Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Garden Diary,

4 cubic yards of triple mix + 4 hours of heavy rain = a mess. R deserves a hero cookie for moving it all in the downpour, and M another for helping him.
Amazing men. ♥

But an amazing mess too! It has taken all week hosing down the sidewalk little by little (to avoid creating more mud) to clean it off; but now we now have two new side beds to work with, mostly shaded by the house and fence, receiving no more than an hour of sunlight at any time. A perfect shade garden.
Since this photo was taken (on 3 days ago) I have planted another mature hosta 'Sieboldiana Elegans', a division of the hardy geranium 'Wargrave's Pink', and some yellow cornflowers - extending to about where those trellises are leaning. I would take a new photo but, *sniff sniff* ....today my camera was pronounced dead (along with a little piece of me..) so I can't. Heavy sigh.

Obviously the whole four cubic yards didn't go into the side garden beds. Most of it is being used to replenish the dog run, where the grass was. The area back there desperately needed some good soil and new depth. Once it's sodded we'll be able to get the main grassy yard back in good order. Dogs and gardens aren't always the best of friends, but living with man's best friend makes me a better person so we'll have to come to a compromise. If it means sodding the yard from time to time, so be it. (Being a small downtown yard to begin with this isn't difficult, just likely a biannual project.)

The few things I have already planted in the side garden are doing well. A Morden Blush rose is beginning to bloom, which I have placed in the one area that seems to get the longest period of sunshine. At it's feet a hardy geranium, 'Wargrave's Pink'; hostas, the rescued red 2 Daylily, and some transplanted blue irises surround them. For fun, some nasturtiums fill in gaps, and wolly thyme is being encouraged to spread into empty cracks and spaces. We have plans to recreate a succulent garden for R across the walkway, but aside from those plans it's all open - for anything.

Much of how the whole garden has come together has been by whim, and I think it will continue like that. When I like something I bring it home, often not sure of where it will go, but always finding a space. I see the side garden filled with hostas, with other feathery things (no more ferns, please) here and there. Perhaps some foxgloves to add some height to the garden path.

The front garden is also facing some changes. The ferns are simply out of control; it's time to cut back. With the heavy rains we've been having the weight of the huge fronds has caused them to droop so much even the Annabelle Hydrangea was buried for awhile under a heap of feathery greens.
I photoshopped the dwarf globe Blue Spruce and Annabelle Hydrangea into this photo because my camera angle didn't capture them well with the eave in the way. Had I leaned over any further I would have ended up in in the garden (A is for Amy who fell down the stairs OR off the balcony..).
There are two smallish empty spaces in the garden; gaps that drive me crazy like a crooked tile ( ;o) ). I've been considering filling it with some chocolate ajuga. It's a spreader, no so much "invasive," but definitely vigorous. I wouldn't really might it creeping over and into the grass - the grass is only there as a barrier to the busy downtown sidewalk. You can stomp on ajuga, mow it, cut it, rip it..it will just keep on growing. This is where the gardener has to take some control of her garden, and prevent it from moving in on the other garden plants. I think I can do that.

I want to take out a large row of ferns and bring in something with a darker foliage, perhaps a purple leafed Smokebush (nearly tender here), or a Ninebark - 'Diablo' or the newer 'Center Glow'. Also, a Rhododendron in behind the Annabelle, some Meadow Rue, and/or Joe Pye Weed. We'll see what develops.
Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade'

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