New hardscape for yard prior to planting.

I haven’t officially unveiled our backyard. Well, what can I say, I’m waiting for my plants to grow in. Realizing this will probably take a year, I have decided to suck it up and forge ahead. Please ignore all the patches of dirt. You know that makes me crazy. I feel I have to fill every empty spot, but it is impossible at this point. Maybe next year?

I also haven’t really embraced native plants. I know I should. I have planted them though in the new backyard. Some I am excited to see. A few I am thinking will already die and some I think look bad (after just two months).

What I Iove the most so far are the Annie’s Annuals plants. They are growing and blooming in just two short months. It’s unbelievable that they come in a box in the mail. They are wrapped in plastic and you have to unwrap and plant them in the provided pots. Then you have to water them and let them sit a day before you plant them. When you order  six boxes of them (I was giddy), plan to have them arrive when you have time to spend the next day planting!

They are grown outside in California so they say you don’t have to harden them off. And they have done remarkably well.

Here they are (names of the plants are below the photos):

Clarksia concinna “Pink Ribbons” (above)–I can’t believe it’s blooming already. It is for both sun and part shade, deer resistant, drought tolerant. All zones. They have a feathery pink flower and light green leaves. You can see two in this photo.

“Bush Ladybells,” Adenophora potaninii, beautiful, shade plant that grew so fast and has amazing blooms and Lime green Nicotiana alta. (No photo yet.)

Pink Mimulus, Mimulus lewisii x cardinalis (now they have green caterpillars. Argh!). Clay tolerant California native is doing well. It has almost tripled in size since I planted it. I hope the caterpillars don’t kill it.

Granium maderense–this is a huge stunning plant . And I’ve heard from other gardeners that it self-sows so I am really excited to see what it does. It is supposed to grow 4′ X 4′. It hails from the Canary Islands, something exotic. That’s nice!

Verbena Bonariensis (yikes, these are scaring me a little–they are sticking up all over my hill, but they are blooming a tiny purple flower.) I was supposed to pinch them back to make them full, but I didn’t. Oh well, there’s always next year. I think I need to plant something in front of them. (Please ignore the dirt. This is where our “fake” riverbed is supposed to go so I didn’t plant a lot here.) Send me some rocks and I’ll start building it.

Also blue springs penstemon (amazing blue color) and some very nice light blue Mrs Kendall Clarke geranium pratense.

My natives, which were selected by my garden designer Shellene Mueller, include:

Mimulus (orange) perfect for shade, low water and clay soil. The other pink Annie’s Annuals mimulus is right next to it (its leaves are lighter green and bigger.)

Carpenteria californica–I’m really excited about this. I love the waxy dark green leaves and can’t wait to see the big white flowers. It is supposed to be tolerant of sun or shade, grows in dry, clay–perfect for my hill. It was super hard to find. All of the wholesale nurseries told me they didn’t have it, but I found it at Walter Andersons. Surprise!

I also have Ceanothus Centennial, which i see all over our mountains. Mine looks a little scraggly and pale yellow. I think I am giving it too much water. Note to self: take drip system off these.

I also lavender, salvias, australian rosemary, thyme, yarrow, Lamb’s ears, coral bells, and penstemon of various types. Fruit trees: Anna’s Apple, Saturn peach, and a pomegranate. I mean to plant the pomegranate eight years ago when my daughter was born–well, I’m a little late. You know the saying!

But here is one of my favorites–the new Koko Loco rose from Weeks Roses. This rose is amazing and getting lots of complements. When it blooms it is latte colored and then fades to a brown lavender color. It smells good and seems hardy. It’s beautiful.

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