Monday, April 20, 2015

Gardens Tour - the sequel!

Rather than overwhelm you with five gardens last time, I told you about four and saved the best till last! I'll give it a starring role in a blog of its very own this week! Actually I had seen this garden last year as part of the Modernism garden tour, so as soon as I saw it was on this tour, I knew we were in for a treat! The garden wraps around a 1931  Mediterranean Revival House named 'Villa Vechia' and was created by owners Troy and Gino who are landscape designers and run Mojave Rock Ranch. Forgive me for putting in a few extra pictures from last year but there again, I guess you won't remember!


The garden has a wonderful traditional Mediterranean feel to it with citrus, roses, bougainvillea and several pools. The owners explained that with the current drought, they are in the process of turning certain areas over to less water greed desert planting. An understandable decision but it would be a pity for this lovely garden to lose its character. The garden is full of charm and little well placed details everywhere, so different from many of the sterile modern desert gardens.

As well as being a well-designed garden with a lovely air of maturity, it is filled with interesting plants. A variegated lemon tree grows in the front garden. Several unusual euphorbias grow alongside mature poinsettias and desert favourites like bougainvillea. I particularly liked the way the various different varieties had been allowed to mingle with each other.

Duranta erecta (update from Chad - cultivar 'Sapphire Showers' - thanks!) and bougainvillea

Variegated lemon - no fruit this year!

Think this is Pedilanthus macrocarpus
This is its flower but shot in another garden

Leaf cutter bees at work - curious but messy - they take the sections to make nests.

I've lost the name of this bougainvillea despite having it in my own yard and annoyingly it was doing better than mine!

Euphorbia trigona 'Rubra'- possibly?

Euphorbia erythraea forma variegata ?

Euphorbia cotinifolia - named because of its similarity to the purple leaved Cotinus, here with Bismark palm
Euphorbia resinifera?

Gardenia - possibly jasminoides 'Plena'

Update - Homalocephala texensis - thanks Chad
 One pool in the front garden is home to a family of red-eared slider turtles, apparently rescue turtles! The pool in the rear garden is filled with koi carp and inevitably there was a swimming pool too!

Hope you enjoyed my virtual tour of this lovely garden!


  1. Colour, exotica, koi, what's not to love? :)

  2. 'No idea!' - Homalocephala texensis?

    David Gray help please!


    1. Thanks Chad - did I really get the rest right this time!

    2. I'm not good a succulents; so I've believed you!

      If you want me to be picky; the bicoloured form of the Duranta is D.erecta 'Sapphire Showers'.


    3. By the way, what are the potted plants flanking the door in the first picture?


    4. Thanks for the cultivar name! Looking at the original of the first picture and blowing it up they appear to be big chunky kalanchoes just coming into flower. Grey leaves. I think this was one of the pics I took last year so don't recall them catching my attention during this year's visit. Maybe K. beharensis?

  3. The Euphorbia varieties used there make up for the poor Phormium! I always notice how much more relaxed people are hanging out when it's a looking forward to planting my big patio containers when I get some more work over with.

    1. David - its amazing what grows in the desert and what doesn't. Phormiums and cordylines are available but just don't survive the summer heat. Conversely roses, box, mulberry and pyracantha all survive here just as well as back in chilly damp UK gardens.