My sore muscles today are payment for a beautiful gardening day yesterday. I puttered about, hefting bags of mulch and decomposed granite, repotting a few containers, planting a couple of mahonias (after 5 months in nursery pots in my back yard — the shame!), pruning, and generally getting things done and getting dirty. At the end of the day I strolled around the garden with my camera, which is when I do my best looking. At other times, my looking mainly involves critiquing and planning. The camera takes all that away (just as it does when I’m shooting other people’s gardens), and I can simply focus on what looks especially pretty or interesting at that moment.
Pictured above is a giant hesperaloe (which Denise wanted to see) and the Berkeley sedge lawn, still mostly green even after our unusually cold winter. Across the street, the cottony blooms of my neighbor’s Bradford pears steal the show.
Walking down the hillside path into the back garden, gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) electrifies the cool twilight. It tends to self-seed along the path, and I enjoy seeing where it will pop up each year.
‘Sharkskin’ agave echoes the blue-green of the gopher plant’s leaves.
Looking back up toward the heart gate, so dubbed for the metal hearts hanging above the gate and another on the other side of the fence.
Across the gravel path, another gopher plant sprawls at the feet of a ‘Blue Ice’ Arizona cypress. A blue gazing ball cradled in the arms of a cedar stump — an idea borrowed from Philip’s garden at East Side Patch — echoes the blue of the tree.
Turning around and looking up at the deck, I see that I have company. Stretchhhh.
Moving down to the main level of the back garden, the stock-tank pond looks decent from this angle.
But from the deck, not so much. In the interest of keeping it real, here’s what the stock-tank pond looks like at the moment, drowning in live oak leaves, which fall all at once in the spring as new leaves emerge. After the leaf drop ends in another week, I’ll do the annual spring cleaning of the pond.
Moving on, back out front to see how my neighbor’s ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), in the garden I planted for her, is doing. It’s grown a lot over the past two years. I’m so grateful the bucks haven’t ravaged it with their antlers, and I wonder whether it’s because a number of fragrant-leaved salvias are growing alongside it. Sadly, my big ‘Green Goblet’ agave was partly ravaged by antlering last fall, so I recently planted a semicircle of Salvia greggii around it, hoping that the salvias will deter the deer next fall.
I was happy to catch the last rays of sunlight brightening the patch of gopher plant and ‘Color Guard’ yucca alongside the driveway.
And for fun, here’s a shot of Buddha Frog, a delightfully humorous Christmas gift from my sister and sister-in-law. He’s meditating on the front porch for now.
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