Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Quick Makeover

Ok, so I'll admit, I'm an impulse gardener. I buy plants because they're on clearance. I plant them with the understanding that it's only temporary. So goes the front bed under the living room window. This is also the most important bed in my mind because it's right beside the walkway to the front door. It should be a little more formal than the perennial garden. I also need things that do well in shade. For a few hours each morning, it gets spotty sunlight. Direct sun comes around 10 am and again around 3pm for just an hour or two. All told, I'd say 4 hours of sun is the average with some dirt receiving more, some much less.

A few weeks ago, I moved three knockout roses into the upper portion of this bed. I hated it. I filled in with purple salvias. I hated it more. The Green & Gold Euonymous was looking ratty. The roses weren't settling in well and had not bloomed again. Sure, they were in shock, but so was I. The plan had not come together the way I wanted it too.

When the lantana arrived at the store, I bought three kinds. The yellow, red/orange, and purple were planted on the slope with Provence lavender, a few variegated grasses, and several other really weedy looking plants. As of yesterday, I was still disgusted with the way it was filling in. I can't have this growing next to my front walkway. Dangerous as it may be with crumbling brick, I don't need people recoiling in horror at the sight of my mishmash. Here's the picture from yesterday.

Having been off on Sunday, someone at the store took it upon himself to pull a shelf of Forever and Ever hydrangeas that were not 100%. I took it upon myself last night to purchase two. At $5 each, who could resist, right? This morning, I moved a lot of things. Normally, I wouldn't do this with temperatures threatening 90 degrees. But the forecast for the next 4 days calls for heavy afternoon thunderstorms. If it doesn't rain, I'll water everything twice a day for a week until they regain their composure. What lives, lives. If it dies, another impulse will come along shortly.

The roses were moved onto the lower slope where they can get at least 4 hours of sun. The Euonymous went out into the azalea bed where they can die peacefully for all I care. The salvias were scattered in among the roses on the slope. The lavender was moved around to spread it out a bit. On the upper part of the bed, I planted the red hydrangeas where the Green&Golds were. I did leave the double yellow datura. It's about to bloom and I want to see if it's worth keeping before shoveling it.

The upper bed. I still need something to fill in the blank spots. I'd like a groundcover and some perennials, but I'm going to have to see what I can find on clearance.


Persian Shield was planted in the front bed. I love the foliage. It doesn't love me.

Did I mention I planted a tea olive at the corner of the house. I didn't think so.

I still need some height. Hopefully the climbing hydrangea planted a few weeks ago will help soften this corner in a couple years. I plan to build a trellis soon for the chimney to replace my temporary wire trellis.

From the other direction.

So, impulses fulfilled for the day, I must admit I stole some ideas from other gardeners whose blogs I read. Cameron has Spanish lavender growing with her knockouts. I've had better luck with Provence (French), so I planted that instead. Nell has Persian Shield growing with Purple Queen. Along the top of the rocks I use to hold back the soil from the slope, I stuck some fresh plucked plugs. Last summer it rooted easily and should fill in quickly. I planted extra hoping it will spill over the top of the wall. The Pinks Maiden dianthus disappointed me in that space, but I left it anyway. Maybe it'll survive the winter.

Now I have to shower and get ready for work. Cycle counts begin today for every living thing in the store. If it's got roots, I have to count it. It's going to be a long 8 hours.

The lantana that came out? I planted it around the yard in various places, but mostly in the daylily border along the bottom of the wall. I also put the coreopsis Early Sunrise and Moonbeam in this border. I spread them out along the entire length with some in both sections. The purple went into the perennial bed where the Lemon Mint Bee Balm was. Some of it was uprooted on Thursday during a wind storm. What's left was sheared back and is putting out new growth.


FlowerLady said...

Gardens are always a work in process, plant, take back out, put somewhere else, plant something new, get disgusted, jump with joy, all part of being a gardener.

I loved Persian shield, but it didn't love me. The colors are so wonderful.

Keep us posted with pictures, you are doing a great job, as usual.


Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I'm always reworking my garden too and I have the same problem with buying plants on clearance but lately I've been trying to avoid that because I end up with more problems than I started with. -Jackie

Sue said...

I didn't realize how far behind I was. Your flowers and veggies have really taken off! We've had a lot of rain the last week, but now a heat wave has begun. It's 87 right now, at 12:30 central time. I guess it's time to get all the lettuce picked.

I figured out I have some forget me nots in my new bed, and I don't remember planting them. I've had them in my side bed, but they never lived more than a few years before dying back.

Have a great weekend!