Things are greening up!
I took some pics today of my new garden as of now. Keep in mind I started this only last year, and this is the first year planting non-rose companion perennials and clematis. I still have a few more things on my to-do list, and the plants I put in are very small so there's still a lot of empty space. As things grow and start blooming, I'll add more.
This will be a long post........
This is the shady side of my house, looking from the back toward the front. The only direct sun it gets is in the last couple of hours before sunset. But it's "bright shade" with light reflected off the neighbor's house. In this bed are a mix of Hostas, Athyrium niponicum var pictum cultivars, some Lamium, two different Corydalis, one Dicentra spectabilis 'Goldheart', one Polemonium 'Purple Rain', a Begonia grandis, a Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance', one Brunnera 'King's Ransom', and a few different Viola odorata cultivars.
Looking toward the back of the shady border from the front yard, where it gets gradually sunnier. Where the gutter drains, I planted Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona' because it likes a lot of moisture but also a bit more sun. It will grow big. To its right are the blue-purple flowers of Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon', which I can smell several feet away. The gold leaves in the lower right corner belong to Hosta 'Stained Glass'.
This is my little front yard. I will be moving the pots to the back eventually. My 'Jaune Desprez' suffered severe freeze damage this past horrible Winter, and I cut it back to about 12" from the ground. The other roses here did fine (they're not as tender as a Tea-Noisette). The perennials I put here are mostly low-growing, eventually (hopefully) spreading to fill more space than they already occupy. Against the trunk of the tree is a pink-flowered Hemerocallis (daylily) 'Chorus Line'.
I scored free used bricks from the yard next door, and used it to edge this border around the house next door sharing my yard. I had a few "leftover" roses that I didn't plant, but still wanted to keep. In the spot against the side-edge of the porch railing is "Grandmother's Hat", then below the first window is 'Napoleon', and below the second window is 'Perle d'Or'. Other plants added here like it hot and somewhat dry -- various Achillea, Penstemon, Coreopsis, one green-leafed Santolina, some Salvia, etc. And I also put in two different Amsonia -- A. ciliata 'Halfway to Arkansas' is below the front-edge of the porch, and A. hubrichtii is at the other end, back near the fence. These will get brilliant yellow foliage in the Autumn.
Viewing the new bed from the other end -- I put this together rather quickly. First I placed the three roses where I thought they'd do well, then dug them into the soil. Then I laid down cardboard where I wanted the bed to be, covered it in mulch, and edged it temporarily with rocks I found around the yard. When the perennials arrived, there wasn't enough time for the grass underneath to be killed by the cardboard, so I "planted" them by digging down only far enough to rest them ON the cardboard -- then piled the mulch around the pots. I then added peat moss and Milorganite to the mulch to make a "sort of" soil for the perennials to grow into, then added more mulch to raise the level further. I'll have to keep my eye on these plants between the rains to make sure they're not drying out too much, but so far so good. When the cardboard underneath decays, the roots will get access to the soil and won't need further coddling.
I used more of the scored bricks to line this path through the bed from the side of the neighbor's house. The mulch here looks lighter because I didn't add any composted manure to this part of the bed.
I nailed deer netting against the fence to form an "invisible trellis" for attaching the climbing roses and clematis. On the left you see the rose 'Yellow Sweetheart, CL' with its climbing-buddy Clematis 'Edomuraski'.
Here's the length of the side fence with the deer netting tacked onto the posts (not the slats). This allows for a few inches of air space between the trellis and the slats. There's a row of roses, with one clematis on each side of each rose. So it's clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis. The clematis colors here include a few purplish-blues, a few reds, one pale pink and one pale silvery-blue -- some doubles, some singles. I tried having a complimentary color for each climbing rose.
Within the brick-lined path I planted three different kinds of creeping thyme. They will eventually spread and fill-in, and don't mind being walked upon. The first one you'd see from the entrance at the side of the house is 'Minus' -- which I found out is the same thing as the 'Elfin' I also bought. So this was the only example of me buying two of the same cultivar. And one of them I was able to cut in half, so there are three small blobs of this same thyme at one end of the path.
In the middle of the path, for a color-contrast from 'Minus' aka 'Elfin', is 'Archer's Gold'.
And the third thyme, planted near the log edging at the front of the bed, is woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus). As it spreads, I'll let this one cascade over the log edging.
Here's a view of the brick-lined path through the bed from the other end. And while I realize the lawn needs work, I only half-heartedly seeded it this Spring, and didn't use any weed killer. The landlord hasn't turned on the hose yet for Spring, so I relied upon rain to keep it wet enough to germinate. Oh, and a little layering thing I did -- raked the ground, spread the grass seed, then spread a layer of vermiculite, then peat moss, then a heavy layer of milorganite. Those layers kept the soil below moist enough for the grass seed to germinate from rain alone. Really, the best time to seed the lawn is Autumn, but I needed something green "for now". After the Summer, I'll put down weed-killer and seed again.
Another pic showing as much of the yard as I could get in one shot. It still looks pretty bare, but there's lots of new baby perennials in there which will grow and spread soon. Those big black planters I got from Home Depot for $20 each. They're 22 1/2 inches across, made of resin meant to look like a wooden barrel. In each is one of my fragrant dark-red or crimson Hybrid Tea roses, and I'll be getting annuals next month to turn them into mixed planters. They're not in their final spots yet -- I have to clear up stuff on the paved part of the yard before they can be put where they'll be going.
This is the back right corner of the yard. The log edging held up quite well, and now that I've planted in it, I can get started with drilling in screws to keep the pieces in place.
Here's the corner of the bed against the garage. In the corner where the garage meets the fence, I planted the rose "Secret Garden Musk Climber" last year. It was a risk -- it's really more of a warm-climate rose. And then we had the worst Winter in years. I had to cut it down to the ground, but there's some green stems that were below the mulch. I'm still waiting to see leaves, but knowing it likes the heat, I think it's still sleeping. In the meantime, the other roses look like they made it just fine. And with the perennials planted this year, it's looking less bare. Oh, and I'll be repeating the brick-border here to make a short path from the log edging to the window of the garage. As of now, it's the only way in -- the main door needs to be fixed and can be opened only from the inside. And, again, I planted a thyme to fill-in this short path -- this time, it's 'Doone Valley', another yellow-leafed variety.
As I put together the log edging last year, I thought about planting things in the crevices between the logs. So for this year, I ordered a bunch of low-growing Sedums. Some stay only a couple inches high, others have floppier stems that grow longer. In the wild, they'd grow in crevices between rocks. In my yard, the logs work just as well. Here's one of them -- Sedum sieboldii 'Variegatum' .
Another of my crevice-planted Sedums, this one is 'Lidakense'.
I filled in the spaces with some mulch and composted manure mixed with peat moss. These guys don't need much to thrive. This is Sedum 'Silver Moon'. Oh, and ignore the lawn weeds.....
Over the Winter, I was afraid I got too many Sedums. Now that I see how they look, I want more. Here is Sedum telephium 'Sunset Cloud'.
The Sedums look plain now, but their leaves will color-up further as they grow. Some flower in late Spring, others in late Summer into Autumn. The blue grassy-looking foliage behind it is one of the many Dianthus I planted. As they grow, they'll spill over the log edging. Most of the Dianthus bloom in late Spring into Summer, then finish just as most of the Sedums start blooming. Because they work well together, I got a bunch of each genus. I'll have to look at the plant tag tomorrow -- I can't read it in this pic.
Yet another pretty sprawling Sedum planted in the logs. I'll have to go back and read the tags to get the names.
There was an interesting piece of a big old branch that came off the Callery pear tree when my landlord and I cut it back last Summer, and I turned it broken-side-up when using it in the edging. I was hoping that something I planted would sprawl into it over time. So let's see who wins -- the Sedum 'Blue Spruce' on the right, or the Sempervivum on the left.
I got three different Sempervivums (aka "Hens and Chicks") because I found them on-sale. I'll be scouring for more eventually, but I also know that I'll be able to pull off some "chicks" and plant them to eventually grow into "hens" of their own elsewhere.
I love the red color to this Sempervivum. It really sets off the lime-green foliage of the rose 'Honorine de Brabant' to the left, and the blue-green grassy foliage of the Dianthus on the right.
I also got a couple Delosperma -- this one is D. sphalmanthoides, and it remains in a tight ball as it grows. The other one I got -- D. 'John Proffitt' -- is much more loosely sprawling and spreading. That one went elsewhere -- in the log edging, it'd just drag down into the lawn.
Here's one of my Hybrid Teas (this is 'Mirandy') in its planter. I made my own potting mix -- 6 parts peat moss, 2 parts dehydrated cow manure (Bovung at Home Depot), 2 parts leftover mulch from last year, 1 part Vermiculite, 1 part Perlite. I mixed that in a wheelbarrow. I also added about 2 cups of organic rose fertilizer to each. When we're absolutely done with frosts, I'll pick out annuals to fill and spill in them.
Here's another of my red HTs in its container -- this time it's 'Oklahoma'.
Some of the other red HTs don't get as large as the previous ones, so they're in smaller pots. Right now, they're in the front yard, but I'll probably bring them to the back when I've finished cleaning up there. The rose on the right here is 'Nocturne', with 'Nigrette' on the left.
OK, this one might stay on my porch. The flowers of 'Nigrette' are so dark that they don't do well in full-sun. And because it's not the most vigorous plant in the world, I want to keep it where I can baby it -- and marvel at its near-black flower buds before they open to dark red. Come to think of it, I'll probably keep 'Night' aka 'Lady Sackville' on my front porch as well.
This is the old HT 'Chateau de Clos Vougeot'. It looks rather lopsided now because I had to cut off a frost-damaged cane on one side. I'm looking forward to letting this one bloom -- last year I kept removing flower buds from this and the other pot-pet Hybrid Teas.
My thread from last year is linked below, for anyone who wants to see how this all started. And one last pic -- why we do what we do.
Here is a link that might be useful: It's been a busy Summer in my yard...
This post was edited by AquaEyes on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 23:53