues to inspire envy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pleasantly surprised by how well most of these bromeliads have been doing. They don't need anywhere near as much water as I'd originally thought.

      Delete
  6. The bottle tree provide a nice pop of color in the back garden. I wonder if the super silver will turn silver when it's older... like the rest of us. I have special fondness for variegation: victoria-reginae 'White Rhino' is drool worthy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My 'Mateo' looks like that too, kind of leaning and sprawling. I assumed mine is getting too much shade. The best 'Mateo' I ever saw was an enormous one at a nursery, possibly box size, and it looked like a different agave. Very upright, good form, the striping very prominent. I'm trying another one in full sun kept very dry and have a small potted pup if all else fails. Lots of gems in the back garden!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love that cussonia and your broms. I'm despairing of finding a good selection of them in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A lot of valuable information can be derived from the post. as we provide Buy Succulents in Sydney at affordable prices. for more info visit our website.

    ReplyDelete