driveby garden 11/2/12

Bicycling past this house a couple days ago, I made a hard U-turn to check out the swath of silvery groundcover running alongside the sidewalk underplanting a couple shrubs. It’s probably a variety of Gazania rigens. As an inveterate plant collector who tends to overly complicate things, I love to see simple ideas executed so well. (See and admire them, not necessarily live with them. I’d probably require extensive psychoanalysis if I couldn’t continually mess around and complicate things in the garden.)


Parking the bike is when I noticed the nice detail of the two mustard-colored, square ceramic containers holding a collection of various orbs flanking the pathway.


The flagstone/decomposed granite pathway runs through what would traditionally be the front lawn, bisecting the silvery gazanias adjacent to the sidewalk on one side and low-lying grasses and other ground covers adjacent to the house on the other side, taking one to the main front walkway. This is a corner lot, which allows for lots of scope to build up the simple rhythm of rivers of silver, shrubs, and a couple small crepe myrtle trees on either side of the front walkway.


The shrubs underplanted with gazania might be Melaleuca nesophila. Further down can be seen the bark of crepe myrtles.


Large pots planted with succulents including Kalanchoe luciae and Senecio radicans, flank the steps to the front door.
The container harmonizes with the beautiful bark of the crepe myrtle.


That same day, at a different house, I found a parkway squared away with Dymondia margaretae and succulents. Marty has complained bitterly about the feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) I’ve planted in our parkway, whose seedheads completely engulf and attach to lower legs exiting cars. Clever seed dispersal tactic, but really annoying when you’re dressed for work. The gazania or dymondia are definitely being considered as replacements, but the dymondia has the edge since it can tolerate light foot traffic.

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9 Responses to driveby garden 11/2/12

  1. Hoov says:

    Very nice indeed! Makes a front lawn seem incredibly boring, doesn’t it?

  2. Denise says:

    Hoov, I see a lot of no-lawn front gardens that don’t seem to be much of an improvement, aesthetics-wise, but this one really nailed it.

  3. Scott Weber says:

    What about Anemanthele lessoniana in place of the Stipa?

  4. kathy says:

    You’re on a roll with the found neighborhood gardens Denise ! I’m way overdue for a camera walk downtown.

  5. Jason says:

    I love the grasses along the stone path.

  6. Sue says:

    I could ride around for days and not encounter anything like this (an east coast version naturally but even so…).

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    This is indeed a well executed and lovely lawn replacement. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Mexican feather grass feels so good when it brushes unclad legs. I think that the solution to the seed dispsal tactic is to find a career that allows wearing shorts (Tennis pro, aerobics/yoga instructor, just about anything in horticulture.) Better yet, retirement might just solve the problem.

  8. Denise says:

    @Scott, the street is so heavily parked, that I think we’re moving towards walkable ground covers…yep, the holy grail!
    @Kathy, it’s the great (coolish) biking weather that’s getting me out exploring.
    @Jason, they did a nice job with textures, didn’t they?
    @Sue, so often the best gardens are hidden and not open to public view.
    @Peter, I read your comment to Marty. No noticeable effect.

  9. Les says:

    Nice find! Have you knocked on the door yet?

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