Friday, 18 February 2011

Garden Tour Countdown - 10. The D Garden

The plants in this garden bed are all hardy and need very little maintenance. If they weren’t, they’d be dead. This area gets neglected and forgotten sometimes (make that often). They survive on rainfall only and the shrubs get pruned a couple of times a year. Apart from that they are left to nature.

In case anyone is wondering why it's called the D garden. Originally that was the shape of the bed. It has expanded to a sort of triangle with two sides straight and one side a semi-circle - not a D at all anymore, but the name has stuck.

There's a real mixture of plants in this garden. On the side facing the house there are 2 magnolia grandiflora which I had hoped would be the main focus of the area but they have been a bit slow to develop. (My fault for not giving them enough TLC. I don't think they like having to compete with all the other plants for nutrients and water.) There's also a couple of frangipani, a few hibiscus, dracenea, a cycad, some acalypha, agave and some coleus,

and a yellow allamanda climbing along the fence.

Thanks to the purple heart plant Tradescantia pallida, Rhoeo and golden alternanthera gibsonii - ground covers extraordinaire - the garden rarely needs weeding except for grass that strays in over the edging.

I saw a photo a few years ago of agave surrounded by purple heart and thought the contrast of the purple with greyish green looked good. When it came time to plant this garden that was the inspiration. Agave attenuate are one of the toughest plants I’ve ever come across. I have seen them uprooted and thrown on the ground for months, then come back to life when planted. All of ours and the many we have given away to friends have come from one original plant we acquired six years ago when a friend was thinning his out. I could not count how many plants have been produced from that one, but it would be hundreds. I laugh when I see them for sale in nurseries for $20 each.

Future plans
One day I would like to totally redesign this area - rip some of the plants out and replace them and create some sense of form rather than the current jumble of plants. Meanwhile I'll just give everything a prune and pull a few weeds and the D garden will continue on as it is.


  1. OMG! The agave attenuata is so expensive here. Maybe you can send me the ones you see lying around on the ground. That way I wouldn't have to spend USD50 for a single plant.

  2. I love the agaves. And is that a cycad? And the allamanda is gorgeous, never see them down here so I assume they're frost-tender?

  3. Oh my, your gardens continue to amaze me. I hope my garden grows up to look like yours someday. : ) BTW, Magnolia grandiflora is a native where I live, and it is one of those slow-and-steady sort of growers. Definitely worth the wait, though. Your allamandas are beautiful. Mine are just starting to come out of the ground from the roots, as they were fried in our December cold blast.

  4. Your tour has been amazing! your garden looks so beautiful, wish I had that much space.

  5. Bom - Wish I could send you some agave. I'm going to be thinning them out soon.

    Floridagirl - thanks for letting me know about the magnolia grandiflora.

  6. You can grow the most amazing plants. I wish I could have such variety and the climate to go with it. And like fer, the space too.


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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