Had it not been so hot, I probably would have had to turn down the invitation to see Greg’s garden, but thanks to the timing of a miserable heatwave, the event was moved to the cooler hours of evening. Yeay! In anticipation of this treat and dripping with sweat, I closed up shop a little early, and headed home. Still, it wasn’t until after a long, cool shower, and drinking half a bucket of water that I could even imagine going back outside. Damn the heat – it makes me grumpy, short-tempered, and it turns me into a first rate bitch, wallowing in the angst I feel when I think about the kind of world we have created for our children. As you can tell, I was prime party material as I arrived.
I got there right at the Golden Hour – the sun was setting over the tree tops, and the slanted rays hit the garden just right. Luckily, this sudden exposure to beauty along with friendly faces melted my angst faster than you can say “cold beer”. The heavenly hellstrip was practically glowing in the evening light.
Pretty magical, huh?
Different angle – still magical.
Can you imagine that none of this gets ANY supplemental water in the summer? Euphorbia rigida with those wonderful red bracts + something that looks like Sedum ‘Blue spruce’ = rockstar combo.
Another Sedum in flower against the backdrop of Artemisia ‘Seafoam’. Totally drool-worthy (although don’t bother – neither is in need of any supplemental fluids).
The cheerful yellows look so great against all that cool, blue-gray foliage and the bright greens.
Same here – cool blue and yellow – here all in one package. I have no idea what this plant is, but isn’t it lovely?
The entire front yard is a study in silvery, blue-gray-green tones, with sparks of white, yellow and other bright colors. That awesome Euphorbia rigida again, sedum, cactus, rocks, and some kind of Agave (I think). Sigh…
Love the dramatic forms and play of textures…
Wouldn’t you agree?
That silvery sheen against the netted framework of the Corokia-looking shrub (almost sure it’s something else) with the little white flowers glowing against the gray is delicious!
This grass gave me heart palpitations with sheer plant lust. What is it? Not sure, but I think it’s Stipa grandis. Please correct me if I’m wrong…
C’est tres jolie, n’est ce pas? I wish my E. rigida would self seed in such a perfect spot, too.
I have a soft spot for anything with red bark. And this one has those cute little flowers too…
By now, I’m starting to feel like I probably should move into the back yard before it gets dark. This Opuntia is a marvelous reason not to fall of the front porch. Beautifully flanked by a Arcthostaphylos and a thready wonder I have no name for. So cool…
What in the world is this? It’s stunning!
Great combos abound!
That darn grass was amply represented. Damn, that’s beautiful!!!
The world’s most fabulous artichoke. My friend Laura lamented that people in her neighborhood who walk by, “help” her weed, by pulling these out. Wha…????
Love this red Callistemon!
A flowering Silverbush Lupine! (Lupinus albifrons) A girl can dream, right?
How cute is this? Of course with the blue-green foliage…
Get some height with this brown (!) Digitalis. Great narrow leaf rosette with white edges, too. I’m very intrigued…
Did I mention I love this grass?
Hot and frosty – all at the same time. Such a photogenic grass!
Someone – I think it was Christian – remarked that even the veggies grown in this garden have that blue-gray tone. Made me laugh…
By now, it was time to put away the camera and have some more civilized fun. From the left; Matthew, Alan, Lance, Laura, and Charlie.
The resident charmer Polly who kept everyone in check.
Last but not least – the supreme plant nerd himself, and the mind behind this wonderful haven.
Before coming here, I spent the day fretting over plants drooping under the penalizing rays of the Death Star. It is becoming quite clear that some more traditional garden staples are no longer really climate appropriate, judging from pending water shortages, imposed restrictions, paired with steadily increasing temperatures. The ones in Greg’s garden were all sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants, but I know there are a plethora of shade-tolerant xeric plants in the world as well. While I do love the forms of the sun-lovers, now that I know what a Euphorbia rigida really is supposed to look like, I realize mine isn’t getting enough light. I’m excited to learn more about what shade-loving xeric options are out there – and I know where to ask. Greg is one of two co-owners of this wonderful local nursery called Xera, where they grow all these cool plants – for sun as well as shade. You should check them out – but be forewarned – it’s very easy to go a little crazy. It’ll pay off in the end, though… Can you imagine not having to worry about watering – ever? You know, just hang out in the hammock, with a good book and a cold drink? Yep – I could definitely get used to that… 🙂