Friday, September 23, 2011

danger garden follow-ups…

Somehow we've ended up here, the first day of FALL (luckily it's looking much more like summer today with a sun and a high of 85) I thought this a good time to follow-up on a few loose ends here at the danger garden…I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seat wondering about… What the heck did I do with the Chocolate Mimosa tree I (accidentally?) bought a couple weeks ago? Since I could find no obvious place in the ground for it I decided to plant it in an IKEA galvanized Huson planter like this (don’t worry, it’s bigger than it looks): The advantage to this container (over a nice ceramic one) being that its super light so I can easily haul it around the garden on a whim, without damaging my back. Plus it looks perfect with the galvanized metal of a stock tank (of which I have a few…). For now it’s hanging out on the patio, gracing this corner with its luscious chocolate foliage… I have, however, become a little obsessed looking at our small patch of lawn (the yellow spots are sun glare…not freakish markings) and thinking that come spring I’ll be carving out a nice new rectangle for planting. That’s how it goes right? What little lawn remains gets smaller and smaller as the available places to plant get fewer and fewer. I think the Mimosa will stay in the metal container but cozy up next to the bamboo in the stock tank. Then a few other plants in less than desirable places (like my Magnolia laevifolia which is doing great despite being buried by overzealous Hakonechloa) will move into the newly revealed soil...we’ll see (perhaps a future follow-up?). Back in late August I asked for your design advice concerning my Clematis tibetana var. vernayi and what to grow it on. While I appreciated all of your ideas I realized I was going to need a little time to find just the right thing, I didn’t want to rush it. I also didn’t want to leave this fabulous plant to languish in a 4” pot any longer, so a temporary solution was in order. I located a nice sized rectangular container with a dark brown glaze and harvested a few of my black bamboo canes. The idea being the support system would fade in to the background (the house) and let the cut foliage shine. Looks like more than the foliage is going to be “shining” though because there are a couple of flower buds forming! (BIG SMILES)…I didn’t expect to see any flowers until next year! Meanwhile the hunt will continue for just the right structure on which to grow my Clematis. Remember the supermarket Taro Root I was happy to see growing? It’s really looking good… I love the big leaves! I posted a couple of pictures when my Astelia nervosa 'Westland' started to bloom, now it has beautiful orange berries forming. My pathetic little overwintered Ensete maurelii have actually put on some growth (they each started with only a single leaf) and are now larger than when I dug them out last November. I think I’ll try it again this winter, maybe next year is the year they become “tree-like”… Did you spot the Tillandsia in the first Ensete photo? When I originally posted about this creation a few people who know how sunny the front of my house can get expressed concern that the Tillandisa needed a shadier environment, once the sun blasted them on a few hot days they could get crispy. I’m happy to report that’s not the case. They’ve colored up nicely… But even during our stretch of 90 degree + sunny days (I think we had all of 6 in a row?) they’ve been just fine. And to wrap it up…last May I was very worried about my trio of Tetrapanax. Were they dead? Even once I saw small signs of life I was upset about the height I’d lost since the new growth was either way down the trunk, or starting from the ground. Turns out I was silly to worry! The pair in the front garden has morphed into five plants, the oldest taller than their predecessors and the others adding nice mass to the planting. In the back garden my “focal point” Tetrapanax at the end of the paver path and behind the patio has once again attained the desired size. Resprouting from the side of its severed trunk (it’s even had a couple of offspring!). And the senior T of the bunch…well it’s gone to town (as they say) populating the stock tank with baby T’s…
And it now has two branches off the former trunk! And that concludes our follow-up on the danger garden developments…no doubt there will be more in the future…

11 comments:

  1. I'm intensely interested in your clematis. Just when I think I've sworn clems off forever some new species tempts me back. Everything looks splendid! So odd how my new tetrapanax does the opposite of yours and instantly grows like a tree. Same thing with ricinus, when I'd actually like more leaves breaking from the base. Looks like it's been a great summer in the danger garden.

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  2. Everything still looks great. I love the grasses all of them! Nice container for your chocolate mimosa. Brilliant idea for your Clematis while you search high and low for that perfect trellis.

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  3. Progress reports are great...though the green-eyed monster attacks me when I see you 'Steroid Giant' (mine is off the steroids, I'm afraid. I seem to recall the Astelia blossoms being "scary", so the berries must be an improvement(?)

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  4. I really do envy how well put together your garden is—seriously. It is so incredibly impressive how you've tended to the plants' needs. I feel like such a neglectful plant steward. Great idea to have a follow up post too.

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  5. for a second i thought you had put the clematis on some rusted rebar. you know, they make some that are welded together in different shapes to reinforce columns. you seem to like that corten steel look, so maybe it'd be another option to look into?

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  6. You are very wise to avoid planting things until you've figured out where to put them...I always end up moving things around constantly! Love that your Clematis is blooming already...it must be very happy :-)

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  7. Great followups, so many questions answered! :) I love tetrapanax, only in this late September heat has mine really started to thrive. I can't wait to get some offspring to plant some more, as they're pretty rare and unusual around here. Hardy tropical foliage, incredible! Excellent post.

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  8. Denise, this is a good Clematis to tempt you back...the leaves are wonderful and the blooms even better! My Tetrepanax were on their way to tree stature, until winter knocked them back.

    Darla, it's out there ... somewhere ... I just know it!

    ricki, remind me how long your Tetrapanax has been in the ground? Maybe it's just getting settled? And yes, the berries are a big improvement!

    Ann, oh god, just yesterday afternoon I was looking at all the poor plants that have been taken over by others...or just plain ignored.

    ken, I actually had re-bar in my hand and then realized that wasn't quite what I was after...better to use free materials I already had then spend $ on something I'll just be replacing. But some nice Cor-ten shape...fancy cut outs, I'd be all for that!

    scott, I almost did a dance when I saw the little buds, so exciting!!!

    Nat,I think you got the joke (that you all were on the edge of your seat wondering about...). I did successfully move only one of my T-babies. Those things don't have many roots when small!

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  9. Tetrapanax: the thug I wouldn't be without. It's a bodacious monster (even) here in southern Rhode Island. And yes, in early Spring, it looks sooo dead. Terminally dead, so to speak. And yet by September it's ten feet tall again.

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  10. Your garden is looking great as always Loree, and as you've said September can be fab with most plants still looking lush and at their peak. You've got fine taste with containers and container planting btw ;)

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  11. Everything looks great! Wonderful tillandsia set-up. You knew that one would catch my eye. What are in the last tillandsia picture? Is that an ionantha on the left? What is the one on the right?

    Where do you get your stock tanks? I love the look!

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