July 2021 Wide Shots


 Above, the eastern side of the garden

The pond got a new UV light and the springtime green water is clearing:

Some wide shots to provide an impression of summer here, before summer deteriorates into heat damaged, weary plants.

North of, and below the pond area.   Downstairs in the gully, Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light' is in summer beauty.  Winter hail damage still dots the oldest leaves:

The terraces are looking lush:

Melaleuca (Callistemon) viminalis 'Slim' has a second round of flowers:

Leonotus, Podocarpus, Pittosporum grow in the bottom of the garden

Lagerstroemia 'Cherry Mocha' is the dark foliage just to the right of center, against the fence.  'Ray of Light', seen in the earlier photo, is the Agave on the far right:

 'Cherry Mocha', which I received as a gift when it was about 1" (2 cm) tall, has its first significant floral display this year:


Now about six feet tall (2 m), in 2019 it was only six inches (15 cm) inches tall.

Huge, compared to how big it was when it arrived:

 I checked past posts to see how tall it was in March of 2020.  It was only nine inches (23 cm) tall last spring:

Huh.  Wow.  

Ah, there's the flower.  A muted pink-red.

Back to the wide perspective.  Is the front slope  starting to look overgrown?  

In proportion to the trees, are the Agaves and most of the Aloes too small?  Or is it the oak tree at far left that is so big?  Plant proportions change over time--they are a moving target. 

Not the most flattering angle for the Yucca 'Bright Star' trio. 

The Grevillea got limbed up somewhat after this photo was taken, but the Metrosideros still needs a trim.  Theoretically, the Grevillea is a short-lived plant--a decade or so.  Time will tell.  The Dasylirion will eventually be quite tall, the needle-leaved Yuccas even taller:

Still in front, the other side of the driveway...

The latest idea is to gradually make this area's foliage  more blue/silver and less green--'Blue Glow' and 'White Ice' Agaves instead of 'Joe Hoak's:
The view from up on the west side slope:
A true lily (Lilium) flower appeared this morning near one of those tall columns above..  A big box cheapo, it has managed to survive and flower for several years in our not-lily-friendly climate.

Next, the area by the front gate is changing significantly because of the recent rapid growth of the oak tree.  Once in full all day sun, it's now in morning shade:

And a bit scruffy looking.  I plan to work on it when summer is over: 

 'Bella Sera' day lily:

Looking towards the above area, which is behind the far short wall.  Nice color on the 'Dynamite' Lagerstroemia and Leucadendron foliage at the moment make up for the lack of roses in flower:
The emerging 'Dynamite' flowers are nice, too:

The uphill side area...just soooo happy it's mulched and weeded.  The Agaves and Yucca, larger now, fill the space sufficiently:

Next, Proteana...doing pretty well.  Mostly all Australian and South African plants--Grevilleas, Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon', Callistemon from Australia.  Leucospermum, Protea, Aloes, Leucadendron, Coleonema from South Africa. Bougainvillea from South America, Aeoniums and Globularia from the Canary Islands.  They all seem fairly happy in this dry, hot area:

Protea 'Sylvia' is growing into the path.  I'll move the path.  
Downhill from Proteana is the Syzygium screening hedge, putting us just uphill from where we started.  

The hedge of Syzygiums got topped last fall--after strong Santa Ana winds stripped off a lot of each tree's foliage, making them look painfully sad.  They got 99% of the rainwater collected this past winter. That and the topping benefited them greatly.  They bulked up. 

So that's how things look here, at this moment. 


  1. It is amazing how quickly plants can shoot up, when they are happy. Or how they can sulk quietly ... for years. Today my hiking group was talking about bulbs that won't.

    1. When the good ones (non weeds) shoot up, it's the best. When the sulkers finally get going--it's mysterious, but just as good.

      Must have been a great hike--talking about plants while being surrounded by their beauty.

  2. I would move heaven and earth for ‘Sylvia’too – thanks for the tour!

    1. Happy you found it of interest. 'Sylvia' is a thrill.

  3. I love seeing wide shots of your garden. That lily looks like 'Stargazer'. I love the protea!

    1. The package did say 'Stargazer'. I'm just amazed it has endured this long. I so enjoy seeing the gorgeous lilies in climates where they thrive. They are so beautiful.

      Proteas certainly make up for not being able to grow lilies, but we gardeners like to grow it all, right?

  4. Your garden always looks good to me, even in this the most unpleasant of our seasons. I love the photo from the west side slope, a vantage point I can't recall viewing your garden from previously. I'm VERY impressed by Lagerstroemia 'Cherry Mocha's' growth spurt, especially given the truly pitiful rainfall we received this year. The Olearia albida I planted after the sudden death of the huge Toyon on my south side is still dinky and somewhat sad and I'm thinking that, if it doesn't shape up soon, it might get replaced by a crape myrtle.

    I hope B&N are doing better.

    1. That viewpoint from the west side slope--there was a citrus there that failed to thrive. I have the notion to replace it with an Adirondack chair, instead of another tree. A fine view from up there.

      The story on 'Cherry Mocha' is G.B. gave me an extra of a trial plant from Walter's Gardens intended for cold climates where "normal" Lagerstroemias cannot survive. 'Cherry Mocha' was intended to be at least "root hardy", coming back from freezing to the ground where winters are very cold. So growing almost 6 feet in one long growing season is not unexpected. The other Lagerstroemias have not been as fast, but have proven to be great additions to the garden. Like Arbutus and Manzanita they develop a gorgeous bark that is so ornamental in the leafless months (though it is a very different color and texture from Arbutus and Manzanita's).

  5. Your plant world is like an alien world to me HB .. so different because of your zone and climate trends. The "Dynamite" flower is an eye opener .. shock of red, the agaves and yucca are beautiful. I think my favorite is the Protea 'Sylvia".. that is a beautiful photo .. the light is perfect .. part of the flower looks translucent .. so pretty ! .. yes I think you should move the path for it too ! LOL

    1. It's funny you say that because your lovely "flock of geese" flowers totally baffle me--no idea what those are--alien to me, possibly totally common in your climate.

      Isn't it great to see other gardens in very different climates? A constant reminder how many wonderful plants there are in the world.

      I'm very lucky to be able to grow Proteas. Just happened to have the right soil and location for them. It's a thrill to have 'Sylvia' growing in the garden.

  6. Your garden does look lush and full.

    1. And it's a surprise, considering how little rain we got this past winter. Now I wonder if it is too lush and full--it's always something! LOL.

  7. Funny how sometimes the box store finds come through stronger than one might expect. Love the wide shots. I don't think I ever realized how sloped your garden is. I hope you get plenty of use of that comfy looking armchair below the Lagerstroemias!

    1. It's always worth a look. You never know. I have patience for plant shopping, but not for much else shopping.

      The chair is comfy, but I admit it often holds plant clippings more than it holds me.

  8. Your garden look so incredibly fresh and lush despite your summer heat. I like things a bit on the wilder side so to my eyes everything looks just perfect.

    1. More heat to come. The plants hold up for a while, then they get tired, just like the gardener. Autumn not that far off anymore, though. Yay!

  9. Wow, 'Cherry Mocha's' growth is impressive, and it's beautiful! The garden is looking great. I'm a huge fan of Callistemon shrubs, after watching hummingbirds flit among them at a botanical garden in San Diego. Gorgeous. :)

    1. Callistemons also have low water requirements, a big plus for our region. :)

      'Cherry Mocha' was intended to be a "cold hardy" Lagerstroemia, meaning even if it died back to the ground in a cold winter it still had the potential to come back from the base and still flower. So the fast growth makes sense.


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