Tag Archives: Schinus molle

Pepper Tree courtyard

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Spotted locally around dusk, a front-house courtyard with Pepper Tree (Schinus molle), stone paving “grouted” with Dymondia margaretae.

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Planting includes euphorbias, agaves, phormiums (or dianella) a small Cercis ‘Forest Pansy,’ and purple irises in bloom near the side gate.
There may possibly be bauhinias as well (pink flowers at roof height).

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Plantings are repeated the length of the entrance garden, including a cercis on either side of the front walkway, another pepper tree at the far end.
Aeonium-filled black urns flank the arched entranceway.

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It struck me as such a vibrant example of reimagining the space from the front door to the sidewalk.
Imagine how dreary and perfunctory the same images would be if replaced with lawn.
Private yet still inviting, full of interest but mindful of an overall quiet balance, showcase and shady retreat in one stroke. Nailed it!

a Mission Revival garden

I wasn’t exactly lost in Beverly Hills today, but traffic was terrible enough that I left the main arteries like San Vicente and dove into surrounding neighborhood streets, looking for a less congested way home. Around Sweetzer I found this small Mission Revival home with what looked to be a fairly new front landscape.

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Although it may sometimes seem so, I’m really not stalking Mission Revival homes, but this architectural style does seem to inspire its share of spare, elegant gardens.
This one is dominated by the lacy shade of a mature California Pepper Tree, Schinus molle (from the Peruvian Andes).

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A blue jar, possibly Bauer, pennisetum grasses and agaves surrounding a central area of decomposed granite
(formerly place of honor for lawns but not anymore, now that it’s drought o’clock)

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The agaves are mainly the common americana and attenuata, with salmon-colored Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii.
The blue flowers might be the Ground Morning Glory, Convolvulus sabatius.

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A form of Opuntia erinacea possibly?
Those look to be young bougainvilleas struggling up stakes against the low wall, a wall which I personally would hate to see smothered in vine. The cactus itself is presence enough.

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A sweet house, with its thick walls and deep-set casement windows.
The surrounding mansions in various architectural guises, and their gardens, could learn a lot about stylishly coping with heat and drought from this modest little beauty.

Les’ Winter Walk-Off

Les’ rules (A Tidewater Gardener).
Leave your home or workplace on foot. Bicycles are OK. Bring a camera along. Depending where you live, the Winter Walk-off challenge may be a snowy trek requiring a team of huskies and a sled (does that comply with the rules, Les?) or a sunny stroll in the park. I hope Les doesn’t mind multiple entries. This is just a warm-up, a test run, kicking the Winter Walk-off tires, so to speak.


Biking to my community garden yesterday, as always I pass this tidy bungalow.
The house and garden looked as though it had primped and readied itself expressly for the the Winter Walk-off.


At the base of the fence tumbles blue marguerite, Felicia amelloides, alternating with a coppery coprosma, shrubs from New Zealand also known as the Mirror Plant.


A couple blocks away, hanging lanterns suspended from a California Pepper Tree, Schinus molle
The yellow flowers belong to an aeonium sitting in a pot on the fence


This beautiful parkway agave stranded in weeds looks like a variegated Agave weberi.
(vintage black Chevy in the distance, tail fins hidden by the palm)


At the community garden, purple cauliflower in a neighbor’s plot


and sweet peas, also not mine. My sweet peas are just barely grabbing on to the bottom of the trellis.


An abbreviated entry, but hopefully there’ll be time for a few more. And then it will be spring.
I think this is actually Les’ plan, to distract us until spring. I’m all for that. Thanks, Les!