Monday, May 30, 2011

Wrong Way done right

The area behind the Wrong Way sign has been a bit of a mess for a while. After the Cannas were infected with Canna virus we had to throw them all out, which left some Gaillardias and some Watsonias. Spring reminded me that the Watsonias were mostly white ones when they flowered - they need to go to the left bed. But what other plants could go in that spot? The directives were a) xeric or very drought tolerant, b) bright colored if possible c) no taller than 4' high to preserve the line of sight for drivers exiting the freeway.

I'd recently planted a Coprosma there, and Janet moved out Banksia spinulosa over there too. And today Matt and I went by the Flora Grubb sale and we just went for it. We bought:

1 large red Phormium "Guardsman"
3 Elymus magellanicus
1 Agave gypsophila
1 Aloe tomentosa (with three heads - we can divide it!)
1 Arctotis "Burgundy"

These plants make a great rich red and silvery combination. We got back to the garden and started by ripping out a bunch of Gaillardias and Watsonias - that felt good! The stage was set.

We placed the plants we'd bought in various areas, then we hunted through the plants in the back area and added to that group:

1 Agave lophantha
1 Agave salmiana ssp. crassispina
5 Agave parryii
1 Euphorbia "Excalibur"
14 Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
5 Aeonium arboreum "Atropurpureum"
2 Aeonium arborium "Zwartkop"

With all these ready to go we started planting. After a few hours all 36 plants were watered in, and we cleaned up and built a fresh new twig border with the lovely branches Deric and Kome gave us. We even gave some Watsonias that were left over to a nice couple from Fremont who were visiting the garden.

Done! I'm really pleased with how it all looks, and it'll all grow in and be beautiful AND low maintenance, I hope. I've decided to add a few Artemisias around the base of the Phormium and Agave lophantha to pick up the silvery theme too - might try rooting up my own.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I planted some Portulaca grandiflora (Moss-rose Purslane) in the bright bed last week, At $6 for 18 plants from Home Despot these sunny, heat-loving little annuals should fill in the front of that bed nicely.

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