Monday, May 4, 2015

An (Almost) All Succulent Garden

A local garden tour held on behalf of a charity was held this weekend.  One of the featured gardens was a short drive away, so we went and had a look.  

There was a sign stating that the front yard was "a work in progress".
 This must have been lawn originally.
 Throughout the garden many of what must be old original shrubs and trees remain.  They pre-date the current owner and at some point long ago, poor placement and maintenance took a toll.  And still does. 

The pink gravel ran out.
On to the back.
The back looked better. After you go though the gate, stairs take you down and once you've gone a short distance down the path you turn back and look at the stairway down which you came.  A old Schinus terebinthifolius and Ficus nitida trees, and lots and lots of succulents. 
 To one side of the stairs, a slope railroad ties holds what must be some of the garden's original plants, such as a Fatsia japonica.
 The scene from this point offers the most successful plantings:

 This bit looks good.

 An expansive view.  On the day of our visit, ocean haze obscured the horizon. 
The most successful bit for me was this area of oranges and bronzey foliage, Crassulas and Aeoniums, mostly.  Looks good:
 Stumps where trees once stood. 
 
Where the water goes.
 The original ivy remains in patches on one of the slopes.  The stuff is very difficult to kill off.  
 All done for very little money, by leaving what was there,  propagating a few succulent plants over and over, and filling the empty spaces with them.  Frugal.  Now, back home...
 Our darlings were waiting.

20 comments:

  1. I agree the succulent planting seems to work best. It must be hard for people around you to get used to and develop a whole new gardening style to cope with the climate. A drought tolerant garden with everything you want in a garden colour, textures, heights.

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    1. A whole new style, and much more of a learning curve than a lawn. Gradually as there are more successes to copy, there will be more satisfying gardens.

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  2. I agree that the orange and bronze area is the best -- looks great actually! Unlike the bamboo "shrubs"...

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    1. yes, looks so very good! The suffering shrubs are Podocarpus, all the more sad as their DNA makes them magnificent trees of great size--then humans get a hold of them force them into a planter 18" wide.

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  3. "at some point long ago, poor placement and maintenance took a toll. And still does." -

    Exactly, and too bad even paying clients do so much to that effect, even with a good design. But a poor design that ignores the future is the worst. Very sad world we live in.

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    1. There is good also. Fighting the fight to educate about plants is worth it, in the long run.

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  4. This garden demonstrates the impact repetition has in pulling a landscape together. Repetition, repetition, repetition - it's a design principle that I should make my mantra in order to keep my collector tendencies in check. This mixing of the old and the new is something I know all too well - renovating a garden is harder than starting one from scratch, or at least it has been for me.

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  5. Beautiful the way those succulents knit together and the colours go so well too. I'm sure the rest of the garden will catch up. Be interesting to see if you get to visit this garden again in the future, on how it changes from what it is now.

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  6. So great combinations of plants. Looks like they are getting there. I like the flow of the back patio with the island of plants.

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    1. They are getting there--takes time. The curves are really cool, the paths, the pool.

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  7. I also admire their willingness to open an "imperfect" garden to the public as they forge a water-wise new strategy.

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    1. I agree--it was for a good cause, a women's emergency shelter.

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  8. I could float around in that pool and look at the garden all day.

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  9. Haha - the front yard reminds me of my back yard - like someone left it half done, and it's waiting for that same person to come and finish it up! I absolutely love that view with the Yucca (?) in the forefront - a great indicator of things to come! The last two photos are adorable - I would deliberately try to be gone a lot, if I could come home to that.

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    1. Agave augustifolia. I have some blank spots in the garden myself.

      It's hard to leave in the first place!

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  10. We are always encouraged to open our gardens, whatever shape they are in. In my experience, there is nothing like opening one's garden to dash the blinders from our eyes and reveal every flaw. Visitors tend to be generous in their assessments and fun to talk to.

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  11. The succulents are spectacular, a tapestry of colours and textures.
    xoxoxo ♡

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