We walk down the hill driveway:
... and approach the entrance to the pergola that leads to the courtyard garden.
The pergola is under the shade of several clumps of Golden Cane palms - the one to the right of the above photo is now over 4 metres tall . The top of this pergola is completely covered in jasmine (not in flower when these photos were taken) and arching over the top is the Hibiscus schizopetalus - the Japanese Lantern hibiscus.
Now walking under the archway and down the steps, surrounded by the giant sword fern - Nephrolepsis biserrata - on the right side with a large Fiji Fan Palm - Pritchardia Pacifica.
This next photo shows the other side of the garden bed full of the giant sword ferns and the fan palm. This garden bed is quite high on this side and provides a lovely outlook from the kitchen windows. You can also see the jasmine spilling over the top ... and it's in bloom in this photo!
Now back to the pergola steps .... On the left side there is another raised garden bed which contains the pond area which you can see through the leaves of the golden cane palm in this photo below.
At the back of this garden bed there is yet another golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens) seen above and in the photo below,
my footstool palm (Livistona rotundifolia),
a bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii )
as well as lots of Neomarica longifolia (yellow iris) and various Dracaenas.
Let's keep on going down the steps towards the courtyard:
Here's the view back up the steps once we reach the courtyard:
You can see one of my beautiful Cycas revoluta to the left of the steps and more of those giant sword ferns!
Now let's take a look to the right of the steps at the garden bed with the pond:
At the back of the photo .... close to the lattice work.... you might catch another glimpse of the Livistona rotundifolia – Footstool Palm (centre back), the Chamaedorea seifrizii (syn: erumpens) – Bamboo Palm (you can just see the bamboo like stems to the right) and one of my red wing Cordylines (top left corner). There really is a pond in amongst it all too!
All the plants at the front of the photo are potted plants which get changed - there's an autumn-spring collection and a summer collection.
Here's the collection of potted plants that were in this spot from the beginning of autumn to the end of spring last year .... March to November:
... and here's the collection that was in place for the summer of 2009 into 2010 - December to February:
Now the last garden bed in the courtyard garden is the large screening bed at the back of the courtyard:
This garden bed has Acalyphas, another Cycas revoluta, a very tall Aralia, a tall red Ixora, a Croton, an Acacia tree, a couple of Snowflake hibiscus shrubs, an aAdisia elliptica, a white Mussaenda philippica, an Allamanda, an old white hibiscus and a large clump of Phyllanthus multiflora.
Here's another view:
Off in the distance, behind the screening bed there is a beautiful cassia fistula - golden shower tree. You can see the gorgeous bright yellow blooms in the next photo ... above the hibiscus and ixora flowers.
Now finally here's an overall view of the courtyard garden (end of spring last year) ... you can see the pergola and its garden beds off to the left and the large screening bed at the back.
The courtyard garden has been a work-in-progress for just over a year now. It is the one garden space where I can change the garden view throughout the year. I've been gradually adding lots of potted plants around the pond area and on the pavers, in an effort to add colour and variety to this space.
Right now the courtyard garden is in a state of flux ... after the long months of rain we've been experiencing, many of the drought tolerant plants have suffered and are longing for some decent sunshine. This is a photo of the courtyard garden taken today ....
I'm in the process of re-designing the arrangement of potted plants ... trying out different combinations of colours. As we are already approaching the last month of Autumn, I am eager to get these plants in position so they can start to flourish.
For Part 3 of My Place, please click on this link My Driveway Garden Beds