Monday, November 15, 2010

Foliage? I got Foliage.

I'm definitely enjoying the refreshed looking foliage in the garden right now. We got some rain, washed all the dust of the plants and the little extra water plumped things up again. Fall always feels like spring to me, everything coming out of its dry dormant summer phase. Of course, I don't mind the fall color either.

The Pistache and the Red-barked Maple are coloring up nicely this year. I've got 3 Pistache on one side of my house, plus 1 in my neighbor's parking strip I planted. I can't wait for them to all get big and really put on a show. I wish I could get all the people on my street to plant Pistache. I unfortunately live on one of those streets where the majority of people seem to be scared of street trees. Well, in a few summers when my house is nice and cool from the shade, they'll wish they had them too.

Pistacia chinensisacer 'sango kaku'

I won a weeping Deodar Cedar in a raffle at a recent Garden Conservancy seminar and it seems to have started me off on a conifer craze. I've always disliked conifers but have found myself coming around recently and wanting to use them here and there. Must have been all that time I spent photographing in the San Francisco Botanical Garden's conifer garden during Saxon Holt's class series. Anyway, thank you to Monrovia Nursery for donating the Cedrus deodara 'Feeling Blue' to the raffle!

Cedrus 'Feeling Blue'

I've also recently picked up this curly, chartreuse thing, whose name I'll have to dig out tomorrow, as well as some petite chartreuse Christmas trees.

IMG_7159my golden christmas trees

I was a bit stumped at first when trying to decide what to combine the conifers with but I decided that succulents would work. My first impression was that they wouldn't look right together but I think I'm OK with it.

foliage fest

sedum x adolphii and dianella cassa blue

My Graptopetalum 'Uncrested' has recrested. May have to pull that section out because I prefer them less mutilated looking.

graptopetalum that recrested

I dug out the original Manfreda (from Yucca Do) and every root end must have sprouted a new rosette. I kind of like them now because there are several sprinkled around one area and they look cute in a group.

manfreda sp.

I have a love/hate relationship with this Aloe greatheadii (snicker) spp. davyana. Right now I love it.

aloe greatheadii davyanaaloe greatheadii davyana

And I can't get enough of my Parthenocissus henryana. So lovely.

parthenocissus henryana

The spider-webby Eryngium venustum:

eryngium venustum

Delicate looking Dicentra scandens. Tried to rip it out at one point, couldn't, now I love it.

dicentra scandens

And my Beschorneria from Annie's is settling in nicely.


Here it is coming home with me:

beschy is my copilot

Thank you to Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow Up!


  1. Kelly your garden is amazing! Beautiful plants and fabulous pictures. Maybe someday you'll give us a little virtual photo tour?

  2. I love the succulents. So jealous of your California plants! I almost bought one of those lime green Monterrey cypress trees too, but I decided it might have issues in Missouri climate even tho the tag said it would be hardy here. I'm not sure I have space to grow a tree that size either, though it might work in a pot.

  3. That parthenocissus is spectacular and had me checking out its zone range. And the photo of your car cracked me up. Who needs a truck?

  4. Danger Garden- I should back it up a bit and show the garden in context. It is a small urban garden and I usually go for the closeups because there is a lot of other busyness when I try for wider shots. But I'll just consider it a challenge for my photography. :)

    Sandy - I don't know what I would do if I couldn't garden in CA! I have no idea how big those chartreuse conifers are going to get. I planned to stick them into mixed container plantings once Christmas is past.

    Denise - I need a truck!

  5. Gah! Too much gorgeousness! I gazed at your lovely succulent/conifer container combo for several minutes, and I love the Parthenocissus henryana too. Love it all, actually.

  6. Your photos are wonderful. I know exactly what you mean about photographing a small urban garden, macros do keep it more interesting. I am happy to say that more and more commercial landscapers are using Pistache here. The fall color is consistantly fantastic and the tree can take a lot of abuse.

  7. Hello,
    I love your blog. I think the curly thing might be Cryptomeria japonica 'spiralis'.
    I beautiful and hard to find plant here in Victoria BC.

  8. Pam- Thanks so much!

    Les - I would have to say Pistache may be the perfect deciduous tree for small gardens, especially dry gardens. Although, no showy blooms but I'd rather have the fall color.

    Jessica - I think you're right about the Cryptomeria. I went to look for the label but couldn't find it but an image internet search leads me to believe you guessed it!

  9. I don't know most of your plants (and what I do, like the lemon cypress, are houseplants for me) but I LOVE your foliage combinations! Can't wait to check out more of your blog... thanks for posting the link on Pam's site.

  10. Hi Kelly,
    Just found your blog. Nice work. Not sure if you remember me but I was one of Suzanne Arca's plant I.D. students some years ago when you worked with her, seen you at various succulent plant shows at SFBG, and at Annies. I love what you have to share...continued success!

  11. Hi Hank! Of course I remember you. Hope to see you again soon!


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