Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Its so Embarrassing…..


Yes, we gardeners have dirty secrets hidden and not always willing to admit, but I’ll let you in on my secret if it will prompt me to really make changes and soon!


I must confess, I would have never mentioned this if not for the fact that I had a big Christmas party and it was obvious to all my guest that came early before night fall -  what a sorry view and state things had become. What is it you may ask? Well if you take a look beyond the Christmas decorations - the view directly into the side yard is completely horrendous and looking directly into my neighbors driveway.

Fortunately, most of the event was in the evening so it was hard to see beyond the dark windows, but take a look. Here is the view during the daytime from the dining room.


Ah, I’ve lived with this view for quite awhile and never done anything about it….shameful isn’t it? It just keeps getting worse with junk trees, huge piles of sleeping grass, intertwined weeds and tall cane grass and who knows what else in this pile of green.

Always making excuses and too busy to acknowledge this real eyesore, I just chalked it up as a storage area and staging place for my potted plants.

The problem is I had to walk this route almost every time I wanted to go to the back yard, making it a depressing experience.


But let me say, in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to make this side garden and the view from my dining room more lush, tropical and screened for privacy. I’m almost embarrassed to say I’ve never done anything to this eyesore until I finally decided to take out the Satellite dishes and opt for ones on the roof, leaving me an open area and exposing my neighbors dull front yard as my viewing area.

So now I’m ready to take in this challenge and start making changes and my potted plants below are ready to be planted into their new space.

Here are some of the choices below that will fill this huge 15 x 75 foot space.

I have some lovely potted palms including this red sealing wax palm -
Cyrtostachys renda


I’m really fond of Acalyphas, this one is called inferno firestorm. They are like japanese maples, but the tropical version that can be grown in humid environments. Don't these look like a maple to you?


I have some potted white bauhinias on this yard, hopefully I can yank them out from their pot bound roots at this junction.


Of course I do have a variety of variegated ti plants, this one has a beautiful flowered spike blooming at the moment.


Another favorite ginger plant, this alpinia called Vittata is used ornamentally for its foliage, the flowers are small and insignificant.


I have propagated a few more of these pink medinellas and I think they can make a nice tall screen from the neighbors driveway.


This very large yellow hibiscus is against the front door and is already hitting the eaves. I think its time to move this large guy if it isn’t too late already. Fortunately, I’m not afraid of making big moves like this.


I love this variegated green and white gardenia shrub, it has small but sweetly scented flowers.
Here is a close up of the leaves below,  pretty isn't it?


Another favorite plant is this red smoke bush tree - cotinus coggygria. They grow so well in this area and are very easy to propagate. This one is propagated into a one gallon container is ready to be planted in full sun!


So you can see, I do have some favorites that can cover the area, now how to start and what to tackle first.

Well that’s where I’m open to any and all suggestions on what would work in this large space. I’m open to hearing any suggestions from all my gardening friends and gardening wanna be’s…please help. How can I make this side garden shine – I do have some ideas but want to get more ideas from all my gardening friends

...come on now don’t be shy!


The Sage Butterfly said...

I like your choices for the garden. I have had a bed or two get unruly when I have been busy with other things. I look forward to seeing the end product.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Don't be embarrassed, we all have areas like that in the garden. Some of us have more than one eyesore to contend with! ;) It's a shame the Acalyphas isn't somewhat taller. I'd be tempted to focus on your view through that window first. The Acalyphas has a nice foliage color contrast for all the green in your window view, but something a little taller, to help break up the view of the neighbor's house, and add a splash of color, would look nice. I know the challenge will be the width of the space. Perhaps the Hibiscus would fit there? I wish I was better versed in tropical plants, maybe I could be more help. I'll be interested to see what you plant!

Donna@GWGT said...

It really looks like you are more organized than you think. Your plant choices look great to me, but I know the growing specifications of so few of them. Looks like an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Andrea said...

Hi Noel, i am sure a lot of gardeners share your circumstances. At least you have the time to make new arrangements. I agree they are already big for change and they might really suffer some die back, so you are obliged to prune because their roots will be cut and stressed, so fewer leaves will limit water loss. That one you said is mandevillea, is actually a medenilla our 'kapa-kapa' here in the country. I bet you will have body aches all over when you finish that job. LOL. Singing while working will lessen your stress!

Diana Studer said...

How clever you are to find such a beautiful tropical substitute for a Japanese maple. That and the Cotinus give you a wonderful dramatic focus. Me like!

Yesterday our gardener ripped out all the kikuyu runners under the fig trees. It is now clean and tidy - sob, some people are never happy ;¬(( We need straw mulch, and in autumn I'll rethink underplanting.

HolleyGarden said...

We all have those embarrassing areas. I just try not to show mine very often! I do like your plant choices, but can't really help you. I hope inspiration hits and you suddenly know exactly what you want to do in that area.

Indie said...

Some lovely plants - I love the variegated gardeniaQ Alas, we all have those neglected corners that are just hard to deal with. Side gardens are actually one of my favorite gardens to plan, maybe because they are smaller and less overwhelming and I just love paths. There are certain parts of the yard not near a path that are much harder for me and shall remain unphotographed for the time being...
Good luck!

Helen/patientgardener said...

How exciting - love a project and you have such a wonderful selection of plants to choose from. Looking forward to seeing your progress

Bom said...

Wonderful choices Noel. This post is actually inspiring for gardeners with secrets or is is secret gardens? You will keep us updated on this won't you? I've come across several blogs today with plans for the future. I like how exciting it is to have something to look forward to even if it is not your own garden. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Your medinillas are so lush and blooming so profusely. I tried planting them twice but they did not survive.

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