Monday, June 24, 2013

Visiting the garden of Paul Bonine…

Does that name sound familiar? Probably because he’s co- owner of Xera Plants and the author of Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden from Timber Press. I had the opportunity to visit Paul’s garden a couple weekends ago and while I was happy to have a beautiful sunny Saturday it certainly didn’t make for a great photo taking experience. There were so many fabulous plants that in my photos just look like a shiny greenish blob! Ah well, we take the sun when we can get it here and don’t complain!

The directions to his house included the line "there's a big Eucalyptus in front" yep, he wasn't kidding. And it's breathtaking, much more beautiful than you can tell in these photos (it's Eucalyptus pauciflora debeuzevillei, which btw the Mulchmaid featured as her "favorite plant" last week).

The parking strip was full of some of my favorites. The silver plant is Curry Plant (Helichrysum)

And this bottle-brush is Callistemon pityoides 'Excellent'

Yucca linearifolia

Yucca rostrata

Agave bracteosa

And although I failed to get a good overall photo of them there are also a pair of Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate.’

Paul describes his garden as formal, which I can't help but hear as "uptight"...but it's not. The trees along the sidewalk are Osmanthus x burkwoodii, kind an experiment he said (they're still being trained to stand tall and straight). The garden is only two years old...

I'm going to call it formalized chaos (which is meant as a compliment).

Leptospermum lanigerum 'Silver Form' I believe...

Up against the front of the house I spy a palm, grevillea, astelia...

And over against the fence this Indigofera decora is blooming like mad!

Isn't it beautiful?

This plant is one I loved when I saw it at Xera but managed not to buy. Then I saw it here. In bloom.

I've since bought it, and yes it's Caesalpinia gilliesii (Bird of Paradise Shrub)...we'll see how it does for me.

It does look pretty fabulous with those burgundy leaves too (which I forgot to ask the name of but coordinate with the house trim wonderfully).

This damn restio (Rhodocoma capensis) is following me! (I can hear it saying buy me buy me buy me quietly)

Got cracks in your sidewalk? Plant them!

Looking back out at the street the formal design becomes more apparent. On the left...

And on the right.

Don't you just love how the unusual glass fence post finial makes the new foliage pop?

Okay we've moved to the back garden now where a tiny patch of lawn remains and there's another Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate.'

Ceanothus topaz with Choisya x 'Goldfingers'

I'm in love with this ceanothus...

Look at those long blooms and red/brown stems!

Crape myrtle, of which he has several and I can't remember which one this is...

Love the Stipa barbata...

I mean really love it and I am finally going to have to break down and buy some!

It's a Pluot! Which is a combination of plum and apricot.

Along the garage (on the left) is a pair of Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava). They both had flower buds so naturally as soon as I got home I searched mine for any signs of flowering. Nothing.

That little cutie supervising the garden tour is Miles...

And this purple groundcover is another one I flirt with buying but so far haven't managed to commit to (Acaena inermis purpurea).

Schefflera taiwaniana

Take a look at what it's doing...the new flush of leaves isn't just coming from the central growing point. Nope this thing has like a million branches forming!

It looks nice with its neighbor the Mahonia fortunei.

And this sweet little Rhododendron.

And look another Rhododendron...

Kniphofia thompsonii snowdenii

Telopea, but I can't remember which one! You can see it's expired protea-ific bloom on the right.

Here Miles is playing the "I can't see you" game using an Embothrium coccineum leaf to hide behind.

Finally I couldn't resist another photo of the Albizia. His all came from the same big orange bargain box that mine did, but his look so much nicer!

That's the tour! Again I regret the full sun conditions didn't allow for great photos...hopefully you still got a sense of how many fabulous plants Paul has squeezed into a small garden and yet maintained his formal design. Thanks for the tour Paul!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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