Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Magnolia Underplanting

Magnolia with Ipheion in the foreground

One of my goals for the year is to get better photos of some of the gardens we’ve designed. I have lots of photos of our own garden and lots of photos taken immediately after an installation when the plants are just little things surrounded by mulch, but I haven’t been as good about going back and taking garden photos with decent lighting. Last year I was especially bad; this year I’ve been better, though that’s partly because a couple of the gardens are within walking distance of our house, and this one, especially, I often pass by while walking our dog. She’s been surprisingly patient about waiting for me if I stop, partly because she likes to eat the Deer Grass in the parking strip. I took the above photo in March, and then I thought it might be cool to get photos from a similar angle at several different times throughout the year. I’ve stopped several different times so far, and I also want to take a picture next January when the Magnolia is at peak bloom.

Heuchera maxima, Penstemon heterophyllus, Watsonia

So far, I think the first photo is the best. The next two are from early May. I love the bloom color of Penstemon heterophyllus in real life, but it never seems to look quite as good in photos.

Heuchera maxima

The Heuchera maxima looks good and it’s a plant I really like, but it’s hard to get too excited about a photo of Heuchera.

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium

This is from last week, mid June. I think the Yarrow was already in the garden when we did the planting. I don’t remember if we transplanted it or just left it in place, but I usually don’t plant the pure white yarrow, even though it’s the native one. I saw this morning that the maintenance gardener deadheaded the Heuchera, so I might take another photo with the old bloom stalks gone.

Sisyrinchium, Heuchera, Yarrow, and Calamagrostis

I also might try with the Yarrow pulled out of the frame so that you can see the Sisyrinchium striatum behind it. S. striatum is not a native, but it’s a more interesting plant than the yarrow.

Snow in Summer, Verbena bonariensis, Geum, Coreopsis

I’ve also tried to photograph the planting on the slope beyond the Magnolia. My dog gets a little more restless if I venture down there.

Snow in Summer, Verbena bonariensis, Geum, Coreopsis

Watsonia, Nasturtium, Cal Poppies, Love in a Mist, and a couple of other volunteers have popped up in what was already a rather unrestrained planting.

Nasturium in the Verbena

Snow in Summer, Verbena bonariensis, Geum, Coreopsis


I accidentally clicked this photo with the camera moving and everything blurring into an impressionist painting. Part of me thinks it’s the best image of the bunch.


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