Showing posts with label Front bed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Front bed. Show all posts

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Purple on a Stick

The alliums are blooming. I find it very amusing to look out the window and see these purple lollipops.
A couple of "everlasting" alliums thrown into the mix appeal to my sense of humor. I've had people ask me what those big starburst flowers are. I tell them "metal".

I'd forgotten there were some allium bulbs planted in with the catmint. I like the colors together. But look at the spearmint taking over again. The only way I'll get rid of it is to move.

See the one lone cane in the tuteur above? That's what's left of Graham Thomas. It was a tough winter. The creatures in my garden thought it was tough too. That's apparently why they're taking it easy now. Really, rabbit? Can't you see I'm right there? Aren't you the least bit afraid of me?
Apparently not. And neither is this squirrel, lounging in a ratty looking birdhouse.
That reminds me, I really should paint the birdhouse, and my own house trim. But not purple.

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.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yellow devil

Actually it's Yellow Archangel, but it's given me a hell of a time. I innocently planted this years ago wanting a groundcover that spread quickly. Well it spread all right. This is Lamium galeobdolum, and apparently there are some well-behaved varieties but this isn't one of them. It's listed as a noxious weed in the Northwest where it's overtaken large wooded areas. I can see why. All it has to do is spread a runner and there's another plant rooted.

It's supposed to do best in shade, but it hasn't found a spot it doesn't like in my garden. It overruns anything planted near it till its hapless neighbors are crowded out, deprived of sun and a space to grow in. If only my favorite plants were so tenacious.

Almost every bare spot in this bed held Yellow Archangel before I attacked it today. This isn't the last I've seen of it since it will re-grow from the smallest stem or root left behind. However, my weeding efforts are as tenacious as this plant and having gotten rid of an entire bed of spearmint invasion over the last couple of years, I think I'm up to the challenge.

These brackets are what's left of two large wooden window boxes that were on my front porch. I made them over 15 years ago and time and weather have taken their toll. I was pushing it by planting in the rotting wood last year and today I decided they had to go. When I got down to the brackets, it occurred to me that I could put a board across them and have a shelf for my birdhouses. But that's for another day. I'm tired and sore from spending 9 glorious hours in the garden today. 82 degrees! I can't ask for much more except maybe an aspirin. Come to think of it, Yellow Archangel was used as herbal medication in the old days, maybe I should go rescue a piece or two from the dumpster.