Ever-patient Beloved got better wide-angle shots, many of those are his. I focused on plant details and gawking/drooling/sighing/exclaiming/oohing/ahhing.
This is the twenty-two year transformation. The Quecus is still there--can you spot it? It's been trimmed to expose the limbs.
There's a very small lawn behind there--allowing access to the plants from the other side.
Around the corner, a Hylocereus climbs a Eucalyptus polyanthemos:
This area belongs to the city, so the homeowners must leave it as is. It is maintained by the city, not the homeowners (obviously).
Just on the other side of the light pole in the photo above, succulents in the same soil and with no irrigation:
If you think the front garden is fantastic...
and isn't that Zamia gorgeous?
If it stops you in your tracks...
The back garden was even better!
A grand Rhapis appears to block the front door, but there's room to get by, for now.
On to the back!
Koi pond. Note the silvery Cussonia.
I was all agog.
There was a spectacular Croton room.
There was a spectacular succulent theater.
There was a spectacular begonia collection. (Noticing a pattern here?).
And healthy Bromiliads of all sorts. Lots of them
Terrestrial bromiliads get extra shade according to their needs.
Despite every inch of the garden appearing to be occupied by a plant, each plant had room to grow. The garden is full, but not to the detriment of the plants.
Yes, this is a plant.
Rhipsalis have explored their way out the shade screens:
The palm canopy created a cool, moist microclimate, enabling the tropical and sub-tropical plants to have the cool, humid environment they need.
To protect delicate plants, such as the begonias, from spells of desiccating dry wind, the owners wrap areas of the garden with shade cloth in early fall and unwrap in spring. The shade cloth creates enough of a barrier to hold in sufficient moisture.
The Palms and Cycads were choice specimens. A few of the trees existing when the owners moved in are still there, kept trimmed back so as not to interfere with the more choice additions.
The center of the back garden was a Bismarkia noblis, a favorite palm of mine from Madagascar. It was one of the first palms planted about twenty years ago.
Hooded Orioles sew their nests to the undersides of the Bismarkia's big fronds. Their nests are woven from fibers pulled from palm trunks and fronds. The nests are now abandoned, as nesting season is over.
It occurred that one reason the owners were able to care so beautifully for their plants (great talent and committed dedication aside) was that it was perfectly comfortable being outside even with temperatures close to 90F.
A Tillansia support made from pieces of hose pipe, screen, and zip ties:
An ultra-rare Rakeoptera:
Perhaps my own garden needs more (or should I say some) shade. Microclimates affect the gardener as well as the gardened.
The fruiting palm is the plant that produces carnauba wax, Copernicia prunifera:
Hoya flower cluster
Plant tags are made from scraps of irrigation pipe.
A better glimpse of the rare Rakeoptera
Ain't that an absolute wow? I was a wreck by the time we left.