Sunday, July 27, 2014

Front of House Plants Update

Last May I featured the front of our house and how we've finally taken the time to sort out the potted plants there and make the area tidy. So how is it looking now that it's almost end of July? Let's have a look...


As I've mentioned on our previous blog post the space at the front of our house is tiny and planting possibilities are very limited. And how it remained scruffy and potted plants there were neglected for years as we concentrated at the back garden. Being the face of the house it was about time we sorted it out and put in new plants that will also reflect the type of plants we grow in our back garden.

More importantly from then onwards to actually take care of the plants there rather than neglect them like we did to its previous residents, oops! I'm proud to say that we have been very good and have been on top of watering and weeding the area as necessary... almost anyway (check out my follow up to this below). It does help of course that we have chosen drought tolerant plants that can cope with the south facing aspect with heat radiated by the paving and walls.


The Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata' is starting to look good again after having had a hard trim last May. It is the only plant remaining from the original batch of plants that were here before the makeover.




Sempervivums at the base of the Yucca are bulking up nicely too.


Nolina nelsonii has bulked up since then, is looking more blue as it should be and the new growth seems to be a bit twisty but that is normal for some of them.



The Alliums have done their thing, been and now gone. Either I keep the pot of mulch where it is, stash it away, and put something else. I'm likely to do the last one although I haven't decided what to put in it yet.



Three of the four Agaves have visibly grown too...



Agave montana is filling the pot nicely and has obviously responded well for being in a bigger pot.



Oops, blurred pic! So here's another one...



The person who gave this to me gave me a little pinch for putting in the wrong label for this one. According to him this is Agave atrovirens var. mirabilis, not Agave salmiana var. ferox as I labelled it on my two previous posts. It is doing very well and has bulked up since May. Provided it sails through winter fine this will be a giant one..



Agave ovatifolia is looking good too, and looking even more blue.



So there was three, the fourth one looks like it has barely put on any new growth. Looks like this will be a slow one - Agave parryi var. huachucensis



The Nolina parviflora, well it is growing...

So I said almost above, almost because two of the plants turned out to be not that drought and heat tolerant after all, despite the initial premise that they will be. They all get watered at the same time and fairly regularly too but these two seemed to need a lot more than we were giving. And prepared to give. They can't stay there for long they will have to be replaced.





The two Eryngium agavifolium Giant Form seems to require a lot more water than what it already receives, and/or more sensitive to heat than the rest. Or perhaps it just resents being in a pot, although it's not like it's been in that pot for a long time. I'll be replacing in the next few weeks or so, once I've bought the new plants to take its place. At least the Nolina parviflora at the corner is faring and performing much better.



The two Nerium oleander and Thuja plicata 'Whipcord' are doing very fine, with the oleanders rewarding us with blooms for weeks now.



Pink and Red? Well typical me, picked up two of them from the same batch and assumed the blooms would be the same colour. Only to discover weeks later that they aren't. Nevermind, I'm not fussed with the colour of the bloom anyway as I bought them mainly for their foliage and drought tolerance. It made me smile though once I realised their difference, although my preference would still be for them to be the same.



So there you go, I don't think we've done too bad at all. Next update would be how they will fare over winter. I'm optimistic on that one as this is a more sheltered spot that gets winter sun too. We'll see. Meanwhile I'm the look out for an appropriate replacement for the Alliums and the two Eryngiums.

Mark :-)

24 comments:

  1. Hmm..how very unfortunate about eh Eryngium agavifolium. I have two in my gravel garden, which haven't been watered since the rains ended in mid-June, and they look spectacular. It's possible yours would prefer to be in the ground.

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    1. More likely Alison, I suspect it is resenting being in a pot although I'm surprised how early it has shown resentment when it's only been in a pot for a few months. On the ground I bet it will be absolutely fine, just like yours. Must find a space for it...

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  2. Those Eryngium *are* looking a bit rough! I wonder if Eryngium yuccafolium might be better? Is it too dry for grasses, or is that not the look you're going for?

    You make me miss my oleander now...

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    1. Thanks Alan for reminding me of grasses, somehow they haven't crossed my mind before when some of them would be great candidates for those two pots! Will keep an eye on them too next time we visit a garden centre.

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  3. The blue pots and the matching mulch pull everything together wonderfully. I was surprised to see the oleander - here it grows to the height of a small tree.

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    1. Thanks Kris! Oleanders tend to respond well with pruning and can be kept as a small bush, but they are also a bit hit or miss here, they don't always sail through the winters so will keep an eye on how these two will fare.

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  4. Looks good, loving the matching blue pots and slate.

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  5. Poor eryngiums, but otherwise, great job, still looking smart. I think the different colours of the two oleander look good, actually, and intentional, though part of me wants there to be three...

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    1. If I can find an identical pot I'd put another one Janet, although I suppose the Thuja counts as the third :)

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  6. You've inspired me to riffle through the greenhouse and put some exotic agaves out on show at the front of the house. Just got to get some slate mulch to finish off the look. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. A pleasure Karen, and slate chippings as mulch would be great :)

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  7. Very smart indeed guys. Love the blue pots which set the plants off beautifully and give a taster to what resides in the back garden. Bravo.

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    1. Thanks Paul! I'm glad we kept those blue pots, they so nearly went...

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  8. The brilliant blue of the pots positively vibrates against the brick. I would love to see a wide shot for an overview of the whole look.

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    1. I'm so glad we kept those blue pots Ricki. They so nearly went when we were clearing out late last year. I didn't take any wide shots this time, will try to in the next few days :)

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  9. Lovely front garden. Beautiful plants and pots...love the gravel mulch!

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  10. Like everything you do, these look fantastic! Well, except for those poor eryngiums.:)

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    1. Thanks Peter :) Shame about the Eryngiums, I had high expectations for them..

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  11. Everything looks very nice. It is sad about the eryngiums...but well...I bet there are other plants that will do great.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I'll see what I can do with the Eryngiums if I can rescue them. The only thing is I have to keep them in a pot to do so, but if they hate being in a pot...

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  12. Like Ricki I too found myself wishing for a wide shot, such beautiful plants and pots! (well except for those sad Eryngium agavifolium).

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    1. I'll try to do one over the next few days Loree :) although it's not a big space at all. Will see if I can rescue the Eryngium too, may even find a space for it on the ground.

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