Corylus avellana 'Contorta.' (Warning: X-Long)

psittacineJuly 15, 2008

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick .. Anyone have one planted in a drought resistant setting? I am trying to design a water thrifty perennial garden and include a Corylus avellana 'Contorta' as well as others. I am _terrible_ at the design part. Such as:

(1) How do you 'design' when plant heights vary so much? Only as an example: how do you plant Centranthus ruber 'Coccineus' 24"-36" H. x 30" with Eryngium Sapphire Blue 24-36" H. x 36" when the height of either can vary 12". Wrong choice would make things look lopsided, wouldn't it?

(2) I have no VISION without actually seeing, and have trouble getting my mind to do 'drifts' and not doing the easy thing... 'little soldiers in a row'...

but... I think I have a pretty good selection of plants. I would love to see more photos of drought resistant gardens, and especially with Corylus avellana included. Not much on the net especially suitable for 'front foundation'. I'm so hoping that if I have enough information as well as visuals, it won't look a total mess.

The specific location I've got to fill faces east and is in the front 'foundation' of my home. I have only gardens in the front area and no intention of putting in lawn. The area is to the south of the porch and measures 12' deep runs the remaining 24' of the house. It continues around the south side of the house in a rounded wedge approximately 16' long by 10'-13' deep or so. . The S.E. corner of the bed is vacant except for one Agastache and even that can be moved. The remaining continuing to around the west is the daylily seedling bed portion. So, not much set in stone... measurement for garden can be changed. The thing is that I am rapidly approaching a decade past the half century mark.. (can't bare to say the numbers on that one) but the point here is that I donÂt know if I'll be able to do major plant re-arranging for too many years longer.

The couple of plants that I plan to use that are not water thrifty will be in special locations (near water spigot) with their needs for water and/or improved soil taken fully into consideration.

My (long) list of plants copied and pasted from a word document, (any plant can be used or omitted, except probably 'Harry'!):

Plant 'pickin' list:

numbers in front of names are the actual plants available at this point.

X = using, or elsewhere preferred

(~) = many individuals can be 'made'


(2) Agastache cana 'Rosita' 24" x 30"

(2) Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'® 40-48" x 24" (Mine actually ended up being 5' H. x 7' W. after 3-4 years growth)

x Buddleia davidii 'Queen's Robe' 6'-8' tall. x 4' apt.

(1) Centranthus ruber 'Coccineus' 24"-36" x 30"

(3) Chrysanthemum superbum Snowcap 12-15 x 12-14

(3) Coreopsis rosea Sweet Dreams 18" x 20" apt.

(1) Corylus avellana 'Contorta.' Harry Lauder's Walking Stick 8'-10' X 8Â X 10Â

(~) Delosperma cooperi Hardy Ice Plant 3" x 18"

(~) Delosperma nubigenum Hardy Yellow Ice Plant. 2" x 24"

(2) Eryngium ÂSapphire Blue 24-36" x 36"

(~) Gaillardia 'Fanfare' 12- 24 x 15

(3) Gaura lindheimeri ÂPink Cloud 30" 48"x 12-18"

(1) Gaura lindheimeri 'Siskiyou Pink' 2-3Â x 2-3Â

(~) Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' 15-18x 18"

(~) Geranium sanguineum bloody geranium 18" x 24"

(~) Hemerocallis = Most height to 36Â

(~) Iris pallida 'Variegata' 24-30" x 12"

(~) Kniphofia Uvaria ÂRed Hot Poker 24-36 x12-15" apt.

(1) Lonicera brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' 12Â

(1) Lonicera x heckrottii 'Pink Lemonade' 10Â Â 20Âx 30-36"

x (~) Marrubium rotundifolium Silver Edged Horehound 10" x 18"

(1) Origanum libanoticumCascading Ornamental 18" x 18"

(2-6) Penstemon barbatus 'Rondo Mix' 2' h x 14" apt.

x Penstemon cardinalis 24-28"x 15"

x Penstemon digitalis 'Husker's Red' 24" - 36"x 12"- 24"

x (1) Penstemon mexicali 'Red Rocks' 18" hx 15"

(4) Penstemon strictusRocky Mountain 24" x 36" 14" apt.

(1) Penstemon tubaeflorus 30-36" hx 15"

(1) Rosa ÂSunsprite 24 Â36" x 36"

Rosa - several seedlings of different shapes. DT and well behaved 'florabunda?' shrub types

(3) Salvia nemorosa May Night 18"h x 18"

(1) Salvia x sylvestris'Rose Queen' 12- 24" hx 24"

(1) Scabiosa columbaria ÂButterfly Blue' 12-15 h x12-15"

(5) Scabiosa caucasica ÂHouse Mix 24"-30" x 15" apt.

(10) Sedum alboroseum ÂMediovariegatum 16-20 hx 12-18

(10) Sedum 'Autumn Joy' 18"x 24"

(10) Sedum Hylotelephium ÂMatrona 24-36 hx18-24"

(1) Spirea ÂLittle Princess 18- 30"x24 36" mound

(~) Viburnum trilobum

Plants that I also wouldn't mind having somewhere in one of the gardens are: Hesperaloe (sp?), Lychnis coronaria (Old Fashioned Rose Campion), more penstemon and Agastache. I am not too interested in grasses because, from what I have read, division is usually necessary at some point and can be difficult/hard/heavy work. Since I grow daylily seedlings I have enough splitten' to do.

Any suggestions, warnings, other discussion and/or PHOTOS would truly be appreciated.


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Was hoping...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Are your flower beds going to be viewed only from the front? If so, taller plants go in the back, medium height plants go in the middle and shorter plants for the front border.

I have a red hot poker plant. It needs a lot of water. I don't have any idea why it is called draught resistant. Iris are best planted in the background. That way other plants will hide the browning foliage.

Russian sage is draught resistant. I like it very much. I am also very fond of my Blue Mist caryopteris, a medium size full-looking shrub with violet colored blooms. Columbine is nice. I find it does better if it gets a bit of shade. Here is a photo of my wild snapdragon, a penstemon Palmeri, one of my garden's crowning glories.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:41AM
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The bed is situated directly in front of the house (and around the south corner) along its base. It will be primarily viewed from the front, though we also love watching undisturbed birds, butterflies and other critters, from windows and the door.

Hopefully I do understand that the goal is the layering affect. Its mostly working the young Harry into the garden that has slowed my planning progress... I think. That and the fact that some plant heights listed include the bloom in the measurement, in others the flower scape/stock is higher and is not included. For example, a particular daylily may have foliage 18" in height with a flower scape of 36". I have an Agastache that grew to 5 h. x 7 w. However the description has it listed as "40-48" x 24" wide". Sometimes a description will state something like -- the tall flower stalks make a statement and the lower growing foliage is evergreen. - That kind of thing throws me off when they give the height of one and not the other. How do you plan around that? How do you know which descriptions give what measurements? I know you dont have the answer to this question, its just at this point I dont know how to plan with those questions.

I have 4 stands of poker plants planted outside my front fence. This area occasionally will get water overflow from plants located inside the fence and, very rarely, purposely from direct hose water. They do well and flower beautifully. I have wondered if there are different strains, and perhaps some are more drought tolerant than others. Ive seen them listed as both needing regular water and being water thrifty.

I do like both Russian sage and Caryopteris, however because the house is a gray color, they would pretty much disappear. I flunked growing columbine... Ive tried several varieties. They required too much water and I just couldnt keep the aphids off them. The nasty pest always would do them in.

I absolutely love Penstemon palmeri! Thanks for posting the photo. When making the 50-mile trip south to a larger city to shop and visit my brother in springtime, I always look for the huge blooms of P. palmeri growing along the roadside. I had planned on ordering one from HIGH COUNTRY GARDENS this past spring with others, but they were out. Maybe next year. I wonder if it is illegal to collect a few seed from the wild ones.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:10AM
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I haven't seen the penstemon Palmeri growing wild. It probably is illegal to gather the seeds. I read that the plants generally live to be about five years old, and should not be completely deadheaded, when in a garden, so that they can reseed themselves. I'm saving a few seeds from mine this year. I could send you some. They haven't dried out yet--still on the plant.

I do my planning by the height of the plant. I don't take the additional flower height into account. You could plant your beds with low growers all round and put your tall plants in the middle.

I don't think purple flowers would be lost against your grey house. Purple and grey compliment each other. There is a new variety of Russian sage at HCG. It is purple with a blue tone--I bought one. The photograph in the catalog makes it look dark blue and they refer to it as being blue, but it isn't. I think it is called Petrova, something Russian sounding which begins with a P.

I have a few of the plants on your list. I live in central New Mexico on a windswept mesa. The winds are a force to be reckoned with around here! I find that scabiosas, chyrsanthemums, snapdragons, petunias, dianthus, French marigolds and sages do well. If the plants are slightly crowded, they shade each other and the soil. Candytuft does okay. I have a nice forsythia shrub, and some artemisia. Hollyhocks do well, but rabbits ate all of mine this year.

I have two types of honeysuckle. They were slow to get going, but they are doing well. I have about twenty roses of various types. The roses definitely need some shade during the heat of a summer day, or the flowers fry on the bush. Except for the old-fashioned shrub rose. That one is a champ.

My dogs ate all of the daylilies I planted when I moved in, but I just planted a couple more--give it another go. I put chicken wire up this time. I have a groundcover Veronica Speedwell which is doing nicely beneath a tree, and a groundcover sedum (cannot remember which one) which is semi-shaded and doing okay. I planted a vibernum this spring, but it is struggling. I hope it survives.

I recently tried osteospermum, a hybrid red Marguerite and Euryops. They are all doing well. Sunflowers, of course, do well but they get started late and bloom in fall. I can grow morning glory if I keep it well watered. I have a lovely catmint, which I am quite fond of. I've tried several lavender, only one survived and is doing well. It is a lavendula, again I've lost track of the name.

I haven't had good luck with the multicolored Columbine. My yellow one gets some afternoon shade. It has been in bloom for three solid months! I have had zero success with lantana and spirea here. I've tried them a few times.

I have three big stands of Maximillian sunflowers, a perennial. It is an invasive plant but stays somewhat contained if encircled with rocks. Otherwise, shovel pruning is in order to keep it in check.

I moved to New Mexico five years ago. I considered myself a skillful gardener, but soon realized that this environment was nothing like what I was used to. It was a big learning experience!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:16PM
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