Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nandina and Asparagus Fern

Residential front yard, January 30, 2012
I had a chance to visit Lafayette and see the gardens of the residents there. It was eye opening to notice how many people still maintain lawns and gardens that need a lot of water. Whereas in Oakland I see a lot of Ivy which is not the best, and considered an invasive plant, in Lafayette, CA where the properties are generally flatter, the lawn dominates. On the promising side, I did see a few rock gardens often with the plant pictured at left placed in key positions with a pretty display of berries. The Nandina domestica or 'Heavenly Bamboo' is a great plant for this area and doesn't need a lot of water. It also doesn't take over like many of the proper bamboo's. The reason I like this combination with the Asparagus Fern underneath is because the lower part of the Heavenly Bamboo often looks sparse and rough, but with the asparagus fern growing up underneath, the combination looks pleasant and bright and lovely. The catch here is that the Asparagus Fern needs regular water, but Sunset says that it can go quite a while without water because of  a large tap root - so tucked under a plant like this it could also go on a slow drip just like the Nandina.

Top: Common Name: Heavenly Bamboo
Genus species: Nandina domestica
Bottom: Common Name: Asparagus Fern
Genus speciese: Asparagus densiflorus
These plants growing in Lafayette, California are in a partly shaded location near the house with no irrigation visible.

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