Come tour my front-street garden
Two Summers ago I began the process of removing large, umkempt shrubs from the street side garden beds(at the request of Ken!), and found a very desirable palate for a garden planting. A few dump trucks of compost, Fifteen yards of bark, Twenty tons of rocks and a few hundred plants later, I finished up a wildly overpacked composite garden featuring conifers, Japanese maples and Autumn/Winter coloring heather. Finally I added Spring bulbs and warm-colored perennials and stepped back and watched it go. In it's second year, the plants are leaping, aided by 12+ hours of sun and a nice, well-draining mix of soil on the slope. From the street, it's a chaotic mix of colors, shapes and textures and almost all of the photos I have shared were from a distance. I want to invite you to wander through it with me as I wade through and took some photos of some of the plants less noticed at a distance but still neat, to my gardening eyes at least.
My goal in this project was to create all-season beauty, a heavily textured garden of colors, shapes and different types of plants that would be anything but green in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The only real requirement was that the plants be moderately drought tolerant or better as this will have NO irrigation in the future years.
Dave had the great idea of labeling images when there are many, so I have done so here with a few notes as well.
3. Heathers contrast well both in Summer and Winter when these turn a fire-engine red against the softer colors of the conifers. Looks nice all year.
5. I'm a huge fan of cone flowers, mostly because they flower abundantly for months and are very drought tolerant(key in our climate). The fact that many new varieties come in warm colors of peach, orange, red and pink help contrast well with the subtle blues and greens most conifers provide. Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' provides the blue here.
7. Like the rest of my garden, crowding of plants and competition for light is always present. At least in these beds though there is SO much sunshine, everyone seems to get more then they need.
- A very neat spruce, I believe it to be Picea meyeri. A nice blue-green and the needles are very similar to Abies procera, plump and facing upwards. Moderately slow growing so far, 4-6" a year.
- The final part of the garden sweeps alongside the house and my neighbors property. This was all St. Johns Wort and having removed this finally, my neighbor and I are both filling the space with more desirable plants. Mine of course, is mostly conifers and maples, while they have planted a variety of lavender, dahlias and fruit trees. The rock wall seperates our gardens and helps keep the soil and mulch in place.
- About a dozen Japanese maples are planted towards the back, provided with a little shade from the large doug-firs and also create a beautiful fall scene. Most can be pruned up to keep them from overwhelming the conifers below them.
- Chaos! It makes me happy though. :)
- No space was left alone as I planted three different colored Japanese maple weepers beneath the doug-fir. For the first two years it will provide some shade before they are established at which point I will limb it up a little to let them spread and enjoy more sun.
- Though many rocks are placed throughout the planting, this is the only significant 'garden design', a twelve foot dry creek bed flows from beneath the trees and empties down towards the street.