Mar 29, 2017

Planted! Casa Jolly's backyard.

Our backyard was planted out yesterday!  The theme is (loosely) "Latin-American-influenced subtropical," and the colors are green (of course), yellow, white, and what Jason has proclaimed "Manly Pink."

Here are some shots...

An amorphous border of (foreground to back) buchanan salvia, aeonium (including the ever popular 'sunburst'), senecio, and white agapanthus. Cup of gold vine in the back. Far back corner (tiny, I know) holds madagascar jasmine and an Australian tree fern.

Our fig tree, a Violette de Bordeaux, chosen by Jason, with 2 happy figs:

The "Grotto," an area I planned out for Jason, who loves ferns :).   4 different kinds, including Tasmanian (large at far left), sword, tassel, and East Indian holly.  Also a 'hope' philodendron and a yellow clivia for good measure.

Lastly, a 'hula girl' hibiscus--one of the only plants able to withstand the intense reflected heat next to our casa (Casa Jolly es blanca).

I have high hopes for our backyard, but right now I'm a little overwhelmed.  I need to start training the vines, and baiting for ants.  It's hard to know how much to water--our soil is rocky & clay-like, and is heavily mulched--as you can see.  I'm still thinking about how to delineate beds from path; should the mulch be different types? (open to suggestions if you have any....)  A garden comes with so many decisions.

Gardeners try to make perfection (our vision) out of chaos (nature).  But nature is already perfect... isn't it?

Mar 21, 2017


The arbor is finished!

I didn't think it was possible to love Jason more, but his arbor might've done it :).

And if you look verrrry closely, you can see a pathetically small plant under the left side of the arbor.

What, you can't see it?

Here is a semi-close-up:

That's Sally (Ms. Holmes).  OMG, it was a lot of work to plant Sally.  But not as much work as the arbor...not by a long shot.

Mar 14, 2017

Every day is arbor day...

Jason is building an arbor for Casa Jolly!
He's spent the last 3 days constructing our arbor, which will be the archway between the back & back-back yard.  He sunk the posts into cement anchors (digging out our rock-strewn, water-logged, clay-like soil) and cut all the beams outside by hand.  He even removed part of the fence to make the entryway more accessible, & well--just plain grand!

Am I lucky or whut?

I also like how the arbor will enhance the view of the neighbor's trees, which have perked up with all the rain.

"And what are you going to grow on this here arbor, Holly?"

So glad you asked!  I'm going to grow a Sally Holmes rose on it:

It's a very vigorous climber, disease-resistant, a repeat bloomer, and well--let's just face it--LUSH.  It arrives from Oregon this week! (I had trouble finding it locally...) Here is the original inspiration--Sally (dual, parallel Sallies, actually) at the Huntington botanical gardens in Pasadena:

And here are a couple more pics to dream with.  Casa Jolly: Where dreams come true! (In a few more years... :).

Mar 7, 2017

Can our back yard look like this, please?

Whenever I imagine our back yard, I think of this picture--which is from a Sunset gardening book.

This is the feel I want to create: subtropical, but drought tolerant.  Ish.

Jason helped me choose.  He's from tundra people (Milwaukee) so the idea of creating something southern Californian--with its own brand of tropical--really appealed.  & god knows I LOVE A GOOD THEME.

Also: fewer containers / more plants actually in-ground.  But I do love this picture!  I already have the agave attenuata, bougainvillea 'barbara karst,' ferns, & assorted succulents--all ready for my amazing landscaper, Luis, to plant.  I'd do it myself but this will involve irrigation setup, which is a bit beyond me.

It will get planted out in a month or so, & I'll give you the before & afters!

In the meantime, I'm rounding out my plant list:

madagascar jasmine
more succulents & ferns, I think
one more tecoma stans
cuphea 'harlequin'
white agapanthus.... maybe


Mar 1, 2017

New Vine Quickie

This is a picture of my new Cup of Gold Vine, which is going into the back yard.  Doesn't it look like a vine a dinosaur would love?  Hard to see true size in this, but those yellow blooms are BIG.

There is an incredible one (er, ones) at the Huntington in Pasadena, and I think also at Balboa Park.  I know it'll do well at Casa Jolly..... maybe too well??  SCARY.