Friday, June 6, 2014

Plan of Inaction becomes Active

Time for a change. The first flower bed I worked on when purchasing my home no longer pleases me. One of the reasons for re-doing this garden bed is that a beech tree overshadows one end of it and in the 12 years here has extended the shade further into the bed. So one of my few sunny areas is slowly transitioning to shade. The other reason change is needed has to do with plant incompatibility, which is mostly my disappointment with colour combinations and bloom times (Not a strong point of mine). I don't know whether to say choices, choices, choices, or what to do, what to do?


Below you can see that my 'Little Henry' Sweetspire did not survive well this winter. I have three of these lovely natives and all three are more than half dead. So out he goes. The dilemma was what to replace him with, a question I have mulled over for a while. I need plants that can take some shade and some dryness. I also did not want to go on a buying spree like I did last year.  So I decided to shift some plants around.



Above and below you can make out a daylily in the back, and to the left is a columbine with a sedge growing out of it (why does this happen? do the plants all think this is a primo spot because someone else is already here?)



I purchased an amsonia  "Blue Ice' and decided to place it in the front. I already grow this great plant and as it turned out there were babies this spring which I did not see until after I bought the new plant. In any case it will slowly spread and babies are welcome. The pale yellow day lily is put next to the amsonia which when in flower will  bloom along with purple lavender, Rozanne geranium and white David phlox.


The wild columbine was shifted to the side of the day lily in case their blooms overlap which is quite possible as the columbine has bloomed into early summer before (wild columbine is a pale scarlet and yellow).


The sedge has been moved to the day lily's old spot, which is closer to the tree and much shadier.

There are peonies to the right and left of this new grouping. I got out my book that talks about the colour wheel and plant combinations made by colour. I considered the colours of the blooms and the time of the flowering- which is not something that comes naturally. Give me a plant and I will place it according to its needs first.


So for now this is what I will try. There is room to add plants if needed but I intend to let these multiply and fill in on their own.

13 comments:

  1. I think blue flowers are great in shady areas, they really suit there :)

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    1. There will be a fair amount of blue in this bed. I am not sure how this came about but I like it.

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  2. Epimediums would work well in the space between the amsonia and the wood edging. I think the new plan is great! Plus, it's economical, which is always a bonus. I'm always shifting plants around, too, to save money.

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    1. I like the epimedium idea. I have not done much plant shifting as my gardens are fairly big and I am always in need of more plants. This time I think I have less energy and motivation.

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  3. Other plants that will take some shade and dryness are big leaf aster and yellow corydalis. I also had the experience of having Itea die on me. Very inconsiderate, I would say.

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    1. Two more recommendations, thank you. I will need to start a list of potential plant additions.

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  4. I also have to redo the first flower bed I made. I plan to tackle this fall but I am not sure I will have the energy! I think yours will be very nice.

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    1. This is only part of the garden bed. Dividing the work into sections may help with your energy levels. And maybe even over the course of a year or two. However I am certain you know all this considering all the work you have done already in your gardens.

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  5. The Sedge and the Columbine must be friends. Ha! I like your readjustments. I've been doing a little more of that lately, too. I guess I've had more time now that the kids are grown up. I don't have any Columbine here, but I added it to a pollinator garden I worked on this spring. It's blooming like crazy in the sun. And I've also seen it do equally well in deep shade. I have the perfect spot for it in my garden, so I think I'll be doing a garden center run in the next couple of days ... Your garden looks great!

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    1. Thanks, it is coming along. I grow the wild columbine and just the other day found a pure white columbine plant in the garden. Now I wonder where it came from :)

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  6. I completely understand redoing gardens...I am headed that way and will need to replace many dead shrubs...

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    1. Stay long enough in one place and you end up renovating it at some point :)

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  7. Funny yes. I had a similar experience, not finding my Amsonia thinking something ate it (actually three of them) although not much would. I looked and looked, so I picked up another at the wholesaler. A week later, there they were. Oh well, since they multiply I may have them in spades.

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