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:
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!
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