Did you see my Six on Saturday posts last week, in which I explained the origin of these pictures, and why they are of such bad quality? To be brief, they were sent by Brent Green, my colleague since 1986, who is a renowned landscape designer in the Los Angeles region, and takes very bad pictures.

Well, these pictures are atypically not bad. They are of Brent’s home garden, which is crowded with way too many plants. There is more variety within this confined space than I could fit in several acres . . . or many acres. Some plants get trialed here before being used in some of the landscapes that Brent designs.

What you can not see in these pictures is that this garden is on a small city lot in Mid City Los Angeles, just about a block from the Santa Monica Freeway. What you can not hear, either here or there, is the noise of the freeway, which is mostly muffled by the high hedges and various small fountains strategically located throughout the garden.

Since Brent sent too many pictures, six more will be posted here: https://tonytomeo.com/2019/04/06/six-on-saturday-brents-garden-ii/

1. A small elevated porch-like patio at the rear of the garden was built from debris of the old, and now replaced (obviously) driveway. The old broken concrete was stacked in a few layers. The chunks of the top layer were mortared together with a bit of fresh concrete. This is the view from that patio, back toward the house. The patio and low walls constructed of the same debris can be seen in the next batch of pictures.P90406

2. This is probably the most important picture that Brent sent so far. Those soft orange flowers just to the left and just above the center of the picture are Alstroemeria, or Peruvian lily, from my garden. They are the main reason that Brent’s garden is SO spectacular. Anyway, the low wall was also constructed from the debris from the old driveway. This picture is a closer view just to the left of the previous picture above.P90406+

3. Just to the left of the picture above, and just in front of the picture above that (although outside of the margin of the first picture), this unidentified pink azaleas was blooming happily. Brent probably thought I would be impressed with this one, but duh, I used to grow azaleas, and I still work with more than I can count. I did not grow this one though. There is another picture of a similar specimen in the next batch of pictures.P90406++

4. Again, Brent mistakenly thought I would be impressed with this one. I think he wanted to show off the blooming Chinese wisteria rather than the beams that it is climbing on. It really is spectacular though, and was even more spectacular when it covered more of the arbor. Unfortunately, parts of it mysteriously died, and some was removed to allow more sunlight through. This section is obscured by the big angel’s trumpet in the first picture.P90406+++

5. What a sloppy mess! The bright reddish orange flowers amongst the lush strap shaped leaves in the middle are Kaffir lily, Clivia miniata. There are a few scattered about, that bloom in colors ranging from even redder orange to very pale (almost white) yellow. Yet, the traditional bright reddish orange is still the best. They tolerate quite a bit of shade, which is important in this overgrown jungle. I am impressed, but I do not tell Brent.P90406++++

6. If this ‘Charles Grimaldi’ angel’s trumpet looks familiar, you might have seen it in the Sunset – Western Garden Book. It provided the illustration for its genus of Brugmansia. It is quite large, and grows like a weed. I pruned it years ago, and to my surprise, Brent didn’t totally panic when I cut the entire top off. Just before I pruned it, Brent tore off the big rooted canes that grew into the big copy off to the right in the first picture.P90406+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:



27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Brent’s Garden

  1. I love seeing all those plants that I know as house plants (clivia) or summer tropicals (brugmansia) growing “in the wild.” Even your beautiful alstromeria (we can grow some varieties here, but I have never see anything like that!) blends beautifully together. Gorgeous!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is spectacular! I tend to see all the problems with crowding because that is what I do professionally; but it really is an impressive accumulation of weird plants that do not normally fit together within such a minimal space.


  2. Well, like you say, without your Alstroemerias it’d just be another unremarkable garden like lots of others. Nothing interesting or amazing or clever about it. A missed opportunity. I assume the alstroemerias worked their magic in your own garden too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, after I dug up a few for Brent, they died. My garden is not much to look at anyway. Hey, I am just a horticulturist and nursryman, not a landscape designer!


    1. Yes and no. There are so many different regions in California. My climate here is very different from Brent’s climate. All climates have their advantages. As appealing as Brent’s garden looks, he can not grow apples there, or plants that require a good winter chill. His climate is as limiting as mine is.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It does not even tolerant the mild frosts here. I grow a few, but they get frosted over winter, and consequently look rather hideous until I prune them. Sometimes, they get frosted to the ground. Brent’s always looks so good that it is a shame to prune it. When I pruned it a few years ago, it was in bloom at the time. There really is not time that it is not blooming.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is that wonderfully awful or awfully wonderful? I will be sure to tell Brent that you said that it is wonderfully awful. It is such a bother to say anything nice to Brent.


    1. I would like to say that it is quite safe unless one eats quite a bit of it; but here in Santa Cruz County, there are those who have been killed by ingesting concentrates of the sap as a hallucinogen.


    1. Sadly, mine died shortly after the copy got established in Brent’s garden. It was made it look like an accident. Brent has a few bits of it scattered about here and there, and maybe in the alley behind the garden. I have none; although I have a similar alstroemeria and two others at work. However, it is illegal to send it by mail so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No garden is perfect, but many are excellent. As excellent as Brent’s garden is, it does not work for everyone or every situation. I would not trade my forest in the mountains for it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, the angel’s trumpet. It is such a weedy thing! I did not go to Los Angeles this winter, so I do not know how it got pruned. It does not look too ovoergrown in that picture. Without pruning, it tends to get congested.


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