Fall Project 2015 #4: Serendipity

I was moving a Kalanchoe orgyalis from one spot in the back to another spot in the back, and suddenly realized it was a good shrubby plant of vertical habit for along the Project wall.  
This will work:
 I bought a six-pack of tiny K. orgyalis plants for $3 a couple of years ago, gave one plant away and kept the rest.  The two largest, better watered than the other three, are about 30" tall now.  These Kalanchoes will be perfectly happy with the reflected heat from the wall, and actually look better the less water they get.

The three plants grown drier are shorter and more intensely copper.

The three plants grown drier are to the right along the wall.  The two grow with more water are double the size.  One of the taller Kalanchoes is visible, to the left of the three shorties.  I've moved out several daylilies, but several more remain.  The Aloe in the foreground I'll also move, as well as the little Magnolia stellata (above the Aloe).  
I planted the black Lagerstroemia here, out from the wall and in between two Kalanchoes spaced more widely apart than the rest, but am unsure if the black foliage of the Lagerstroemia will work in an otherwise blue and silver color scheme.  The intent was to screen an uphill home from view when standing on our driveway and in the entry area. The spot next to the street also will provide the heat Lagerstroemias love.  Adding some black Aeoniums here and there, would bring more black foliage into the scheme--that might help. 
 This area by the mailbox is now almost cleared out and raked even.  I'll move or discard the Teucrium, and move the green Aloe.  The Aloe brevifolia clump is laying until I can split it up and replant it somewhere here. 
The Aloe brevifolia color is just right.  It's been a very slow grower because it got no water where it was planted.  That was purchased as a single rosette quite a few years ago--at least seven or eight.  It might have been the very first Aloe I ever bought. 
  I tried one of the Grevillea 'Superb' next to the mailbox...will it work?  If grows to around 6'x6', there's space, with space for Agaves or Aloes around it.  I like the idea of enjoying 'Superb' flowers when I go out to get the mail.  Looking from the street:
 From the other direction:
That's where I am so far on this project.  At least I'm working on it, not procrastinating!  
 

Comments

  1. Can't offer any opinions, but it's exciting to see an almost blank canvas and how you're filling it in. :)

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    1. If I were not so lazy about learning more photoshop I'd be able to play around and work it out designs with photos...maybe when all that El Nino rain arrives, stuck inside, maybe I'll learn then.

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  2. It's so fun and interesting to see what you're working on in your garden, at a time when mine looks like black mush.

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  3. I just planted my K. orygalis in the ground! Twins!

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    1. Quintuplets and a cousin? No irrigation needed here--yours might get by on less.

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  4. Oh the projects I have lined up--but it's been raining ! Rain is good , but weeds are the result. I am enjoying your project-where will the Magnolia go ?

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    1. So happy you got rain, that must mean we'll get some in a substantial amount soon. (I've decided it means that, whether or not it really does.) Weeds! I remember those...

      Magnolia will go...somewhere else. The flowers it produced last spring were simply wonderful.

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  5. It's so cool when one gets a flash of an idea. Not that I get many, but I love your K. orygalis placement idea. I have one from Ricki (of Sprig to Twig), that up here is a cute little house plant. And a word of caution: be careful about wishing for El Nino rains - we've been about washed away this week and the soil is completely sodden where it's not actually under water :-)

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    1. I know, I know, be careful what is wished for, but after 4 years of drought...

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  6. I have one of these plants, now quite large, in a big pot but I've been playing with the idea of planting it in the backyard, perhaps with Cordyline 'Electric Flash'. Was it you who published a photo of that combination earlier? In any case, the combination is compelling but I haven't found exactly the right placement.

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    1. Yes I saw that combo in a pot in the entrance garden at the Huntington. The photo is on one of the Huntington Visit posts. It was a dandy-looking combo.

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  7. I am going to add my 2 cents here for you to consider or ignore, a silver and blue gray colorscheme is mostly the same color and the same light value. I think adding contrast is completely a good idea. When using darks, if you use a dark that leans toward a blue black that would keep the harmony of the blue grey and grey scheme. If you choose a warmer dark, like reds, then that would give more contrast. If you indiscriminately add cool(blueviolet tones in the dark) and warm (red or brownish tones in the dark) it will undermine your color scheme by making it less cohesive. As a painter, I work with color all the time and that is why I am sharing the information. I love your garden and you will work it out even tho' you are humble about your skills, you put plants together beautifully and I love that you blog and share with us gardeners out in the snow!

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    1. Wow that is awesome information, Erin, thank you so much. Just exactly the kind of thing I am utterly clueless about, so I really, really appreciate it your comments. The black Lagerstroemia is red-black, because the stems are burgundy. That actually agrees with black Aeoniums, because they also have a burgundy cast.

      Maybe you would have a suggestion for the project area on 'blue glow' agaves which have a burgundy edge on the leaves vs. 'Joe Hoak', which is a blend of ivory pale yellow and grass-green. There's a 'Joe' in the 3rd photo, right in the middle top, just above the wall.

      The groundcover is a silvery pale green, the green matches the big 'Hercules' aloe closely and also the green in the grevillea, but I just occurs to me that I could use the silver Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon' instead of the grevillea, or put the 'Moon Lagoon' in the space beyond the black Lagerstroemia, where there is currently a rose I will move.

      Lots to think over--you've really helped me out. Snow! I've seen it on TV. ;^)

      You've given me some things to think about, I really appreciate your help!!!

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