Oct 19, 2009

Mai tai, anyone?

This is a garden we designed and installed in the spring. It is a small front garden and back patio planting strip of a condo in the really hot area of Oakland by Fruitvale, the so-called "Banana Belt." It was midday when I took the photos so the lighting is pretty harsh, but the bright colors still show up pretty well even though some of the photos are a little blown out.

The back is secluded and one side is part-shade, so we went for a more lush planting than in the front. We were going for "tropical retreat." The planting had to be in scale with the small space, and well-behaved--not too messy or fussy. Also, unlike the front, we worked with some of the existing plants--a large plum tree, a beautiful and very vigorous bougainvillea, and a globe cypress in the corner. We added semi-tropicals like rainbow coprosma, a tangerine flower cultivar of abutilon, purple lorapetalum, golden acoris, and a Tasmanian tree fern.

The client wanted colorful and dramatic plants that could take the heat against the house in the front, and would remain fairly tidy and low maintenance. We used kangaroo paws, salvia 'limelight', and a leucodendron 'safari sunset' for the focal points and surrounded them with chartreuse green sedum groundcover, orange-flowering arctosis, silvery dusty miller, and parrots-beak flowering lotus to spill over the walls. A purple hopseed bush against the house and purple loraptalum spilling over the wall added some darker foliage for contrast.

This planting happened in the spring of this year, so you can see it filled in pretty quickly!


Website design and website development by Confluent Forms LLC, Easthampton MA