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.