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Great spot! Look at all of that foliage and what a great backdrop it is for the flowers. Would love to see shots of this nursery garden in fall and winter.
Love that agave!
Pam, nice to see a nearby garden! Looks gorgeous. Great example of lawn replacement! (For those of you not in Mediterranean climates - it is really hard for us to grow grass here, but a lot of people try nonetheless. Better to do what Pam did and replace it with climate-appropriate plants that are much prettier and provide habitat for wildlife, as her photos demonstrate.)
And Michelle, you know you can count of some of us in the west and south to keep you stocked with winter interest!
Green, lush, serene and peaceful. We can feel our blood pressure drop just looking at these photos!
Love, love, love the yew!
You know we love that colored foliage!
Even though we're foliage gals, we love that Sedum 'Autumn Joy' as it looks great through spring and summer before bloom. The green plays so well with the pinks and purples of the flowers. And a great bonus of 'Autumn Joy' is that in our mild climate, the flower heads dry on the stalks and the birds spend the entire winter sitting atop them, pulling out seeds.
trashywoman - that fuzzy green could be fennel.
A lovely scene, thx.
Michelle get better soon!
Feel better - love that hosta and fern!
Thanks for highlighting some botanical gardens. Interestingly, many people that visit BGs go for solitude and serenity, and aren't even plant lovers. They serve a much greater slice of the public than one would think, and they generally don't get as much focus as museums or the like. Glad you shared these photos!
We love it! The simplicity creates a tranquil and sophisticated space and we can feel our blood pressure drop as we enter. And of course, we love all that foliage with the contrasting textures and structure.
Nicely done! And looks like you had fun doing them, which is really the point of it all.
A garden after our own hearts! That beech looks like 'Red Obelisk', a variety that only gets three feet wide, as its name implies, so is sited appropriately. The maple does indeed look like a pseudoplatanus - 'Esk Sunset' is our guess. We have both of them and they are amongst our favorite trees. Really beautiful job, Laura, and it shows what great soil prep you did, too - a step too often overlooked. We too would like to see it in fall!
It is one thing to voice a constructive criticism and another to use insulting words. We do value honesty, but taste is a big part of design, and gardening is not an exact science, so there is a lot of latitude there, too! Maybe we all learned something about tolerance and latitude from this exchange. The GPOD is a daily treat for me, and even the gardens that are not to my taste often have components that I enjoy and can learn from. If we all agreed on everything, most of us would not be necessary. Jay, you have done a great job here!
Jay and Vojt - I just ordered 'The Undaunted Garden'. Thanks!
Thanks again, all! It is fun to share the gardening experience, and those of you in lower zones (Regina and Priscilla for example) can grow a lot more conifers than you might think - many are indigenous to parts of the world that experience wide temperature extremes.
We are not pulling hoses here in CA this year - we have a weather pattern more similar to Olympic Mtn Gardener - but we sympathize, as our climate never has any summer water! One year, before I installed my drip irrigation, I didn't go to the gym for weeks because I was pulling hoses full of water all over my hill...
Vojt - I just looked up Lauren Springer and will have to get some of her books. Is there one in particular that you recommend?
Hi all - Meander, the blue atlas cedars (Cedrus libani var. atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' - there's a mouthful!) were planted as 15 gallons in December 0f 2005, and yes, that was my vision for them. They were about 4' tall at the time, trained in serpentine form. I continued that serpentine shape until they got tall enough to begin to train over the door. They just 'met' last year - now I have to work to keep them from overtaking the entry, but they are amenable to pruning. The key with pruning woody plants is to do it a bit at a time and don't get behind. Mercifully it is right there at the front door so I don't forget about it! Trashywoman - I believe that there are a lot of conifers that will grow - even thrive - in the midwest. The American Conifer Society just held its annual meeting in Michigan and everyone was complaining about the heat. If you join the ACS (very modest membership) you'll have access to their regional groups who can help you with what would grow well in your area.
The Lobelia tupa is a real drama queen, and one of the few plants that I have that goes dormant in winter. The foliage, when it reawakens in February, is beautiful, so it only misses a couple of months of contributing to the garden. Sorry we don't have a closeup!
Michelle it is great to see your garden and the outdoor living space is inviting and comfortable. The hardscape and structures are lovely and we bet that you just love spending time outdoors. That's what gardens are for! Lovely!
Agree that there is an Italian vibe, but that particular blue hue and the r. banksia-topped arbor, resembling a shade pavilion, are reminiscent of Moorish gardens, as well, which of course are just across the sea from Italy. Looks like you have a pan-Mediterranean thing going on! Lovely.
Love the G. 'Jade Butterfly' and the Rosa glauca. Your garden has a lot of flowers but you also have a lot to satisfy a foliage gal like me. Beautiful
Great to see the same shots at different times of the year - makes it easy to understand how 'durable' the garden is throughout the seasons. Lovely.
A few more answers to your questions and comments!
Iseli Nursery (the site that tractor1 notes above) is the source of many new and exciting conifer cultivars. In fact, we're headed there this summer to do some photographing of their display gardens. If you like what you see on their website, get your local garden center or nursery to order from them!
The 'octopus' junipers are Juniperus horizontals 'Blue Chip'. Aren't they amazing? And to think that junipers never seem to get much respect. Do make sure to plant them far enough apart.
I will try to do some plant id and labeling of Jan's photos, and if you go to our blog (Michelle posted the link above) we have seasonal photo galleries started (we've got autumn and winter so far) and we will be doing plant lists, as well.
Thank you all (including you, Michelle!) - it is great to share photos and commentary with other gardening enthusiasts. This has been lots of fun and Jan and I are learning from you all, too!
Hi all, thanks for your nice comments. A few answers to questions:
The garden (in its present form) is about three years old. Most of these conifers grow very slowly, and many are more amenable to aesthetic pruning than one might think, so yes, they were planted with the idea of keeping their shapes visible - very good point by tractor1.
Conifers and other woody plants are indeed more expensive than most herbaceous perennials, but don't overlook the advantages of shopping in the off-season. Nursery cash flow is abysmal in winter, and if you can find one that stays open you can often get great deals. Keep a running list of what you are looking for and buy opportunistically.
The rocks in the lead photo are native California types - not sure of the kind. See the link that Patty Spencer posted above. I love incorporating rocks into the landscape - year-round structure and interest and NO care needed whatsoever!
We'd go for light-colored foliage that would contrast nicely with the benches, perhaps Hebe pimeleoides 'Quicksilver', Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight', Meleleuca incana or Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca pendula', depending on whether you were looking for herbaceous or woody plants. All have the requisite texture but 'read' as solid color behind the ornately decorated bench.
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