Designing a landscape is too artistic for me. I am just a horticulturist. I just grow things, and sometimes tell others how to grow them in a landscape.

Rocks sometimes get in the way when I grow things. They are not something that I often consider to be an asset to the sorts of landscapes that I typically work with; although I have worked with some landscapes in which boulders and stones work very well. I happen to think that they work well in this landscape. I did not design it of course. I merely helped with the installation of new plant material, and the salvage of old plant material.

1. The Rock Stars! It was not easy getting them here!P80407
2. The Concert Venue: This is not a big landscape, but happens to be in a prominent location.P80407+
3. Blue flowers were added in front, off the left edge of the previous picture. I do not remember what species this is, but it is common nowadays.P80407++
4. Escallonia was added just behind the blue flowers in the picture above. I do not remember what cultivar this escallonia is.P80407+++
5. ‘Winter Orchid’ Wallflower was added in front of the Rock Stars, just off the left edge of the first picture. It might be ‘Winter Party’. I do not remember.P80407++++
6. Yellow Freesia is a remnant from the original landscape. There are red freesias too. We like them too much to remove them.P80407+++++
This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Rock Concert

  1. That blue plant name is on the tip of my tongue – I have been tempted by it many times. The three rocks look like a reptile head and front claws! I am completely rubbish at landscaping, being far more into the planting, so always admire those who can.

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    1. I do not know where the granite came from. The new big boulders could have come from anywhere, but the old wall in front is very old, and was built at a time when material was obtained locally. There is granite in another part of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but it seems odd that someone put that much effort into importing something so heavy at a time when getting around the Santa Cruz Mountains was not as easy as it is now. There is plenty of mixed stone in the creeks.

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      1. There is plenty of stone here, but because of our geology, it is quite mixed up. We have serpentinite in some areas, sandstone in others, and granite in others. Also because of the geology, the roads used to be quite treacherous back when some of the stone was being moved about. So, although there is granite less than thirty miles away, it was difficult to get our location back when the walls were built.

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  2. I like calling them rock stars. This is a lovely little piece of garden with color and texture–and something of the old! A friend in California grows freesias and I think Virginia is not their climate!

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    1. I would have guessed that freesias would grow anywhere. They naturalize so easily. I grew them as cut flower in 1986. They were bundled and bucketed and put into a big walk in refrigerator before getting packaged. The fragrance in the enclosed refrigerator was overwhelming.

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  3. The blue flower is Lithodora. I have a few blooming right now, and they create a dazzling mat if intense blue. I just found another variety that has a white outline on the edges of the petals. They look like shooting stars! I know, they are not in your favorite white!

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    1. That is the name! (It sound like Latin for ‘smelly rock’, or the ‘fragrance of rock’. How appropriate!) I do not need white everywhere, and would actually not have wanted it here with all the stone. Brighter colors were better for the stone and brown walls. We use quite a bit of white and light colors out in shadier areas. We have so much redwood foliage!


    1. Thank you. I do not do landscaping, but it as fun to see this little landscape come together, and I like how we kept the freesias. They would have been difficult to get rid of anyway.


  4. Cool rocks. These big boulders look good in country with rocky hills and mountains.. I feel they are kind of out of place in the Midwest. Jens Jensen used stone walls made of horizontally cut limestone, and I think that it a good approach for this region.

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    1. In California, we have rocks from all over the place. There is serpentinite, sandstone, granite, and all sorts of others. This region was moved up here from about Guatemala, grabbing bits and pieces along the way. The granite boulders are not endemic to the precise spot they are in now, but happen to fit in quite naturally. Granite is what Boulder Creek is named for, and it is not too far away. In a park in Oklahoma, I remember seeing rocks made of recycled plastic. They were not at all convincing.

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    1. Oh, I hope it stays for us. I did not pick it out. I actually wanted rosemary to cascade a bit over the low wall. I am pleased with the blue. We try to not use white in that area, so blue is my second choice. (We use quite a bit of white because there is so much shade and dark green elsewhere.)


    1. I was hoping that no one would notice that Japanese maple. It was SO not my idea. I am not a landscape designer, and am rather bad at design, so I made a point of not questioning it. The good news is that they do much better at that site than what I am used to in the Santa Clara Valley. It is partly shaded by huge redwood trees, and is in a completely different climate zone.


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