Monday, July 08, 2013

Water and tears

So, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that the main water line into my house had broken. No big surprise since the house is over 50 years old and those old pipes don't last forever. Water leaking into the basement was a nasty surprise but what was worse was the knowledge that the backhoe was going to tear through two of my front flower beds. First I pouted, then I cried. When I was done with that I started digging up what I hoped to save. A giant miscanthus was tops on my list. I love the feathery fronds it gets in the fall and holds all winter. Yeah, I could have bought a new one but what if I didn't get the same one? Aren't there a lot of varieties of miscanthus? I didn't want to take that chance so out it came, along with some Jupiter's Beard and lots of salvia. I also saved a couple of rose bushes. Then the backhoe arrived.

I discovered that a four foot deep trench in your front yard looks ten feet deep. Look at all that clay. The backhoe compressed it even more.

When the main line was completely replaced this is what I was left with. Oh, notice the neighbor's scarred-up grass across the street? He had to replace his main line last fall. It's catching.

The original round bed that was ripped out was only about four feet across and now I had a long rectangular bed of hard-packed clay soil. Across the sidewalk next to the house was where the roses had been and that bed size stayed basically the same size. With the help of my young grandsons who are always ready to dig, we worked several bags of Claybuster amendments into the soil. And here is the finished bed.

There's the miscanthus in the middle, I hope it makes it. It was pretty big to be transplanted especially in hot summer temps. I added several blue fescue and a couple of Karl Foersters. Look at this cool rock we found at the stone yard. It has a nice little indentation which catches water and makes a nice bug bath, or more likely, a spot for rabbits to take a drink break while they munch on my plants.

I re-used my fake rock which was originally used to cover the copper sprinkler valves. The sprinkler system got updated at the same time but there's no way I'm getting rid of that rock as that baby was pricey. I pretend like its real.

I was looking for some kind of yellow flower for this bed at the garden center and had put some coreopsis Moonbeam in my cart when I spotted Sol Dancer. It's a newish plant and I can't remember the Latin name but I'd never heard of it. Neither had anyone at the garden center. It's kind of wildflower-looking with a rosette of grass-like leaves at the base and the flowers on long wands. I dumped the Moonbeam since I'm not that fond of it anyway. The rabbits like this new one so I may not have to worry about whether it will survive the winter.

I also can't remember the name of this plant which I rescued from the old bed. Maybe I never knew what it was. I do like the cone-shaped soft pink flowers.

And this is the other bed next to the house. I put the old roses back in and added a new David Austin Jubilee Celebration which is not at all happy. I hope she gets over pouting. I did.



Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad you got over your pout because the new bed looks spiffy. Like nothing ever happened. I don't blame you for keeping the fake rock. If you hadn't told me I wouldn't have known. It is very realistic. Of course the rock with the bug bath is cute as a button.

Annie in Austin said...

Although I started reading your post with hands over ears saying "La,la,la,la - I can't hear you", Lost Roses, by the end I was cheering on your new bed design. And like Lisa, the rock fooled me, too.

That 'Sol Dancer' plant is sure mysterious, isn't it? Not much on Google, no hint of a botanical name. My best guess is something pulled from the various species of the Tetraneuris/Four-Nerve daisy genus.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LostRoses said...

Lisa, thank you! I've grown pretty fond of my fake rock and I think it looks fairly realistic too. But I'm in love with bug bath!

Annie, you are so clever! Tetraneuris was the name on the container but I only remembered the "common" name. I recycled the container so had no clue. Thanks so much for being my own version of Hortus Third. Amazing, and your other comment was so funny!

Annie in Austin said...

I grow one of those Tetraneuris/Four-Nerves, so it wasn't rocket science, Lost Roses ;-]
Hortus Third can still be useful, but it's been around so long & so many botanical names have changed that it's way out-of-date. That analogy feels too true!


Kathy said...

Gardening is full of those make-lemonade-out-of-lemons situations, isn't it? I hope that miscanthus makes it, too!

LostRoses said...

Ha, Annie, as if you could ever be out-of-date!

Kathy, too true. I probably never would have gotten around to expanding the original bed if I hadn't been "pushed!" I'm rooting for that miscanthus.

Commonweeder said...

It is so scary to have to do a major replanting in summer especially a hot one like ours. You did great!

LostRoses said...

Hi Weeder, thanks! You're right, at this time of year I would never normally consider transplanting, but needs must!

Sue Ellen said...

Oh, how I hate those times that heavy equipment has to come across the garden. Your finished beds look wonderful. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I don't get to post often but love to share when I can.

LostRoses said...

Thanks, Sue Ellen. Heavy equipment has its place but not in my yard!

Shirley said...

I wish blogs had a like button like on Facebook so I could just go around liking all your posts! Very entertaining and it looks like you made a positive out of having to have your front garden torn up. Good for you.

LostRoses said...

Thanks so much, Shirley, I do like to have a good laugh - even when things go wrong!