backdrops for plants

Some interesting backdrops I found around town, some intentional, some borrowed, some just sheer serendipity.

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I’m wondering what came first here, the choice of color for the house and then the Lion’s Tail? Or did the Leonotis leonurus start the ball rolling?

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This is a borrowed backdrop. From the angle where I was standing, I picked up the color of the house next-door.

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This is the house where the agave lives, beige in color, not persimmon.

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The parkway picking up that same persimmon-colored house next-door. Mattress vine, restios, helichrysum, small grasses.

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I’m thinking there’s a lot of clip, clip, clipping to keep the muehlenbeckia off those lovely low-lying rocks.

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Agave vilmoriniana without a backdrop. Well, I suppose asphalt could be considered a backdrop, the default urban kind. I wish I had the space for this one to let those tentacles unfurl (also called the Octopus Agave).

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The Cow Horn Agave against a stone backdrop. Agave bovicornuta. Oh, I do miss mine. There’ll be more photos of these terraces to come, just because one can never have too many photos of the Cow Horn Agave. With aeoniums and Kalanchoe tomentosa.

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A missed opportunity to add a colored backdrop? Hard to say. The entire Spanish house/villa is white. I’ll be posting some more photos of this one too. I need to track down the name of the grass in the foreground, most likely a sesleria. Amazing with the bulbinella.

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12 Responses to backdrops for plants

  1. Scott Weber says:

    I think you’re right on the last ID…looks like Sesleria autumnalis to me.

  2. Denise says:

    It does to me too, Scott. What a pretty thing it is.

  3. rusty duck says:

    More beautiful grasses. I love what you guys are doing with your gardens.

  4. Mark and Gaz says:

    That Cow Horn Agave looks like it’s variegated too 🙂

  5. When my neighbor painted their foundation dark, dark grey it was a bit of a shock as most people go lighter and more subtle here. It’s a fantastic backdrop for the plants on the south side of my house though, especially the climbing rose that I view from the kitchen window. (Which makes me sad because that rose has RRV and needs to come out this fall)

    I’m always a little envious of gardeners who have fenced yards, as it’s pretty much all backdrops there.

  6. hb says:

    The different tiles on each riser of the stairway is very cool. The plants, all beautiful, backdrop or not.

  7. Kris P says:

    I’m always amazed by the impact of the right backdrop. Much as I’ve grown to like Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame,’ I was blown away when I saw it in front of a red wall at Deep Roots Garden Center. Agaves, on the other hand, look great with every backdrop.

  8. ks says:

    How I long to darken my house color, but that particular home improvement is not in the budget for a few years.

  9. I see all those as backdrops, even the asphalt. (in tight, old urban areas, even the sky with powerlines is) The last scene is perfect, like a So Cal version of an entry I had for years, with a pair of Hesperaloe funifera instead…the white walls really make your example pop, as does the main color on the tiled steps.

  10. Lisa says:

    Beautiful backdrops! It is a huge difference when you see that agave with a red backdrop and with the beige backdrop!

  11. Denise says:

    @RD, I really like this sesleria too, a nice size for narrow strips and/or small gardens.
    @M&G, ha! you’re right, it does.
    @Alan, dark grey and charcoal makes such a great backdrop for making color sing. That’s a shame about the RRV, never experienced it during my rose phase.
    @Hoov, I’m going to post some more photos that caught a little more detail of the stair tiles.
    @Kathy, maybe some of Kyle’s pals could pretend it’s a scene out of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and sing while they paint?
    @David, I’d love to ask if the homeowners did this themselves or brought in a designer. I’m guessing the latter.
    @Lisa, I thought that was quite the dramatic transformation too.

  12. Pam/Digging says:

    The persimmon house is a stunning backdrop for the neighbor’s garden. That’s the color I want to paint my tall stucco wall. I just can’t get behind white as a house color, unless it’s a traditional New England home (and even then). I always see it as a missed opportunity for color.

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