Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meanwhile, Back In The Garden...

Spring beauty continues.
 photo 4-17-5978_zpsb05c496d.jpg
Salvia 'Blue Hill':
Salvia 'Blue Hill' photo 4-17-5964_zpseadc0c54.jpg 
Rose 'Bolero', better every year:
Rosa 'Bolero' photo 4-15-5912_zps1e572f4f.jpg
An unexpected but welcome display of California Golden Poppies on the west slope.
California Golden Poppy photo 4-15-5898_zpseba84fc4.jpg
The Calothamnus villosus begins to bloom.  Nectar drips from the flowers--no wonder the hummingbirds love it.  I had a taste myself--it was discernibly sweet.
Calothamnus villosus photo 4-15-5883_zpsce316220.jpg
While all that beauty displays itself, I'm laboring in a different part of the garden, moving a retaining wall.  It needed adjusting after the addition of the top section of concrete culvert in 2012.  I'd intended to do it last year, but this year proved better because of the snapping off of the large Eucalyptus branch that hung over the area from the neighbor's tree.  Now that the branch is gone, there's more light and less litter there.  I'm glad I was not working there when the tree snapped. 
This area of the garden has changed a lot over the years:
 photo Back2147.jpg
I've ended up using those same concrete blocks over and over again in all sorts of places.  Legos for gardeners.  
 photo demo4.jpg 

 photo ditch6382.jpg 


Not the most fun of garden projects, but easier than digging up a stump.  I need soil to fill in behind the shifted wall.  Since we wanted to flatten out the adjacent area slightly, soil from there is the perfect fill--"perfect" meaning I don't have to lug it far.  
 photo ugly6003_zpse31e5eeb.jpg
There was a large piece of granite to move.  I had to flip it uphill a little at a time.  I tried dragging it on a tarp but it was too heavy.  But easier than digging up a stump. 
 photo ugly6008_zpsbb595152.jpg
I needed breaks from the ugly...
 photo ugly5996_zps8355e277.jpg
The first Dahlias--'Arabian Night':
Dahlia 'Arabian Nights' photo 4-17-5962_zps65066637.jpg
'Duet':
Dahlia 'Duet' photo 4-15-5858_zps55bd82f9.jpg
Clematis 'The President' amidst Euonymus 'Chollipo':
 photo ugly5933_zpsf245ae9c.jpg
Aloe pseudorubroviolacea is almost ready to open:
 photo DSC05926_zpsdfcaad21.jpg
The koi are fine, and hungry:
 photo ugly6009_zps4732ce7d.jpg

 photo ugly6012_zps15917e2b.jpg
Now, as usual, back to work!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Neighborhood Garden Tour (Part 2)


Interrupted by a visit to the Huntington, and Bloom Day.  Back to the tour.  Next stop...
 photo 4-11-5391_zpscfb9b6df.jpg
This charming garden belongs to a family in which every member enjoys creativity and art.  It shows.  

Even the potting bench is beautiful.  
 photo 4-11-5400_zps25be4caf.jpg
Two family members:
 photo 4-11-5404_zpscec81d8b.jpg 

 photo 4-11-5408_zps5e5fe3a3.jpg
Plain black nursery pots made fun by a family painting project.  
 photo 4-11-5409_zps1b15631e.jpg

 photo 4-11-5410_zps44d0da90.jpg   

 photo 4-11-5412_zps56bb6255.jpg
A mature native Oak is the property's botanical highlight.  This is a small part of it.
 photo 4-11-5415_zps1629420b.jpg
Tree with a view.
 photo 4-11-5418_zpsb18dabc4.jpg
Fun portraits of the daughter and son-in-law on display indoors.  
 photo 4-11-5428_zps8ec4189d.jpg
Window view
 photo 4-11-5430_zps0b305d16.jpg 

 photo 4-11-5432_zpse8c9fb6f.jpg
The next and last garden was carefully groomed.  There was only a leaf or two fallen under a row of Eucalyptus. 
 photo 4-11-5436_zps7d9de854.jpg
 A beautiful mature landscape.
 photo 4-11-5438_zpsf646eb5c.jpg

 photo 4-11-5440_zps5588394e.jpg 
 photo 4-11-5441_zps5d81efe0.jpg
Green.
 photo 4-11-5442_zps7d0e5ce2.jpg
We enjoyed an alfresco lunch...
 photo 4-11-5445_zpsdb385770.jpg  
Swooned over the blooming Ceanothus...
 photo 4-11-5446_zps808748ae.jpg
...then it was time to go home.  
 photo 4-11-5447_zps17712ee4.jpg

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Bloom In The Huntington Desert Garden

Gasteria
 Though there are still Aloes blooming in April, the majority are finished, and spring bloomers such as Puyas take over. 
Cericidium x 'Desert Museum'
 photo dg5754_zps6f5fbb71.jpg
The Cericidium yellow competed with the glowing Golden Barrels.
 photo dg5702_zpsdbb592ae.jpg 

 photo dg5689_zpsc59ee7e2.jpg
This Euphorbia was also ablaze.
 photo dg5653_zpsb85387a3.jpg
Dyckia 
 photo dg5755_zps57f874fb.jpg 
Pachycereus marginatus
 photo dgPachycereusMarginatus5764_zpsbb2cfb8f.jpg 
Agave marmorata has particularly bright flowers:
 photo dgMarmorata5749_zps3a794879.jpg 
 photo dg5709_zpsfdda3608.jpg
Flowers all over the Euphorbia millii
 photo dg5649_zpscd922f6a.jpg

 photo hrg5655_zps5dccf8ef.jpg
We counted eight fat hummingbirds fighting over this mass of hybrid Aloe flowers.  
 photo dg5747_zps9b063616.jpg 
And many Puyas were just beginning their floral show.
 photo dg5736_zpsc7c35df1.jpg
That amazing rich deep blue...
 photo dg5733_zps13bb3257.jpg

 photo dgHummer5731_zps8f4d5aab.jpg

 photo dg5726_zps42387f49.jpg
These are enormous--24" (60 cm) tall, at least, on a 10' (3 meter) stalk.
 photo dg5720_zps3933f053.jpg

 photo dg5717_zps9109c2d4.jpg 
   photo dg5719_zps260f1264.jpg An out-of-the-ordinary Erythrina, E. acanthocarpa:
 photo dgErythrinaAcanthocarpa5692_zps470b2991.jpg
House finches on a cactus
 photo dg5699_zpscf4aa2a8.jpg 
How's this for tall? 
  photo dg5674_zps3a569d2e.jpg
In future, I will not hesitate to visit the Desert Garden in April.  There's more to it than Aloes.
 photo dg5675_zps1d73d727.jpg