Friday, June 25, 2010

The Constant Gardener

The great empty space beneath the Japanese Maple of my front entry border was bothering me so much, that I decided to implement my new garden design right away. We are having sizzling high-90s temperatures in the D.C. region at the moment, and so I know it is not wise to introduce new plants at this time, but with attentive watering I think they will be okay. I planted a pair of Hydrangea Endless Summer, one on each side of the Maple, and then patches of perennials for shade (left side) and sun (right side). The size and health of these plants has convinced me to resist the lure of cheap mail-order perennials/shrubs in the future, because it is so worth it to pay the extra few dollars (Goldstrum was only $8.99 for a 1 gallon container) to get a high performer that will bloom the very first year.

New Garden Design
3 Astilbe 'Maggie Daley' (back left)
3 Astilbe 'White Gloria' (back left)
3 Lady's Mantle (middle left)
3 Geranium Biokovo (front left)
2 Hydrangea Endless Summer (back center)
3 Coneflower Goldstrum (front center)
6 Echinacea 'Magnus' (back right)
6 Salvia 'May Night' (middle right)
3 Geranium Biokovo (front right)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flora of Panama

Travel is such a huge part of my life, and no matter where I go, there always seems to be so many interesting forms of plant life awaiting me. I vacationed in the Central American nation of Panama for a week earlier this month, and I really enjoyed exploring all of the bright tropical nature that was on offer. The scorching heat and high humidity notwithstanding, I trekked through a "jungle" and hiked through a rain forest, and the biodiversity present was truly impressive.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Butterfly on the Bottlebrush

The recently purchased Bottlebrush Buckeye is doing exceptionally well, giving me 5 foot-long bloom spikes that are apparently very long-lasting.

Best of all, the delicately scented flowers are attractive to butterflies, and a large gorgeous one stopped by to graze this morning.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Transforming a Trouble Spot

Upon returning home from a 10 day vacation to Panama, my first order of business was cleaning up the garden and assessing how things had been coming along in the last weeks of Spring. The withering heat had left many of my plants in a sorry state, including the brand new rose bushes which are planted in containers, but most disappointing of all was the empty appearance of the garden bed beneath the Japapanese Maple.

I feel as if a lot of energy has been invested in this area, all to no avail, and my biggest impediment to having it become a lush full bursting-with-flowers entry garden is the weird light conditions. The right half gets full-sun, Salvia 'May Night' and Echinacea 'Magnus' do perfectly fine on that side, but then the left half is mostly shade. This has created an unbalanced effect. Making matters worse, something (chipmunks? moles or voles?) is burrowing holes around the plants, and I think perhaps this is why I lost one of the Geranium 'Biokovo' and why the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' has really struggled as well.

After a strenuous debate in my head, I have now decided to relocate the Salvia/Echinacea/Coreopsis and treat the whole bed like a Shade Garden. I will add in many more Geraniums to fill in the side perimeter areas, and then plant 2 rows of Astilbe 'Bressingham Beauty' for the darkest parts in the back. For the middle/front spot in front of the tree, I'm considering Tennessee Coneflower, but have yet to settle on which plant would work best for this prominent position.


Related Posts with Thumbnails