Monday, July 16, 2012

Foliage Follow Up in July

After Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, its always good to look at all the foliage in the garden too, especially when the crazy weather has been causing issues in the garden.

One of my goals for this first year was to find a way to make the garden look "lush", even in the desert and summer heat. My solution seems to be working - plant vining vegetables and fruits! The water melon ('Sugar baby') seems to be doing really well:
The Optunia is having some problems - the wind blew it over! The watermelon hasn't tried to climb it yet...
The Feathery Cassia (Senna artemidiolides) is trying to out-grow the watermelon, I think:
It's put on a lot of new growth lately - and I've been keeping the watermelon off it.
It's open leaf structure and feathery look means it will shrug off the desert heat once it's established.

The yellow watermelon, next to the Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) and Yucca rostrata is also contributing to a look of lushness:
Two different views - and I found my first yellow watermelon while taking these pictures.
The Vitex is actually blooming, but the blossoms are so washed out, you can't see them.
Even if this pea plant never produces peas, it's adding an excellent lush, vertical accent to the garden:
Pea plant, with A. parryi, Salvia gregii and more watermelon in the background.
The Optunia macrocentra is also looking lush, in its own spiny way:
It's making more blooms and more pads. Not more giant spines yet though...
and this picture of the spine imprints on my Agave bovicornuta (? - I think) is too pretty not to share:
my not so good picture doesn't really do it justice...
Several of the grasses are growing in too - I love purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')
This one was dancing in the wind as I was trying to take its picture
But I can't figure out if it's hardy here or not... too much conflicting information. But I'll find out this year! The Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) in the back garden is also growing in. I love the contrast of yellow and green:
This one was planted this year - it's amazing to see how much its grown!
Both the back and the front gardens' dry stream beds have pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris). I like how different it looks in different spots:
From left: first year in the back garden, in the front garden, full sun with last year's blooms left on and last, in the front garden, in part sun...
But sadly, the heat got to one of my hostas:
Blurry picture, but you get the idea. It only got worse today...
It will come back next year. The funny thing is that this one gets more shade than the other one, and that one is fine-ish.

The warm weather has been good for some of the houseplants, which get to come outside (when it's not crazy windy). I think this is Monstera deliciosa, which has to be one of the funnier latin plant names:
I now call this plant the delicious monster!
It just recently got moved to that giant pot (post coming soon), and really seems to like it. I love it's giant leaves, which are starting to develop the characteristics "splits". Sadly the giant leaves tend to break in our crazy winds, so I have to lug that pot in and out every day...

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is also making new foliage, which are super shiny:
5 new stems help to balance out the plant again.
It also seems to like its new home from Earlier this year.

Finally, there's the foliage on this plant; Chlorophytum amaniense, or Mandarine Plant:
It's orange! And rarely needs watering or much of anything, really...
I love the orange color on the leaf stalks... Even in house plants, foliage is really the backbone of the (indoor) garden!

To see more beautiful foliage, go to Pam at Digging and see all the links to other bloggers' gardens.


  1. Grasses and succulents make great drought-tolerant foliage plants. Do you have any sedums? They work really well too, I have some that are trying to take over the beds they're in. I love the imprint on your agave.

    1. I do have some sedums (S. rupestre and S. spectabile), but the S. spectabile is still establishing itself and not looking too great. And it's getting swallowed alive by the watermelon! But maybe by next month, they'll be looking a little bit better and ready for a picture.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Your yuccas, agaves, and grasses look happy and even lush. I rely on those too. Forget those thirsty hostas. But what's really cool is that silvery watermelon vine. I had no idea its foliage looked like that. Lovely!

    1. Thanks! I'm very surprised the watermelon worked out as well as it did. I'll have to wait and see what they taste like...

      The hosta's are definitly not working out. but that just gives me an opportunity to go do some plant research for next spring!


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