Thursday, July 18, 2013

Designing a garden to discourage night-time visitors…

As part of our visit to Flora Grubb we were invited to take a tour of a garden just down the street designed by staff at the nursery. Those expecting a lush, private, paradise like the gardens we visited earlier in the day may have been disappointed.

I however loved seeing many of the same plants I was drooling over in the nursery planted up in a fairly harsh and unforgiving piece of ground.

The landscaped area surrounds a wastewater treatment plant, and if you’re wondering about the title of the post much of the tour included talk of plant choices based on discouraging non-traditional (or maybe it’s extremely traditional?) employment "activities" that go on here under the cover of darkness. That concrete signage above? Well it provided just the place for “lying down” hidden from the street. That was until several pointy Mahonia were added to the mix. There are soft and sharp spikes throughout the garden all of which convey a “look but don’t touch” sort of atmosphere. Naturally I couldn’t refuse framing a shot with just these two words.

They are all pretty tough characters when it comes to water usage too.

And beautiful! (and yes, I would even say lush)

See those blue/green dots?


The ones with the yellow margins are Agave desmetiana 'Variegata' and they melt at temperatures much below 25F...oh those lucky Californians!

I can't remember why the height of the mounded gravel. Maybe moisture retention? Maybe to make walking into the plantings difficult?

A. attenuata in front of the palm, an agave that requires a basically frost-free climate to survive.

Love the color combinations!

The building has a fortress-like design don't you think?

Oh those non-hardy (for me) Grevillea...why must you be so beautiful?

Same for you Mr. Leucadendron...

Grevillea or Banksia? I felt I knew for sure when I was there but now I'm not so sure.

Ah look at that!...

Love this Grevillea bloom!

The feathery foliage is amazing too.

Here's a shot out towards the neighborhood.

And finally there were a few Fremontodendron in bloom at the far end of the building...

I imagine they were chosen because the hairs of the leaves and young shoots can cause skin irritation.

After this tour and another half-hour or so at Flora Grubb it was time to get back on the buses and return to the hotel, and the end of a wonderful 3-day Garden Bloggers Fling. Luckily I've still got a ton of garden visits to post about so I'll (and you'll) be relishing the adventure for weeks to come.

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

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