Monday, November 23, 2009

The Pina Colada Garden heading into winter.

Signs that the night time temperatures are dipping in Northern California are evident.
The Agave attenuattas are starting to get that white puckering polka dot look on their leaves and the Aeoniums are starting to put out lots of new lush grow due to our long awaited winter rains.
From Pina Colada

Most of the cannas have long gone dormant and the Alocasia and Colocasia are just starting to whither and shirk back into the ground.
From Pina Colada

The foxtail ferns , Asparagus spengerii are sending up tons of new lush green fronds and the Abutilons , Iochroma and Brugmansias are all still in big bloom.
The Cymbidium orchids are also spiking up nicely.
From Pina Colada

The succulents in pots are holding up well , though some of the spring and summer bloomers really need to be cleaned up.
From Pina Colada

The front yard winter color border is just starting to put on some color with purple Cineraria, blue Brachyscome ‘Toucan Tango’ and orange Osteospermum ‘Orange Symphony’.
From Pina Colada


Phrago said...

Michelle, I never tire of looking at your garden. Just so much detail to get lost in. When I was at Cranbrook, I used to marvel at the buildings there. It seemed as though every time I walked through a coart yard or breeze way and looked at the brick work, there was something to look at that I hadn't noticed before. Same with your garden. Beautiful...
Even in my Greenhouse the Alocasias are going to sleep, except for Tigrinum. That Alocasia never goes dormant... Question, When you planted that tall clay pot in the second or third photo, did you fill it up mostly with gravel before you put soil into it/ I have an equally big but different clay pot that I want to plant and so I am curious as to your method... Thanks, Patrick

danger garden said...

Beautiful, every picture. So what's the story behind the name? Pina Colada Garden...and just how bad does it get there, during the winter? What's an average and what's a harsh winter like? Just want to further envy you with your beautiful garden and mild climate....

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Patrick ,
When planting that large clay pot that has a tight neck I simple stuffed a five gallon nursery pot down and wedged it into the neck.
In other large pots where I don't have a neck I use styrofoam peanuts sewn into a pillow case to take up the excess room.
The key is keeping the styrofoam peanuts encased.
This makes it easy when transplanting or repotting/ emptying the pot is required.

Danger, Howdy !
I named my garden The Pina Colada Garden because I wanted to create a garden with a tropical resort like feel, one that you would want to drink pina coladas in all day long.
I love to travel to far off distant tropical places but don't have the budget to do it as much as I'd like. So by creating a tropical resort like garden in my own back yard is the next best thing.

Our winters can be fickle. Every couple of years we are dealt a major killing frost.
Usually I can expect several 27 F nights , a dozen nights at around freezing and the rest around the high 30 to low 40's.
The lowest temp it has ever been in my garden was 23 degrees.
I keep a lot of frost cloth on hand during the winter and drape it over the Agave attenuattas at the first sign of the mid 30's.
The worst is when we have a week of extremely cold below freezing nights and no rain.
Stuff just dessicates.

Pam/Digging said...

Your winters sound very similar to ours in Austin, Michelle. And yet you seldom see Agave attenuata here. I thought it was because our winters are just slightly too cold. Which they are, of course, but man do I love those plants. Maybe it would be worth the trouble to cover them every time it got into the mid-30s....

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

You hardly ever saw Agave attenuatta planted up here in the S.F. bay area a few years ago.
Now you see a few here and a few there.

You still never find them in a regular garden nursery.
One has to special order them through a wholesaler or visit one of the higher end retail nurseries like Flora Grubb or Magic Gardens.

I have to be very conscientious about covering the A.attenuattas with frost blankets. Otherwise they will succumb to the killing frost.
To me it is worth it.
They also do not like full direct sun and sunburn pretty easily.
If I was to try them in Austin I would place them in partial shade and keep the frost blankets handy during the winter.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Beautiful...even in it's winter splendor! Man...wish I could send you some agave...ours are puping left and right. I must have 300 now!

We have had such a dry fall. Some plants (old and established) are getting a bit bedraggled. :(

Have a great thanksgiving!