Monday, August 18, 2014

Fling 2014: Danger Garden & Thoughts On Style


A stylish garden led to thoughts on garden style.  The current hot style of today in both homes and gardens is  "mid century modern".  Characterized by bent plywood and wire furniture, lights and containers like flying saucers, minimalism, horizontals low-slung.  The Danger garden offered an updated mid century modern style updated, with lusher plantings and a softer, friendlier feel than the 1950's original.
Horizontal lines in the fencing:
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 Eames, Saarinen.  Garrett Ekbo and Dan Kiley.  Outside, lines and grids, rectangles, architectural plants--"architectural" meaning the emphasis is on the shape of the leaves and the plant, not the color or the flowers.  
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Chartreuse, tangerine, oil-rubbed bronze, steel, galvanized.  
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Evoking the confidence of the space age and the postwar economic boom, but updated with modern materials and greater plant choices (those vast green lawns are history).   
The succulent gardens of the 1960s meant stark white gravel and a Cereus jammed against the garage wall.  Today's interpretation is lush in contrast with the starker 1960s.  
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Older people can recall the optimism of that era with wistful nostalgia.  Younger people like the era's sleek iPhone lines and the affordability of minimalism.  
Big foliage is big.
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Is it that we are fascinated by our grand parent's era?  Those born in the 1940's and 1950's remember Granny's Craftsman bungalow;  Those born in the 1980's and 1990's are charmed by Granny's Eichler.  Though each generation makes a style their own, picking through the cluttered attic that is the past, and adding chunks of the present. 
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The Danger Garden was devoted to plants grown mainly for the beauty of their foliage;  it was by no means all about style.
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This might be a Senecio of some sort.  Or maybe not.   
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A touch of floral beauty.  The garden was not all foliage.
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The garden was meticulous.  Really meticulous. 
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Pottery can supply a splash of color in a foliage garden.  A foliage garden seems disciplined, and restrained.  This can be misleading...
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...restraint in plant selection is not the same as restraint in plant acquisition.  
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Lovely garden.  The emphasis on foliage and unity of style made for a restful mood.  After a long hot day of garden-hopping, we needed it.
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Anemone x 'Pretty Lady Emily' Leads A Belated Bloom Day


 The very first flower.  A cool pink when it first opened, the flower has matured to lavender-mauve.  Ain't it sweet?  

Once a year or so, the Fenestraria has a few flowers.  In nature, most of the plant is hidden in grit or sand, with just the very tips exposed.  This adaptation protects the plants from herbivores as well as from brutal desert sun and excessive moisture loss. 
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A few months ago, I bought two 4" (10 cm) Anagallis (now Lysimachia) monellii. One has thrived, one died. Here's the thriver:
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Most of the Clematis are producing a scattering of new flowers. 'Wisley':  
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Salvia 'Warm Wishes', a variant on 'Wendy's Wish' has a delectable plum coloration.
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Bell peppers are late this year, but finally a few flowers.  Did you know the vegetable found to have the consistently highest pesticide levels is the bell pepper?  That's why I like to grow our own.  They get nothing more dangerous than water here. 
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I didn't think my 'Stargazer'-ish lilies would return this year.  So nice to see them, modest as they are.  After being awestruck by the towering and glorious giants in Portland, my lilies are underwhelming--but they are still lilies. 
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Grevillea 'Moonlight' is delivering on its purported performance.  Today:
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Here it is back in January at planting:
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A lone flower on my poor Crinodendron hookerianum, which has no business trying to grow in Southern California. 
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I did find a better spot for it--next to the pond, in probably the highest-humidity, coolest-soil spot in the garden.  It has some strong(ish) new growth, so at least I've mitigated its suffering somewhat.
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Only two Aloes are blooming at this time of year.  'Cynthia Gitty' and A. melanacantha (or whatever it is--the one with the golden yellow flowers) hardly ever stop.  They seem to take a brief rest in winter, when most of the other Aloes are blooming like mad, so that works out. 
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Rosa 'Wildfire' is another bloomaholic, in the harsh heat of August. 
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More emerging scapes on most of the Hemerocalli.  'Elizabeth Salter'.
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'Rozanne', of course.
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A lot of bloomaholics here.  Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' is slowing down a little, but its still going.  If it doesn't survive to next year--well, I think I've gotten my money's worth. 
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Also in the new-this-year-already-got-my-moneys-worth category is the Mexican Tulip Poppy.  I would not hesitate to recommend this plant for Southern California.  A little gem.
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And it's that time of year for two bulbs, Amaryllis belladonna...
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...and Urginea maritima, fine and dandy with 5" (12.5 cm) of rainfall this year and no other irrigation.
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To finally finish, Crape Myrtle 'Dynamite', second wind.  There it is in that bright harsh light, against the vivid summer sky.  I avoid taking photos in our too-intense direct sunlight, but it illustrates, I suppose, the heat of August.
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Happy belated Bloom Day. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fling 2014: Pam Said To Put People In The Photos

Pam said people belonged in garden photos.  They add to the scenery.  So here are gardens with people in them.  
Feet made for interesting additions.  They provide scale, for one thing.
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Blue toenail polish was an extra bonus in showing the size of a Gunnera leaf.
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People can provide architectural interest in a mass of foliage, like a big empty pot.   Handy when there's no big empty pot in the viewfinder.
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I liked the balance on this one, a close pair of people and a farther away pair.  They might as well be Yew.
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Oh why oh why didn't I have the presence of mind to get someone to walk behind the sculpture so they were framed by it? 
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Most people were taking photos--photo of people taking photos.  Hmm...
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Photos are serious business to garden bloggers.
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I wonder how many photos I ruined, walking past people taking pictures, me in an ornamental plant-induced haze.  I apologize now for whatever I did.
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It did get exhausting after a while.
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Many conversations appeared intense.
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So intense you wonder about the conversation.
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I really wanted a photo of a lot people all staring at their smart phones, ignoring the gardens.  My fellow Flingers, however, were really looking at the gardens.
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Anyone with a colorful hat made for a great photo.
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This hat was my favorite.
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A pretty hat can make a garden photo better.
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The best photos were of people faced away from the camera, looking at the garden.  You and the person in the photo are both looking at the same thing.  Something magic in that.
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 Expecto Monardum!
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I was a little worried for the safety of whatever the cat was looking at.
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I got a kick out of all the stuff stuffed into storage for the tour.  Then I saw the inadvertent self-portrait.  
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Is she taking our picture?!?  Yes I was.  Pam said to.
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Posed ones are my least favorite, but these two brings back so much fun and so many happy conversations.
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If you don't like this post, complain to Pam. In the meantime, I need to practice my people-photography.  They are more difficult subjects than plants.  They move like tall grass on a windy day, like birds.