Tuesday, August 28, 2012

West Coast Late August Morning: Golden Oak & Pacific Blue

The light this morning was especially golden, creating a photo-worthy still life on the kitchen sideboard.....

Starfish look like they've fallen out of the ocean above -

And the african violet, 12 years old at least, thrives and sends out pale purple blooms....

This week I'll be visiting...
Cozy Little House
Knick of Time Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Ivy and Elephants

Monday, August 27, 2012

Honeysuckle & Angel's Trumpet

Flowers in the house - on a grand scale!
The brugmansia and Burmese honeysuckle have been giant green anchors in my backyard garden for well over twenty years now - both were purchased in gallon pots from a vendor who sold plants at the Marin City flea market in the '70's and '80's.
For those who are unfamiliar with Burmese honeysuckle (Lonicera hildebrandiana), it is essentially a common honeysuckle on steroids - see for yourself.....

Over the years it has covered a very large arbor and developed a pretty thick trunk. It's quite an architectural plant, trouble-free and very easy grow, if you have the space.

The brugmansia (angel's trumpet) was unhappy for the first few years it lived with us as I attempted to grow it in a container on our first story deck. Once I found a place for it in the yard below, it really took off, and is now taller than the deck it lived on (16+ feet). The tender subtropical delights us with several amazing bloom cycles per year - they are the traditional flowers on our Thanksgiving table.....and their spicy, thick evening scent is almost overpowering.

Large and fragrant - love that about both these plants, and they make wonderful cut flowers tucked around the house....

Hope you visit Jane's Flowers in the House to see what other flowers are being admired and enjoyed this last week of August.

Will also be visiting the
Cottage Garden Party
at Fishtail Cottage....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Urban Cottage Garden - Lilies and Roses

There is a garden planted right along the sidewalk, just over the hill from our house, that has had me swooning for the past few weeks.
It's along one of my favorite "backroad" routes home after working with clients on Russian Hill. I had intended to stop and take pictures several times, but didn't have a chance until late yesterday afternoon, meandering home from a weekend plant sale in Golden Gate Park.
The sun still hadn't broken through the summer fog, so it was ideal light for picture taking, and the light breeze was saturated in lily perfume.....

Plant choice and thoughtful composition are what make this strip of garden memorable.
Roses and lilies have an old fashioned affinity for one another (they have all the romance of a Fantin-Latour painting mixed together as cut flowers in a vase) and their two fragrances combine beautifully.
The alternating vertical lines of the rose standards and lily stalks complement one another, as do the colors - the pale apricot of the roses, brick red of the new rose foliage and the clean white lily trumpets.

The large plexi panels used instead of standard fencing material is another crucial design element. They are somewhat translucent (you can just barely see the plants growing in the yard on the other side) but opaque enough to provide a dramatic background for the sidewalk plants.

The stacked cobblestones that form the base of the planter are as rustic as the "cottage garden" plant choices, and provide a nice architectural contrast to the "modern" feel of the plastic panels.
Not to be overlooked, the mounding plants at the soil line add just the right touch of softness to the low stone wall.

All in all, this is an inspiring bit of urban landscaping that works on many levels.....

Well done, San Francisco neighbors!

This week I'm visiting
Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Cottage Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage