In a series of Then and Now photos, it’s satisfying to look back nostalgically to see how far we have come. Bought in 2000, and in a completely natural area, we’ve striven to preserve the beauty of our 7 acres near the Sierra foothills of California, as we make a place for ourselves in this beautiful spot. The house was started in February 2004 and finished in December 2005, lived three months in a trailer here and the garden was started in earnest in 2006.
Our house was built on a slope and I attempted to stabilize the bare clay downward slope with shrubs that were drought resistant, deer resistant and that bloomed! All this on a budget. I only planted gallons and 4″ plants.
What I planted:
Artemisia Powis Castle
3 Spanish Lavender, along the top edge
3 Variegated Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris Limelight
3 Red yarrow
2 Orchid Rockrose
1 Cleveland sage
Assorted Coreopsis from seed
2 yellow Jeruselem sage, Phlomis
1 Pink Jeruselem sage, Phlomis
3 ‘Easter’ lilies
Cosmos, (quickly eaten by deer) worth a try!
From the front, lavender in bloom, rockrose, Rose ‘The Gift’ and French lavender. The three dark green plants are Santolina, now overgrown by rosemary!
The blooming slope creates a mosaic of rich color. I’m happy! The clear yellow in the center is the Jerusalem sage, Phlomis fruticosa. Deer resistant, lush with its furry leaves and has what I call ‘Dr Seuss’ flowers, three to four ball shaped flowers on a center stem, below.
I can highly recommend the combination of Rosemary, Variegated Artemisia ‘Limelight,’ Jerusalem sage and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle.’
The rampant rosemary overgrew both the santolina and the variegated Artemisia, (Lime green in front.) How can you hate it, though,..it blooms twice a year and its edible?
The slope is watered with one drip line at the top edge, with four or five 1 gallon per hour sprayers set for 1/2 hour twice a week from mid-July to mid September or wheever the 100º heat ends.
I cut the French and English lavender just past full bloom to bring inside and to use for crafts. I trim the rosemary, artemisia, thyme, Jerusalem sage and Cleveland sage in the Fall. I prune the Rose hard, so it doesn’t block the view. Nothing else needs a thing.
Things I would do differently:
I’d plant rosemary on either end of the slope for balance, and fewer than three!
Fewer rosemary would have prevented it overgrowing other desirable plants like the santolina.
I’d plant the rockrose lower down the slope, so it wouldn’t block the view.
I’d prune the Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ tightly to avoid the rangy look it’s has had.