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Hot Colors, Dry Garden #1

For months I’ve wanted to start this series, “Hot Colors, Dry Garden” so consider this the first installment.   And what better way to start out than with a pair of mind blowing images taken just a few weeks ago in my front garden?

Hot Colors, Dry Garden is an invitation to people who are afraid that low water gardens are brown, drab gardens.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Check out the colors and textures in these scenes.

It takes some planning and lots of trial-and-error to create moments like these.  It also takes some willingness to challenge your biases.  Long ago, I swore I would never plant a Bougainvillea. They are in my “way too overused” category and frankly, I’m sick of them.

But then,  one  caught my eye.  ‘Orange Ice’ is a smaller boug with cream and green variegated leaves and the most amazing colored bracts (they’re not really petals) in coral pink, blush orange.  The color glows in the sunlight.

Will it look the same next year?  Only time will tell!

'Orange Ice' Bougainvillea, Agave bracteosa, Agave guiengola, Senecio mandraliscae, and hunnemannia fumariifolia - a heavenly combination!

‘Orange Ice’ Bougainvillea, Agave bracteosa, Senecio mandraliscae, and Hunnemannia fumariifolia – a heavenly combination!

Main plants:

  • Bougainvillea ‘Orange Ice’ with variegated leaves and pink flowers blush orange
  • Agave bracteosa, a small, solitary agave with twisty, turny blades
  • Senecio mandraliscae also called blue chalk fingers for obvious reasons
  • Calylophus, a low growing shrublet with yellow flowers that fills in the empty spaces
  • Hunnemannia fumariifolia, Mexican tulip poppy, also with yellow flowers and creeping perennial stems that pop up here and there.
  • An  Aloe whose name has been lost to time
  • Palo verde ‘Desert Museum,’ the best of the palo verdes
  • Schinus molle, the cursed California pepper tree that is neither Californian, nor pepper.  I’d never plant it again but I admit to loving it!

Here’s a detail

A bit closer view shows the touches of bronze from Aeonium 'Zwartkopf' and one of the bronze leaved cordylines

A bit closer view shows the touches of bronze from Aeonium ‘Zwartkopf’ and one of the bronze leaved cordylines

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