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ValidusLA

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Noguchi garden , Costa Mesa . more of an art installation but still a Japanese garden



azaleas are a pita . I'd go with something like camelia sasanqua instead . manzanitas are another good substitute . native rhodies are another option .

Azaleas are not hard down here. See them all over Pasadena. I have like...50.
 

Gibonius

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Pine. Nandina. Gingko. Camellia. Azalea. Wisteria. Mondo grass. Barberry. Even some yews.

Can't forget the Japanese maples.

Azaleas are not hard down here. See them all over Pasadena. I have like...50.

I love azaleas (esp. the ones that flower twice a year) but the deer love them to an absurd degree. I spray repellent, but they basically check every single day until the repellent is worn off enough for them. They eat most of the buds on the ones in the front every single year.

Somehow the older (maybe more established, woodier?) azaleas get overlooked, so all my neighbors who haven't done any landscaping in decades have beautiful flowering azaleas and mine look like crap.
 

double00

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Azaleas are not hard down here. See them all over Pasadena. I have like...50.

fair enough they should work in Tustin or wherever op is .

here azaleas need a wide margin of personal space , good circulation otherwise they get mildew . so they are pretty hard to use imho as you just end up with a little sprawling bush on its own . I have a few in a mixed hedge but it's sort of an experiment and I will probably end up replacing the azaleas tbh .

my kiddo's aikido studio is in an old house in the part of town where the houses got converted to commercial uses back when . so it's a similar situation to OP with the house facade and lot size and they have a Japanese landscape . i'll try to grab some pics of what they did how they screened etc .
 

double00

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ok at this property there are 8' alleys between the footing and fence line on either side , a very typical lot size . in the back there is a few parking spots probably for staff and in the front there is a pretty wide strip between the sidewalk and curb .

what they've done here is to borrow the sidewalk and use the landscaping strip to carve out a pretty neat little courtyard , just a little people place where folks can egress and pick up their kiddos etc .

20240418_142221.jpg

in the alleys they've kept the house side clean for pathways , vertical screens without and groundcovers on a raised planter .

20240418_142248.jpg
obligatory azalea and you can see a bit of context with the adjacent house , i'm not sure if that's a biz or a residence

20240418_142428.jpg
obligatory maple

20240418_142505.jpg
inside the shady alley , ferns with container bamboo . rock mulch works well here especially in deep shade . stone pavers .
20240418_142449.jpg
what i'm not showing is how the screen plantings work from inside the building . they simply composed the screen for view .

20240418_142337.jpg
the sunnier exposure . no rock mulch here they went with concrete . also fewer groundcovers and more bigger shrubs , presumably to shade / crowd out weeds .

20240418_142356.jpg
one more .
 

ValidusLA

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Can't forget the Japanese maples.
I mentioned them above my list!

Coral Bark and Bloodgood are the easiest for So-Cal. Emperor 1 w/ some attention. Mikawa Yatsubasa grows well, as does Kuranai-jishi and Shishigashira. Weeping ones are much harder, but not impossible with shade.

My favorite azalea varietals:
Red - Sun - Hino Crimson, small bright red flowers with small, bright green leaves
Red - Part Shade - Ruby Glow - small dark red flowers with small dark green leaves.
White - Sun - Alaska - Large white flowers with large dark green leaves.
Pink/White - Sun - Iveryana - White flowers w/ Pink Variegation with large bright green leaves. Preferably buy while blooming to judge individual plant variegation.

All of these can (and should) be purchased at Nuccios if you live in So Cal.
 

Gibonius

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I mentioned them above my list!

Coral Bark and Bloodgood are the easiest for So-Cal. Emperor 1 w/ some attention. Mikawa Yatsubasa grows well, as does Kuranai-jishi and Shishigashira. Weeping ones are much harder, but not impossible with shade.

My favorite azalea varietals:
Red - Sun - Hino Crimson, small bright red flowers with small, bright green leaves
Red - Part Shade - Ruby Glow - small dark red flowers with small dark green leaves.
White - Sun - Alaska - Large white flowers with large dark green leaves.
Pink/White - Sun - Iveryana - White flowers w/ Pink Variegation with large bright green leaves. Preferably buy while blooming to judge individual plant variegation.

All of these can (and should) be purchased at Nuccios if you live in So Cal.

I'm about to buy a Coral Bark unless I find something cool in a trip to the specialty nursery next week. We have a lot of problem with pseudomonas around here, which Sango Kaku is vulnerable to. Frustrating when they just turn black and die. But it's a cool tree otherwise.


I don't know how they grow in the SoCal climate, but don't sleep on the Acer shirasawanum varieties (Chinese maple). They're probably available there, at least more than on the East Coast, since they grow like weeds in the PNW.

"Autumn Moon" and "Moonrise" are great varieties. "Jordan" is good too if you want a yellow one.

 

Gibonius

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Speaking of maples:


Mikawa Yatsubusa. Hard to find big ones around here.
20240416_194608.jpg


Butterfly. Recently transplanted after not really growing for 5+ years. We'll see if it likes this spot better.

20240421_154212.jpg


Acer shirasawanum "Autumn Moon." Will turn more orange (with red new growth) later into spring.
20240421_154126.jpg


Shishigashira. You can see where the deer have been "pruning" it.

20240421_154243.jpg


Amagi shigure. This one unfortunately fades badly in the summer.
20240421_154736.jpg


"Japanese Princess," a Mikawa mutant.

20240416_194334 (1).jpg



"Red spider." This one has held color in summer very nicely.

20240414_184536.jpg



"Skeeter's Broom," a witch's broom of Blood Good. Growing like an absolute weed.
20240421_154230.jpg
 

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ValidusLA

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Why at Nuccios? I'm near Site One and Armstrong.

Nuccios is a multi generational world renowned grower of azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons.

They have originated dozens of varietals and carry hundreds if not thousands of the above plants.

Varietals that carry the same name are seldom the same across growers. If you search for Iveryana Azaleas, this comes up from a big commercial grower. image_4c82a2cb-47ab-4d40-8ae6-52c5b7dbc106_2100x2800.jpg
Here's nuccios version in my yard (late April...not in prime but amazing it's still going)
20240421_132328.jpg
Taste is subjective, but if someone thinks the first is nicer looking than the second than we are just in different conversations.

I have run across Nuccios originated camellias in specialty gardens in Japan (specifically Nuccios Gem and Nuccios Bella Rosa).

I am friends with my local Armstrong manager. He once asked me why I bought so many plants but never any Azaleas. I replied I bought them at Nuccios. His reply, "Oh yah. Good call. Not many people even know they are there."

They are also cheaper than Armstrong or other commercial growers.

Last but not least, sadly, they are not long for the world. The brothers who currently own it will be the last owners. None of their kids want the business and the giant piece of land it sits on is so valuable it will create huge generational wealth. It will be sold in the next decade or so to a local private school who will turn it into a sports complex and destroy a piece of horticultural history and make the world of azaleas and camellias infinitly poorer.
 

Mujib

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Your spot is nice. Cant believe that’s LA.

Do the rocks work like other mulch for you? I want to do some of that in some areas but not sure if it’s too early and if it’ll hurt the drip system.
 

Gibonius

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These two are awesome. How long has the second one been growing?
Almost ten years, including being transplanted once. Started growing like crazy once I moved it.

It was planted literally the same day as the Butterfly, which really highlights the growth difference. One of my several housewarming trees, which is (apparently) a thing in my family.
 

Gibonius

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@Gibonius I love Mikawa.
heres my little one. Had to order for delivery. Quite hard to find.
I went to the specialty nursery last year just to get a Mikawa, and all the bigger ones had already been tagged within a day or two of their spring delivery. Demand for specialty stuff has gone nuts since the pandemic.

Has that one been in the ground awhile? Most mailorder places I've tried really don't give you a great sized plant for the money. It works if you really want a particular variety, but get ready for wait for years.

My Autumn Moon was a mailorder, and I'm still waiting for it to get to size. The local place has ones five times the size for the same place, but I didn't know about it at the time. Live and learn!

Last but not least, sadly, they are not long for the world. The brothers who currently own it will be the last owners. None of their kids want the business and the giant piece of land it sits on is so valuable it will create huge generational wealth. It will be sold in the next decade or so to a local private school who will turn it into a sports complex and destroy a piece of horticultural history and make the world of azaleas and camellias infinitly poorer.

That's a real shame, I love the institutional plant growers like that. My dad's been in the industry for 48 years, just retired last year. He's been buying from places like that for decades, I'll have to ask if he knows them.

The amount of passion in the industry is really something. Real contrast to the soulless homogeneity of Home Depot etc.
 

Gibonius

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Your spot is nice. Cant believe that’s LA.

Do the rocks work like other mulch for you? I want to do some of that in some areas but not sure if it’s too early and if it’ll hurt the drip system.
You need to watch out for using stones for mulch with maples, it can raise the soil temperature and simultaneously dry them out and cook the root.


Given the rain chain, I'm guessing Validus's bed stays damper and has shade.
 

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