Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekly Front Garden - 09/09/2012 and future plans

It's been a while since I posted a picture of my front garden - I was trying to do it every week. And while I have been taking pictures (mostly), I haven't been posting them because, well, they got a little boring!

Here is the garden back in July (07/24/2012):
07/24/2012 Front Garden - before the real heat of summer
And here is it this week (09/09/2012):
09/09/2012 - After the first few heat waves, and several prolonged absences
They're the same! That clump of Mexican Feathergrass is still split down the middle, the blue fescue to the right of it is still more grey rather than blue, and the colors are the same - blue, green and yellow/straw (is straw a color?). The turf grass is the September picture looks better only because it's longer and needs to be mowed...

Some of the plants under the window have started to grow in:
A clump of glads and iris, pink muhly and society garlic...
Except those glads and irises have rarely bloomed for me (never for the iris) and the pink muhly still looks so wispy, it has no presence... It will in a few more months though!

So obviously some changes are needed! And October is coming, which means I'll be able to do a little planting when it's less hot. Here are some things I'm considering, based on what has worked in the back gardens:

Purple fountain grass, Optunia and a Coreopsis (badly in need of dead-heading)
The purple fountain grass might be hardy here, and could replace a clump of the Mexican feather grass. The clump that's split I'm thinking of replacing with a Phormium, preferably one of the pretty ones like I saw at the Getty a few weeks ago (pictures coming soon!). And I'd like to replace some of the non-performing flowers with Coreopsis and maybe a Penstemon - they're supposed to do well here.

And then there is this whole area:
Besides a good weeding, and a hacking back of the (bloomed-out) clump of Oenothera speciosa, it needs a little something - maybe a clump of Optunia along the back wall? This area gets almost no supplemental water except for the tree and the rosebush, and overspray from the neighbor's lawn...

Some of these changes will have to wait until Spring, when more plants are available and the weather is nicer, but next year it should all look a lot nicer... and Winter will be spent planning!


  1. That's not bad at all, considering summer and all. I've never had luck with Blue Fescue after a few years, even on a north exposure with good water. Tried one of the cultivars of Little Bluestem to get that color? It seems tougher, at least here.

    1. I've never found a local source of little bluestem, which is too bad because I'd love to try it. I usually end up dividing the blue fescue every year or so. Maybe I'll try to find either a mail order or (glup) seeds for the bluestem next spring.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Nice. I thought everything would be much browner after the heat of your summer! Would it work to put an agave or three in the foreground of the tree/rose area with opuntias behind?

    1. I like your idea! I've been looking for a spot to put a nice big A. americana or something like it, and that might work really well with some optunias. Plus if I ever get my act together with a stone mulch, that would be even nicer!

      The green-ness isn't natural, I'm afraid. I do use automatic sprinklers, although everything except the lawn is down to 5 minutes every other day...

      Thanks for your comment!


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