Salvia amistad o. m. g.

Salvia amistad

Sunset magazine’s Celebration Weekend was this weekend and I was finally able to make it this year. Next to the El Porteno empanadas and the avocado cupcakes with key lime buttercream frosting, this might have been my favorite:

Salvia Amistad. Full, lush, drought tolerant, intense dark purple blue, hummingbird heaven. Sunset says this one grows to 3-4 feet tall and three feet wide, but this bad boy looked like it was 5 feet in both directions. Stunning. I must have one.

Succulents planted in bands of color

agaves and echeveria

Try planting succulents in huge swaths of a single color. There are so many varieties that you can choose almost any color combination you want. Your garden will look like a jewel box.

This is Echeveria Agavoides ‘Purple Pearl’ and Agave attenuata ‘Nova’ (Blue Fox Tail Agave). When these echeveria fill in, the effect is going to be stunning.

Succulents in a vintage birdbath

succulents in a vintage birdbath

I love this idea: succulents in a vintage birdbath – spotted outside a shop in Montecito.

That’s an agave attenuata in the middle, which will get quite big. The rest of the birdbath is filled with dudleya, jade, echeveria, kalanchoe, and sedum. The green plants in the middle are ringed by purple and blue succulents, with a few small green sedums tucked in around the very edges. Your dudleyas (the silver/blue/purple ones) will need to grow a bit before the rosettes get long and full like these. When they get too leggy, just pull them out, break off the long stems, and replant the rosettes.

succulents in a vintage birdbath

Container garded idea: bright painted wood

painted wood container

Spotted this one outside Raoul, a home and textiles shop in Santa Barbara. I love the idea of a bright paint color instead of the usual black, white, or dark green. I think a bright paint color calls for something happy and carefree like lavender, and definitely an upright grower so you can show off the container. The other great idea here: instead of waiting forever for a topiary to shape up, underplant a citrus with lavender or rosemary.

A dream patio or porch

dream back porch

This is a beautiful, simple, serene way to style a front porch or back patio. The soft blues of the containers echo the paint color on the windows and doors. The arrangement of the containers is almost, but not quite, symmetrical. The containers are each slightly different, and there are two palm varieties. Furniture and accessories are natural tones: wood, wicker, and jute.

I love the wicker pendant lights (this is a covered patio). These bentwood pendants from West Elm would look great too.

Amazing idea: paint your front gate turquoise

turquoise front gate

This was so beautiful it literally stopped me in my tracks. Everything was neutral and quiet from the hardscaping to the house color to the hardware. The part of the garden that I could see was all foliage. Then there was this gorgeous, inviting turquoise blue  gate right smack in the middle of it all. What a charming way to give the home privacy and more usable outdoor space.

A glow in the dark plant

glow in the dark plant

I was walking through my neighborhood just after dark, and here was Senecio cineraria ‘Dusty Miller’ just GLOWING in the dark. Every other plant was a dark shadow, and then here was this luminous white.

I don’t think I could do a full on moon garden because I like orange flowers way too much, but I may need some of these in pots on the deck to enjoy on a warm evening.

glow in the dark plants