Marta's Garden
August 2003
more roses

Apple Tree

Starting at the northeast corner of the house, and facing generally north-east. This is the ancient apple tree with flower baskets hanging from it and, below on the mulch, the Persian ivy we have recently transplanted (we're not sure where we want it yet, but it was busy outgrowing its 1 gallon containers). Behind the ivy is a Little Beauty fuchsia, kept in a container so that I can move it around depending on the weather.

Just beyond the cannas (see below) is a bunch of calla lilies that are dormant right now. Here's a photo K took of them earlier this year:

Calla lilies in bloom
The rose garden. We'd recently pruned it so the bushes don't look particularly glorious -- I'll try for another photo in a month, when they should be in their late summer glory.

Behind the roses, along the fence, is a vigorous Loganberry that has been here since well before we moved in. Over the years I have hacked it, whacked it, and one year it froze almost to the ground, but it comes back regardless. Last year I gave up and ran a soaker hose through it, and it has responded well. The fruit is good, but the birds get most of it, which is fine by us,

To the right of the rose garden, you can see an edge of the large concrete patio.

More rose photos here.
Rose Garden
Peach tree and redwoods
Standing at the eastern end of the rose garden (that's Margaret Merrill brightening up the bottom center of the photo), you can see the peach tree, the Loganberry jungle, and between them a poor, battered Meyer Lemon that has suffered at the figurative hands of the automatic watering system, which sends hard sprays of water right into it. Last weekend we adjusted the sprinkler, and I'm hoping the lemon tree bounces back.

The Sorensen's acacia overhangs the back fence -- like the Loganberry, it refuses to die despite mighty whacking. I am glad for it, because both I and the birds like it. The orange stuff below the acadia limbs are the tops of orange cannas. The ancestors of these came from my grandmother's garden in Merced; they are happier in this location than they have been anywhere else. Behind them are the two redwoods that mark the northeast corner of the property, and to their right is the old playhouse. The green stuff that looks like a tree behind the playhouse, is actually a Lady Banks rose, growing up one side and over the top of the house, and in desperate need of pruning.
Taken from just beyond the lemon, looking directly east. You can see Lady Banks clambering over the playhouse, and a Betty Prior rose (pink flowers) to her right. The wine barrels are planted with tomatoes. Between the two barrels is Rosa Gallica, also called the Apothecary Rose -- this was the Red Rose of Lancaster. To its right is another barrel of tomatoes, and to the right of that is Cecil Bruner, also climbing the fence. The wooden box at the left of the path's end houses a hose bib. To the right of that is the raised bed in which C is currently growing potatoes; there's a rose behind the raised bed, Rosa Alba, the White Rose of York. Lady Banks, York and Lancaster, being very Old Roses, bloom only once a year.

The pink things that appear to be floating above the raised bed are pink lawn flamingoes. In front of the bed's right end is yet another barrel of tomatoes, and finally you can see the foliage of a female Box Elder spreading to the left.

The dark spots at the top center are not crispy falling aliens: they are leaves from the male Box Elder (see the last two photos). Or maybe they are crispy falling aliens. I'll investigate and get back to you.
back fence
southeast corner
Looking south, from near the raised bed (note pink flamingo in lower left-hand corner). What you see is a hillock covered with Mexican Evening Primrose (oenothera speciosa) and behind that the female Box Elder marking the southeast corner of the property. It's a shady spot, so I planted a sword fern and an asparagus fern, and a Gartenmeister Bonstadt fuchsia, and an abutilon hydrium (flowering maple) which keeps getting trampled by the dog, but I perservere. Also a Hosta which disappeared under mysterious circumstances (moles? gophers?) and has recently stuck one small leaf out, as though testing the waters; and a bergenia cordiflora (heartleaf bergenia). The two grey bushes near the center are senecio cineraria; the one to the right is a glorious artemisia that came with no further identification, started out last year as a one-gallon baby, and has become exhuberant. It has a lovely, herbal smell to it. To its left is a dietes which I'm probably going to move elsewhere; to its right you can see a couple of orange cannas.  The vines on the fence are (left to right) an unhappy clytostoma callistegoides (too much shade), a happy passiflora and an equally happy hardenbergia comptonia, and (almost invisible) another unhappy clytostoma (but I don't know what this one is peeved about).
A quarter-turn from the above photo. That naked patch against the fence houses a couple of volunteer orange cannas, an Oranges & Lemons climbing rose which I think I want to move, a kniphofia uvaria, and then three mallows: one Malva moschata Rosea, and two with more lavender flowers, possibly M. sylvestris. If I take out the rose, I'll replace it either with a fourth mallow, or perhaps with a white oleander.

To the right of the mallows is the end of the pool deck. That's a small agapanthus near the right side of the photo below the pool deck (recently transplanted, still considering its options). If I transplant the kniphofia and the dietes, I'll probably put them in this bed, together with some bearded iris (I have some with variagated foliage which are very nice indeed), and a bunch of purple drawf bearded iris.

To the bottom right of the photo is another half barrel but this one has strawberries in it. Like the Loganberries, these feed the birds more regularly than they feed us.
southwest corner
office deck
This shot was taken from near the strawberry barrel, toward the buildings. You can see the very corner of the pool deck on the middle left edge of the photo, then the back deck and the back of C's office, and my beloved huge male Box Elder with my skychair hanging from it (middle right of the photo).

Here's what a Golden Showers rose (see below) looks like in perfect bloom. Unfortunately, "perfect bloom" lasts about 45.6 seconds: before then, it's a lovely yellow bud with red touches at the petal ends, and after that it looks like old laundry. But we love it regardless:

Golden Showers
This last shot is from the middle of the patio, looking out at the back yard. Note the Pink Calamity to the right: it's a plaster creation that was here when we moved in in 1990, supposedly "rescued" from the remodel of San Francisco Technical High School at some time in the 1980s. Rising from the bed to its left is a fuchsia given to me by Kathryn Lewark, which can handle some sunshine (hence the yellow-green leaves), and a Golden Showers rose growing amid a teepee of cedar stakes. This rose grew originally in our backyard on Mountain Boulevard in Oakland. On the day that C and I were married, he snipped two buds from the rose and we each wore one. We couldn't very well leave it behind when we moved, could we?

The rest of the bed is taken up with nasturtiums and snapdragons. That's a yucca in the clay pot, from my sister's yard, and a volunteer canna to its left.

(c) 2003 Marta Randall
photos (c) 2003 Katy Conley


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