Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking a Longer View

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and see the big picture.  This view is what greets me as I exit the back porch into the back garden.  The main sunny area provides for a nice small area of grass which the grandkids enjoy using for play.

The bambusa multiplex 'fernleaf' is growing well this 2nd year.  Planted last spring, it is starting to fill in and gain height.  It should reach 10 feet in height and be full enough to shear if I should want to do that.  It is commonly known as hedge bamboo.  Right now, I really enjoy the weeping habit it has.


I do want it to get thicker and provide more privacy against that chain link fence. I'm told the third year is when it should reach its potential. It appears I may have to widen this bed to allow the bamboo more room to weep without covering up the border of flax lily. That project is going on the list for cooler weather.

The little bottle brush was only 30 inches tall when planted in early Spring.  Judging by it's height against the fence, I'd say it is about 5 feet tall now.  Right after this picture was taken I trimmed the lower branches to begin training it into a multi-trunked tree. 

It is so much nicer to work under the shade of the gigantic live oak which shades the other half of the back garden.  The firespikes, bromeliads and gingers love living beneath this tree. 

The shady corner which was completely bare after January, has actually become a bit crowded.  Perhaps some plants will be moved down the fenceline a little to fill in around my favorite seating area. 

Yes, it's quite a jungle out in the backyard now.  I still have mostly cold sensitive plants in this area.  There are a few cold hardy ones sprinkled throughout which, hopefully, will keep the garden from looking quite as desolate as last winter.  And, I am ever hopeful for a much milder winter. 

Taking a step back to see the plantings from a distance shows me that My Garden Path is quite the hodge-podge of a plant collection rather than a well-planned landscape.  Ah well, a garden is a reflection of the gardener after all. 


  1. NanaK ~ What a nice, huge back yard you have. It is nice to see the overall big picture where you garden. I have a hard time doing that, as I have garden rooms. I love your space and all the blooms you have, your foliage plants are wonderful too. You are so right about it being much nicer working in the shade. Summer down here is really brutal, shade is a must if you can get it.

    I'd have to admit I'm a hodge-podge sort of gardener myself, definitely not one who has a well-planned landscape. When I started I just plopped plants here and there because I liked them and the gardens expanded, beds got added and planted, and hedgerows grew too.

    Enjoy your lovely backyard and try to keep cool.


  2. Your backyard looks wonderful!Isn't it amazing how our gardens have rebounded after this past winter.I,too,am hoping for a much more mild winter.
    And hodge-podge is good.It's your garden and it should be the way you want it to be.It is for your enjoyment after all.

  3. I love your hodge-podge garden. I've never walked through a forest or meadow and said to myself, "Wow, this was well-planned." I seriously could never plan out a garden because then it would seem finished somehow. I don't think I could live with a finished garden. I do have plans working in the brain all the time, though, mainly to add pathways...something solid and dry for my feet to walk on. I think stones or pavers would really help define my spaces better too.

    Your summer garden is beautiful and lush.

  4. Hodge podge, crowdscaping, whatever you want to call it is so pretty. The celosia is quite a reseeder here in my gardens. Stop cutting it and let it grow. Mine will get over 6 ft. tall. I have shades of white to dark pink.

  5. Those gingers look so happy under the oak tree! I'm really glad that you've shown us a grander view of the garden since thats what its really all about after all. I'm a big fan of using large open mulched areas like you've done, and your little table looks so inviting!

  6. NanaK: Your backyard looks so lush and peaceful! I love it! Your hedge bamboos have been growing very nicely! I need to show my hubby that picture, to see if he would like to help me removing the exisiting fiacus hedge and replace them with the hedge bamboos. Only thing is the grass stripe might not wide enough. Obviousely I still want some space to plant other plants in front of hedge :)

    Envy your oak tree too! Shade is what I have been lacking in my garden.

  7. Your garden beds are filling in nicely. Isn't it amazing how quickly things recover after winter. I'll admit to being a "hodge-podge" gardener, too. There's just so many plants that I love and want to have. I think it's so much nicer when a garden reflects its owner instead of being a perfectly trimmed boring landscape. Your backyard looks like a lovely place to sit and relax. It's great to have both sun and shade...the best of both worlds.

  8. FlowerLady - If you started your gardens by plopping plants here and there, then I hope my similar habits will have as nice an outcome as your gardens. I love your garden "look."

    ChrisC - Yes, it is truly amazing how the plants have rebounded after this winter. I'm so glad I have this blog now to look back on this coming winter. I hope for milder but if not, I'm going to TRY to be less upset about it.

    Floridagirl - Yeah, I don't want to be finished with my garden either. I love the pathway ideas for your garden. I'm always dreaming of additions and changes - it's half the fun.

    Darla - "Crowdscaping" is a great term! Thanks for the info on the celosia. I will quit cutting them. I did notice that on some of the tops I have rooted there are buds! Yeah! I can't wait to see the bloom.

    RFG - I must say, the large open mulched area is easy care. The leaves fall, the mulch is in place! My husband is happy to only have half the mowing job.

    Ami - Check out this website http://www.bambooweb.info/Plants.php

    It has pictures as well as info.

    Susan - I do have the best of both worlds with the sun and shade. I used to complain because I have lots more shade overall than sun, but I have learned there is a lot that can be grown in the shade and it is so much nicer to be outside in the SHADE.

  9. I'm liking your 'collection of plants', Nana K. It is really fun to see the wider views of your garden. It kind-of puts the garden in better perspective. Love, love your shady areas and having the sunny spots offers a few choices you don't have for the shade. It's just fun trying to figure it all out isn't it! I wish I could come up with a good place for that bamboo... everytime I see yours I want some.

  10. Meems - Thanks. I really like my bamboo too. I had originally wanted Thryallis there but a friend talked me into looking at the bamboo and I was sold.

  11. Another vote for hodge-podge! I thought I was way too hodge-podge with my post-spring plantings, but I got so many nice compliments after a recent get-together, I was totally flattered.(I calibrated my sincerity monitor beforehand, so I believed 'em!)
    One thing I've tried to be better about is planting things en masse. If I buy plants or start cuttings, I make sure I have at least three to put in the ground, if not five or seven. Everything looks better if you have a nice group of each. Then no one realizes you're hodge-podge!
    Your garden looks beautiful Kay. Such a huge yard (and you're doing the whole front yard, too, right?) I salute you!


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.