Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Another Garden Walk!

The Front Garden

It'll be a shorter walk and more of a stroll, actually.  The front garden is much smaller than the back.  Enter through the gap you see, between the bed of osteospermum on the left and the lantana border on the right. 

The lantana, bordering the sidewalk is full of flowers; some osteospermum plants self-seeded themselves among them, and I have allowed them to grow.  This might evolve into a mixed border, eventually, especially as there are two jade plants at the far end of the border (there were three, but, one died).

Lantana  Border

The succulents border is along the sidewall/fence and has several aloe plants, euphorbia, and aeoniums growing.  M has been sharing cuttings from his garden to help fill in my collection:

Aloe Plants

Euphorbia and Aeonium

Another Look

It is my hope that the Euphorbia tirucalli (with green pencil like branches) will grow tall and provide more privacy, over the years.

When you reach the end of the succulents border and turn, again, you see the plantings under the living room window:

Planting Bed Under the Living Room Window
This window faces west and gets the full blast of the late afternoon/evening sun, especially in the summer.  I have struggled to grow any plants as the reflected heat from the window burns the leaves and flowers.  A couple of years ago, M planted cuttings of the Euphorbia tirucalli to see how they will fare.  I've got cuttings of this plant growing everywhere, as it is so easy to grow and it seems to thrive in my garden!  It is not the more colorful "Sticks on Fire" (E. tirucalli "Rosea"), which is currently very popular, here, but, I don't mind.  Like Kermit, I like green!  

In the corner of this planting bed, I planted a few of the aeonium cuttings one of my former supervisors (K) gave me from her garden a few years ago and they have filled in the area!  Some of those rosettes are bigger than a dinner plate!  Unfortunately, this plant does get scorched during the really hot days of late summer/early fall, but, it recovers over winter.  I might take a few cuttings from this plant, to plant elsewhere in the garden:


In the middle of the garden, in front of the living room window, is another planting circle: 

Aloe and Aeonium in the Planting Circle
M originally planted cuttings of aloe plants from his garden in a circle with a different plant in the middle.  The plant in the middle and a few of the other aloe cuttings didn't make it.  But, the aeonium cuttings K gave are thriving!  We had to make the circle bigger, to accommodate them and M brought me a few more variegated aeonium cuttings to fill in a few bare spots.  These aeoniums, too, get scorched on those days when the temperatures soar about 100F, but, they, too, recover:

Continuing our walk along the front of the house, this is the flower bed along the walkway to the front door:

The osteospermum seems to have taken it over, although, there are a few other plants growing, in there, among them, including the red climbing rose, a jasmine vine, and the pomegranate tree!  A few of the gladioli bulbs are also starting to come up, through them!

The Jasmine Vine
The jasmine vine has almost finished flowering.  I need to pull the tendrils down to prevent them from going up the roof!  This poor jasmine plant has a long history.  My mother bought the original plant to go in front of the living room window.  She had M construct a long trellis, spanning the width of the window, out of PVC piping with a mesh wire over the top to support the weight of the vine and it grew, just like everything else she planted, into a lush vine full of fragrant flowers.  Then, a few years later, when I did the family room and second bathroom addition, I needed to replace the plumbing throughout the house and, guess where the connection from the house to the mains was?  Right where the jasmine vine trellis was!  The vine had to be cut down and dug up and the trellis dismantled in order for the guys to dig up the front garden to replace the water pipes!

My mother was not pleased, but, we moved the dug up plant to the back garden, set up a modified trellis along the side wall, behind the garden shed, and the jasmine vine thrived there, even after my mother died.  Until the drought years, when it, too, died.  I was so sad when that happened.  Fast forward a couple of years and, one day, I noticed a green tendril poking out from a tangle of plants growing behind the garden shed!  Was it?  Could it possibly be?  Yes!  It was!  It was a jasmine plant!  Somehow, deep under the ground, one of the roots of the jasmine plant had survived and remained dormant until there was enough rain to reach it and it grew a new plant!  I had M dig it up and we planted it in a pot, but, then, one of the garden cats decided the flower pot made an ideal bed and broke the plant!  But, it survived and M and I planted it here, to go up along this trellis, in the front, again.  Maybe not exactly where my mother envisioned it would grow, but, away from the water pipes!  I am hoping it will continue to grow and thrive just as the original plant did for my mother.

Not only that!  Another rainy winter and I have seen another jasmine vine growing in the back, behind the shed!  I am leaving it in place, for the time being.  Maybe M can dig it up, too, later, and we'll have two jasmine plants!  And this is why M and I have a running joke between us that my mother's spirit is still at work in the garden! 

Elsewhere in the front garden, the euryops plants (planted in early February) are coming along nicely:

Euryops Plants
They were planted in a sort of semi-circle around the eucalyptus tree, and M also planted three white iris bulbs closer to the base of the eucalyptus tree and they are just starting to sprout!

White Iris Bulbs
These bulbs come with a 'pedigree', being extras from the garden of a sibling of a TV personality!  M is a gardener to the stars!  LOL!

Finally, we come to the planting bed along the drive way.  It is, a mixed border, that is currently mostly osteospermum!  I tried growing roses, here, but, almost all of them died, except for a single burgundy iceberg rose plant; I tried growing a bed of lavender and, again, all but one plant died; I planted thyme, oregano, parsley, and rosemary, and only the rosemary survived.  In the meantime, the osteospermum self-seeded and spread and continues to spread!  I am letting it spread, too, because it brings flowers to the front garden!

Rosemary Plant (and osteospermum seedlings)

Burgundy Iceberg Rose Plant

Lavender Plant

Osteospermum Seedlings

And, last but not least, the pomegranate tree, a gift from the monks at the Temple when I first bought the house, just starting to flower:

Pomegranate Flower
With the promise of more to come:

Pomegranate Flower Buds
Thank you for coming with me for a walk around the front garden with a side detour of a stroll down a memory lane, as well!   I hope you enjoyed it. 


  1. Wow you have really beautiful gardens - front and back! I love all the colourful flowers. How very lucky you are! The grass is finally starting to grow back here and there are some buds on the trees, but we are a long way off really nice flowers!

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Spring is the best time of the year for my garden because the temperatures are so mild. But, maybe this year, I can grow some zinnias or something that can tolerate the heat. I hope it warms up quickly and you'll have an abundance of pretty flowers, soon. :) (Are you still planning to visit your Mum over the summer?)

  2. You have very beautiful plants. I hope the jasmine vine grows again, and fills up the trellis.
    You are lucky to have a great gardener friend. It looks like a lot of work to maintain, both the front and the back gardens.

    I tried growing euryops, but they died. The front of my home faces west, and it’s very sunny. I can’t find nice flowers for the hanging pots by the front door, they all eventually die. And because of my laziness, I try to find plants that don’t need a lot of care. I’m not sure if such plants exist. 😁

    Thank you for the tour Bless. I really enjoyed it. 😊

    1. Thank you, Nil. Glad you enjoyed the tour and, yes, I'm very grateful for M's help with the garden. :)

      I'm sorry your euryops died. As for your hanging pots, maybe you can try growing some succulents in them? I've seen some planters with trailing succulents growing in them to give them some interest. My front garden has both south and west exposures, so it is very sunny from late morning till sunset!

  3. Your garden and plants are just beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Anne; I appreciate you saying that.

  4. Such wonderful variety, but I especially love the aeonium in the planting circle. I never realised just how large your garden was, so it's reassuring to know you have M there to help you with it. Love that you have 'pedigree' bulbs :)

    1. Thank you, Jules. I plan to make better use of my garden space to grow some vegetables, this year. Glad you like my 'pedigree' bulbs! :D

  5. I'm not a good gardener, but I have rosemary that started in a tiny pot from a supermarket in 1984. I have lived in 7 houses since, and rosemary bushes grown from that little pot were left in all the gardens when I moved on. Now my daughters have gardens, I must ask if they want cuttings.

    1. You must have a green thumb in order to grow rosemary from cuttings, Angela, for I have tried and failed, each time! My mother grew a bush from a cutting and that is still there, in the back garden. Maybe you'll share your tips on how you grow them?

  6. Your garden is much bigger than I'd thought. You have a lovely variety of plants despite the difficulties presented by the heat and drought. I especially like that your mum's jasmine jasmine is still there for you.

    I need to find an M for myself!

    1. Thank you, Eileen. It's funny, I never considered my garden to be all that big! But, it deserves to have more care lavished on it than I have been giving it. This was going to be the year I was going to do it. Well, I'll start with what seeds I still have and cuttings I can take and go on from there. :)

      Oh, I do hope you can find an M for yourself! He has been such a help!

  7. Such a lovely walk around your garden; thank you for sharing! To go for a walk in the countryside, we first need to drive there as it's a little too far to walk to the starting point. I'm fed up now with walking around the estate and looking at everyone's garden, so it was nice to see yours today!

    1. Thank you, Eloise. Glad you enjoyed the walk around my garden. :)

  8. What a nice front yard you have. Just bursting with life and stories - which makes it even more special.

    You are the Queen of the Osteospermum! Such lush plants and babies galore. They are obviously happy in your front yard.

    1. Thank you, Debra. It's the stories that make the garden such a special place for me. Some plants were purchased from a nursery or even the dollar store, of course, but, others have been gifts or cuttings from friends and neighbors and a walk in the garden is almost as good as a visit with them!

      Ha, ha, it looks like that, doesn't it? I have some osteospermum seedlings growing in the back yard, too, but, it seems that they prefer the front yard! One or two have started to grow in the middle of the yard, and, I am letting them grow! I might not be able to grow any grass in the front, but, I shall grow flowers, instead! LOL.

  9. Your garden views get prettier and prettier- I am especially fond of lantana, and I love the way you have managed to use it there- I too have 'bits and pieces' that started life as cuttings from my mother's gardens in Georgia (waaaay long ago) ... climbing roses and jasmine to name two, and those not only look and smell wonderful but bring back memories-one day, when all this madness ends and I am 'home again' I look forward to wonderful hours getting things back in order- in the meanwhile, I am looking forward to getting the yards cut here at Paige's- I just walked through some of the overgrown weeds etc and had to bypass thistles that have grown taller than I am- strange thing, thistles ... they are so invasive and have such wicked thorns and prickles, but they are also strangely beautiful-
    ...and geez, it looks like rain again-
    I think the garbanzo beans were a success ...Jamie loved them- I think I need to work more on the seasoning though- I don't think that what we get as 'curry powder' has any authenticity- you write about picking and using curry leaves, something I am unfamiliar with- all suggestions welcomed-
    Do continue to take care of yourself- seeing your 2cents' worth daily is a much anticipated joy-
    As always, fondest wishes-

    1. Thank you, Barb. Spring is the best season for my garden, I think, as the temperatures are mild and things grow well, especially if we've had rain. I'm glad you have plants that grew from cuttings from your mother's gardens. Have you taken cuttings from those plants for your daughters' gardens?

      I like thistles! I like how they look and they tolerate heat and neglect! In fact, M brought me something called a blue thistle seedling, but, I managed to kill it! I'm very good at killing plants!

      Curry powder, as you probably know, is a blend of spices; the base is corriander, cumin, and fennel seeds with smaller amounts of other spices added to it. Maybe, one of these days, I will post my curry powder recipe. As for curry leaves, bay leaves can be substituted or, you can omit the curry leaves altogether. If you want more heat, add some chili powder or cut up green chilies. Sometimes, I omit the curry powder, entirely, and just make the boiled garbanzo beans with sauteed mustard seeds, onions, chilies, and, yes, curry leaves since I have them, to eat as a snack. In Sri Lanka, this used to often be served with fresh coconut flakes on top! :)

      Thank you for the kind comments about the blog. I'm glad you enjoy reading my daily accounts of what is, after all, a very ordinary retired woman's life! :D But, I do like to offer my 2 cents' worth, so, it's good to know that you enjoy it. :)

  10. I love the border against the walk-way!

  11. What a lovely selection of plants and flowers you have in the front garden! I love the story of the jasmine plant's survival. I think your mother really is watching over you and this is one way of showing you.

    The sun is out, but it is very cold, around freezing when we got up and the wind just doesn't give up! I'm feeling quite reclusive and even the idea of a trip to empty the kitchen veggie scraps into the compost bin seems almost like a polar excursion. But I will bundle up, and probably go for the mail, too, as the local newspaper is out today and should be in the mailbox.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I checked on the second jasmine vine, today, and it is pushing its way through a tangle of several plants, but, doing well. I need to talk M into tidying up that area and seeing what we can do to rescue that plant!

      Ooh, it sounds cold! Bundle up warmly when you do go out!

  12. I always enjoy a tour of your gardens for several reasons. They are very pretty and full of "exotic" plants to me. And I can tell that you love your plants and their stories. That's the best.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. You have a gift of saying the nicest things. :) Yes, I do love my plants and so many of them do have stories attached to them. :)


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