Friday, February 24, 2017

Knight After Knight Garden. Literally.

Above:  Smile for the blogger, honey!

I recently visited an old (1920s-1940s) neighborhood.  Each house was one-of-a-kind.  Some even more than others.
This 1950's wall somehow works delightfully with the 1930's mediterranean flat roof cottage:

  Although the homes were small, many of them were on quite large (half acre) lots.  Most of the lot was behind the home, as the front yards were very small.

  Several homes had created, small or not, beautiful xeric front yards.
Wonderful colors on this one, echoing the home's paint colors.  This home was built in the mid-1920's. 

 And then there house with a large front yard.    
.A fallen-over Melia azedarach tree:
The tree is much better fallen over than upright!
It's alive, too.   Dormant, but plenty of seeds, as unfortunately Melia azerdarach is known for.  Invasive species in many areas.  Could be warthog food, though.  
  If you must have a Warthog (Wild boar?) statue to complement your fallen tree, it's wise to get a good one.
You have to admit, thaaaaat's a good one:

 What the...?!?
We lingered a good long while.  There was a lot to ponder, and we were hoping the owner would appear so we could chat. 

 Their armor is flaking.  The bright California sun is tough on... on...uh...this sort of thing.   
Hmm.  Those archers are kind of...hunky.    

 Original Iron Man there on the right.   
 Huh? Mixed mythologies?

 Oh.  That's not part of the mailman, is it?  That's a new type of hummingbird guarding the feeder.  A much larger one. 

  We finally met, not the owner, but a neighbor, who told us the owner was "very artistic" and had "a whole lot of awesome tattoos".  
Dude, time for new feathers:
 While we were standing and gawking, a delivery man got out of his truck with a package, took one look at the house, and started laughing.  
Is that top mermaid is getting a little too personal with that fish? She's certainly enjoying something.  Fish looks happy, too. 
 Apollo's spare chariot horse? 
 No garden is complete without a gnome, even if it has archers, knights, horses, a warthog, turkeys...
 One grouchy gnome.  Is this how it all started?  
 Is that a chrome skull on that table? 
 Knight after knight. 
"Armed response"?  No kidding.
 Oh!  Phormiums and Lagerstroemias there on the left.  In front of the hunky archers.  Tasteful.   It just occurs to me that when the Melia is in leaf, all the knights are somewhat hidden, creating an ambush situation for visitors.  Cool!
 There's so much out there in the world that we can't even imagine.  And when we see it for ourselves, we can't believe it.  

All hail K for finding this gem.  Hail, K!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Vignette February 22, 2017

 Are the Knights In Flaking Armor guarding the fiberglass turkeys, or are the fiberglass turkeys in command?  

There will be a full post on this garden soon (you have been warned).  In the meantime, more Wednesday Vignettes to be found via Flutter and Hum.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winter Project 2017 Complete (For Now)

Leucospermum 'Tango' on the left?  Or...
...on the right?  
 I went with the location on the right, where there is more space.
The anxiety-inducing part was moving the Leucospermum 'High Gold'.  It is not yet well established, as I only planted it this past spring, but moving Proteaceae can be iffy.    I moved it Thursday because Friday was predicted to bring heavy rain, with several days of cool cloudy weather after that.  No hot sun to increase stress.  

The spot I originally gave 'High Gold' was too small:
About six feet to the right... 

Plenty of space now.  The Agave 'Blue Flame' to the left of 'High Gold' will be moved if the Leucospermum survives.  
Please don't die, gorgeous!
 Aloe suzannae gets 'High Gold's spot.  The Aloe was in very poor condition when I got it, or rather it went south immediately (the very next day) after I got it, but it seems better after spending the summer on the hot dry slope. It has new leaves that are nice and healthy despite all the rain.  The soil is extremely fast-draining in this area.  
Please don't die, gorgeous!
 So there we go.  Leucospermum 'High Gold' replaced Leucadendron linifolium,  Leucadendron 'Wilsons Wonder' and Leucospermum 'Tango' replaced the trio of Calothamnus villosus, and a third Aloe 'Fire Ranch' was removed, because two 'Fire Ranch' are plenty. 
 One 'Fire Ranch is here:
 The other is close to Aloe marlothii, but I think they'll be okay.  The angle of the photo makes them look closer than they really are.  I will remove the 'Fire Ranch' if it becomes a problem.  This photo also shows there is some planting space still available even when the shrubs grow.   
'Wilsons Wonder' is flowering.  The inflorescence is a yellow cone of flowers.
I plan to move as many green-foliaged plants from the left side of the slope to this area as will fit (Agave victoriae-reginae, Aloe tweediceae, the green dwarf Agave titanota, etc), so that blue/silver foliage will dominate on the left hand side of the slope, while the right hand side will be more in the green/gold color range.   
Click on this photo to expand it:
The area still needs mulch and some minor irrigation modifications, but that must wait until the rain is over.  I declare this project finished, at least until its time to work on it again. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Beautiful Fatsia japonica 'Camouflage'™

Fatsia japonica, the plain green version, was one of the first plants I was ever aware of--Mom and Dad had planted it in our garden before I was born.  I remember when I was four or five years old thinking the leaves were huge.  Fast forward (quite a while) to 2014, when I saw the 'Spiders Web' version in Portland on the 2014 Fling.  
Ooooh!  Waaaannnt!
 photo steal0039_zpsb8754284.jpg
I ended up mail ordering a small 'Spiders Web' which never quite webbed.  I lost patience and tossed it.  Then a neighbor was going to get rid of her 'Spiders Web', and offered it to me.  Obviously, destiny. 
But howcome they are webbier in Portland?

 Nice in a blue pot!
Then at Roger's Gardens one Sunday, I saw Fatsia 'Camoflage'.
Ooooh!  Waaannnt!
After blogging and posting the above photo in December, out of the blue I got an email from the local Monrovia representative.  Would I like a freebie?   With no obligation or strings attached.  No, I don't have to blog about it. 

Are you kidding?  Heck yeah!
Looks great with another part-shade lover,  Philondendron 'Golden Xanadu', (which could use a little more light to be truly golden).  The variegation brightens the area when it is in shade. 

Looks great with Sedum 'Angelina' at its base...
Wild with good old Sanseveria...
Even more wild on the patio with the Sans and variegated Agave attenuata!
Thank you Monrovia!!!

A chartreuse pot would work, don't you think?  
Around here, Fatsia japonica looks best with a few hours of the earliest or latest sunlight of the day, or all day dappled shade.  It is a thirstier than average plant, but bear in mind my "average plant" is an Agave.