When a tree falls…

Fierce winds toppled our 36” diameter, 100-year-old, double-trunked live oak last week. The massive tree grazed smaller live oaks as it fell, crushed 3 Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii, stripped the leaves off 5 Plumbago auriculata ‘Imperial Blue,’ and shredded 6 Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue.’

Where nature’s Rip-Van-Winkle-esque miracle had graced our outdoor living area, a vista now opens to the hiking trail below and giant unkempt palms on municipal property across the way. Where a leafy canopy had cocooned 400 square feet of shade-loving plants, bright sun now beats down.

‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is one of my guiding principles in business and gardening too. So we’ll feature the panoramic borrowed scenery. We’ll move Phlebodium aureum – Rabbit’s Foot Fern, Cyrtomium falcatum – Japanese holly fern, and Plectranthus ciliatus ‘Dredge’ – Spur Flower before they fry. In their place will be yet-to-be-determined sun-lovers. Hopefully we’ll salvage most of the agaves and plumbago.


As often said, a garden is never finished. In early 2014 we replaced thirsty carex in this area with these waterwise plants and path. Loss of this irreplaceable tree and the aftermath mean we’ll transform once again. Watch this space for photos when cleanup and conversion are complete.

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