Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Landscape Progress: Backyard

Our nearly floor to ceiling living room windows look out onto a narrow breezeway that leads from the driveway to our backyard. Because it's such a high profile area, it was one of the first backyard projects I tackled last year.

As was most of the yard, the long planter bed was waist deep in overgrown succulents and geranium plants.  I couldn't wait to tear it all out and give it a contemporary facelift and in my haste, I forgot to snap a proper "before" photo to share with you.  You'll just have to take my word for it-- it was a hot mess.

So one mild weekend in January 2011, I worked over the soil and began the transformation.

I like the clean visual that comes with mass plantings and we've used (and will use more of) them throughout our landscaping endeavors thus far. You get a lot of impact and it can often be a less expensive option vs. layering a bed up with a bunch of different types of plants.

One of the first things I went for were these Kangaroo Paws. I love them for their height and their color, but also was thinking ahead to the day when the plants will be mature and yield some cuttings for indoor floral arrangements. Though the color will probably vary, these drought tolerant plants will likely make an appearance in other areas around Holtwood House this Spring.

I added Mexican Feather Grass in and around the Kangaroo Paw and polished off the look with pea gravel around the plantings. And that friends is how it sat for the last year as the plants have slowly taken root. We got a single shoot off each plant for the whole of a year and then nothing... until the New Year delivered a happy little surprise. Lots and lots of shoots.

The Paws reach nearly 4 feet high and are a spectacular little display, but still don't offer some of the fence coverage I was hoping for. I found a couple of Pink Jasmine Vines (white fragrant flowers) during my trip to Roger's on Sunday and placed them up against the fence. The vine's leaves are compact enough to compliment our modern xeriscape, but will trail up the fence nicely and hopefully give us a little more "show" through the window panes.


Jackie said...

Love Kangaroo Paw! It looks great with the grasses you planted next to it too.

Erin said...

Thanks Jackie! It's taken a while for it all to fill in, but I'm loving the way it's looking too.

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