more on the east fence

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I might as well continue with the east fence, the dark blue/black of which can be seen in the distance looking under the pergola.
The pots shown yesterday are on the brick patio to the left of the cypresses, and the fence continues on to the right, hidden behind the cypresses.
I need to decide whether that yucca stays or goes now that it’s become such a shaggy beast after blooming last year.
Oh, and it was raining this morning (!) Well, the pavement was slightly damp around 6:30 a.m.

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The back garden wraps around the pergola like a horseshoe. Tetrapanax on the left. Yes, that is yet another collection of pots at the base of the cypresses.
The cypresses are Calif. natives Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Citriodora.’ The bricks on the right once formed a terrace.
Some years back and dozens of plants later, the terrace was scaled down into this narrow walkway against the south fence.

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A couple months ago Marty was standing on a scaffold of an old door and sawhorses on that narrow walkway to clip the creeping fig that covers the south masonry fence.
The creeping fig, Ficus pumila, gives the 5-foot fence an extra 3 feet of height, which completely screens us from the south.

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Looking at the creeping fig-covered south wall through the pergola last November.
Table was much less cluttered, the potted Agave ‘Boutin’s Blue’ was still plunged in the garden for something to look at in winter.
I liked the interplay of those two attenuata agaves staggered in height but removed the pot recently as summer growth enveloped it.
The variegated attenuata is planted in the ground.

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The coprosma has grown considerably since November.
I love what this line of evergreen shrubs and trees is doing: the dark red coprosma in the foreground, grey, thin-leaved olearia, then the blue acacia.
(Coprosma ‘Plum Hussy,’ willow-like Olearia virgata v. lineata ‘Dartonii,’ Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea.’)

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The famous shine on the coprosma’s leaves really leaps out against the matte quality of its neighbors.

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This is the scale I usually cover, what’s happening at ground level, like this Aloe scobinifolia about to bloom.
This summer/fall-blooming aloe also bloomed last November, not long after I acquired it.
Carex testacea reseeds, variegated St. Augustine grass spreads by runners and needs a watchful eye. Dry soil keeps it in check.

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Looking from the west at the east fence last November, which shows how the garden wraps around the pergola.
The tetrapanax blooms had yet to be cut down. The potted cussonia has been repotted and moved to afternoon shade.
The bare branches of my neighbor’s peach tree are now leafed out, filling that gap to the left of the cypresses.
Is my obsession with privacy in the back garden showing much yet?
(I can probably date that obsession to when, at 13, I discovered the neighbor boy had been spying on me through my bedroom window…
and then started inviting friends over for the show. It didn’t help that I already had a crush on him…loser!)

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Potted Aeonium ‘Cyclops’ holds the cussonia’s corner now, luminous at sunset.
Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’ gets a nice glow too.

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The neighbors are, intentionally or not, working well with us on the plantings along the east boundary, which has now achieved almost total privacy.
There are some questionable choices, though.
A California Pepper Tree, Schinus molle, was planted by a neighbor just outside my southeast corner, which will eventually screen out that powder-blue building.
It’ll be nice to lose the Rear Window vibe, but when the Pepper Tree fully matures, I just might have a shade garden until mid-day.
Seeing these photos, I urgently need to decide if that yucca has become incredibly overbearing or if it’s holding it all together.
It would definitely open up the garden if we parted ways, and rather than a solitary verbascum I could plant three in its place, or a leucospermum, etc, etc.


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9 Responses to more on the east fence

  1. Hoov says:

    I am screen/privacy fanatic myself–good to know I”m not the only one. California is getting more and more crowded. 🙁

    Is that ‘Margaritaville’ Yucca? I got rid of my trio–sort of. Pups are still emerging, growing from bits of root.

  2. Scott says:

    Your variegated yucca is really glorious. Do you have any trouble with yucca leaf spot and, if so, how do you deal with it?

  3. Denise says:

    @Hoov, I’m assuming it is Marg., bought very long ago and didn’t note the name. I’ve never seen pups but do wonder if it can be removed even if I wanted to.
    @Scott, never had any leaf spot trouble so far and haven’t seen that problem locally. I’ll take your comment as a thumb’s up to keep the yucca!

  4. Kris P says:

    That yucca is a great feature – it doesn’t look shaggy to my eyes. It’s great to see a wider view of your garden – it gives me an entirely different impression than your usual close-up photos. It sure seems packed to the gills, though! That aspect reminds me of my old garden except that mine relied on heavily on shade plants. Literally surrounded closely by neighbors on all 4 sides (in what was called a 2-on-a-lot townhouse), I was also obsessed with privacy, in part stemming from a similar experience with a teenage neighbor behind us who liked to watch my husband and me in our hot-tub. (I also campaigned for and won removal of the hot-tub, mainly because it took up too much precious garden space.)

  5. ks says:

    I say keep the Yucca, it’s fantastic focal point. I could be swayed though by the potential for more space.Maybe you can get rid of something else !

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, it is packed to gills, and this view accentuates that. We got rid of a hot tub that was here too when we moved in!
    @Kathy, that yucca is a really bright spot and lights up the garden like a torch. I think it’s getting a reprieve.

  7. Scott says:

    Definitely a big thumb up for the yucca!

  8. So much variety in a small space. The overall picture is one of abundance and privacy. And you do it on so little water.

    I’m at a crossroads with my Yucca ‘Margaritaville’ as well. It hasn’t bloomed yet, but it’s huge so it will soon. And when it does it all falls apart, visually. It’s next to the front door where I see it every day. I might remove it in the fall when I redo that area (it’s also where my flowering/dying Agave desmettiana is).

  9. Denise says:

    @Scott, thanks for voting. The yucca stays!
    @Gerhard, that’s a nice way of putting it! The garden just doesn’t stand still for long, does it? I just pulled out the carcass of mitis albicans today. Surprised me how easy it came out. Only two pups and uncertain if they’ll root.

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