Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wide shots: March 2014

We finally got some real rain!  My rain gauge shows 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) thus far with more rain predicted through today.  There were worries about the soil's ability to absorb so much rain at one time in many areas, most notably those to the east impacted by last month's fires, but we've had no problems here.  The air is fresher than it has been in months and, when the rain paused and the sunlight filtered briefly through the clouds, I took Ming out for a walk and snapped some photos for this month's wide shots post.

I'll start as usual with the backyard.  The biggest change is that we finished digging up a large section of lawn to create a new border stretching from the fountain area to the side yard border.  I managed to get a few plants in the ground before the rain came but the area is still mostly empty.  However, once we dry out a bit, I plant to go to get to work shopping the local nurseries and planting, planting, planting.

This is the usual view of the backyard from the back door, looking out toward the harbor.  You can see the new Japanese maple, Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa' and a few other things planted in the new border that follows the paved walkway.

The back border, photographed from the left side

The back borders, photographed from the right side


The biggest changes to the side yard since last month's post are the addition of a new Japanese maple (barely visible in my photos) and 2 pots that mark the transition from the flagstone path in the side yard to the wide grass pathway that occupies the space between the old backyard border and the new, as yet largely unplanted, border.

Side yard, photographed from the front yard lawn looking toward the backyard

The side yard photographed from the small side yard patio.  I put Euphorbia 'Dean's Hybrid' in the 2 new pots and plan to add succulents.

Side yard, photographed from a lower dirt path.  The Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' that replaced the Driyms lanceolata (mountain pepper) in this bed can be seen on the far left - it's still little more than a stick.



I've added a few plants, 2 additional Coleonema and 4 Argyranthemum to the front border, but that space otherwise remains the same.  The shrub roses are not yet blooming, although I suspect they will be before my April post.

Front yard photographed from the entrance to the driveway

Left side of front lawn and border

Right side of front lawn and border



This month, I added a photo of the hedge on the far right side of our property, fronting the street.  I pruned this hedge within an inch of its life in January.  All but one of the shrubs that make up the hedge, which I think are Pittosporum eugenioides, are showing signs of new growth.  Still, they have a long way to go before they again provide an effective screen.

The shrub on the far left appeared dead before I started pruning and it's the only one that has yet to produce any new growth.  It may have to be removed and replaced.



There's nothing new in the vegetable garden to speak of.   The sweet peas in the third raised planter have lots of foliage and some buds but have yet to produce a single bloom.  However, the Mandarin oranges are ripe!




The dry garden, which I've barely watered since our state's drought emergency was announced in January, has really appreciated the rain.  The tree in the foreground on the right is still laden with ripe guavas but the squirrels and the raccoons are making some headway in carrying the fruit away.

Dry garden, photographed from the paved walkway leading to the vegetable garden

Ming photobombing this picture of the dry garden taken from the backyard



That's it for my monthly overview of the garden.  I didn't venture down the slope this month as it's muddy there at the moment.

16 comments:

  1. Don't you just love the phrase 'The mandarin oranges are ripe!' - I'm salivating at the thought Kris :)
    How good does your lawns look, they must have really enjoyed the rainfall. As usual your garden is immaculate and a real credit to your hard work.

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    1. Thanks, Angie, but if you saw my lawn up close you wouldn't be impressed. It's ridden with weeds and crabgrass, especially up front under the Magnolia tree. I'm quite frustrated with the lawn, which is part of the reason I keep taking out more and more...

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  2. Guavas, mandarin oranges, a gorgeous garden, sounds and looks dreamy Kris!

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    1. Thanks, Mark & Gaz! Every year, I think it's becoming more and more my garden (as opposed to the creation of prior owners).

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  3. Your garden looks wonderful. What is the tree with the gorgeous bark on the last picture?

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    1. That's an Arbutus 'Marina,' Chloris. I'm lucky to have inherited 5 of them with the house and garden. It's a great all-around plant/tree - it has good-looking bark, is drought-tolerant, and bears attractive flowers that the hummingbirds love for most of the year.

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  4. I enjoyed seeing your wide shots this month. Your garden looks pretty good despite your lack of rain. Is that an Arbutus on the right in your last photo? Whatever it is, it has lovely red limbs.

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    1. Yes, it's an Arbutus 'Marina.' Since it got a good trim in January, it's flaunting its red limbs.

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  5. It has grown well and become much greener in your garden!
    How nice it is!
    Like the new division with grass and flowers.
    Read your older posts because I've missed some.
    regards
    Mariana

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    1. The rain we've had makes everything look green again, Mariana!

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  6. Oh my-these pictures are just a feast for my winter weary eyes today! C'mon spring!

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    1. The winter you and much of the US has experienced this year sometimes seems like a horror movie - or that Bill Murray flick, 'Groundhog's Day.' I hope spring shows up soon, Sue. I'd like to see your beautiful garden again.

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  7. I love the new grass path and bed! Your garden is so huge and beautiful. Is that a manzanita in the right side of the last photo? My garden is covered in 8" of new snow. I'll take some of your sunshine and warmth in exchange for some of our precip. :o)

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  8. No, it's an Arbutus 'Marina' but it has the same red limbs of some Manzanita. Wouldn't it be something if we could broker weather trade-offs?

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  9. Wow~ your gardens are so lush and colorful right now. Everything looks incredible. I am especially in love with how full your side yard is looking - it wasn't that long ago you created it, right???? What is the tree with the red flowers in it? Cheers to the new border and I also love your little "lawn rugs" you have throughout...they pack a punch!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Heather, and for hosting the wide shots meme! You're right - I began planting the side yard borders in September and they've filled in pretty well, despite obstructive behavior on the part of the resident raccoons. I think the tree you're referring to is the Bauhinia x blakeana (aka the Hong Kong orchid tree).

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