While the weather was cold and before it was planting season, I started a project at my house to add a chopped limestone edge and an Oklahoma flagstone cap to the beds along the front walk. It turned out great and I was very happy with the result.
But then the nice weather came, and with it, clients. Clients who wanted designs and hardscaping and landscaping and the items left unfinished on my project remained unfinished. Until this week.
An unexpected opening for the crew found them at my house with 4-1/2 yards of great soil – Thunder Garden Soil from Geo Growers. That was worked into the front beds, which are now, in essence, raised beds. Miscellaneous volunteer seeds – zinnias and salvias and other random plants were hoed out and given the boot.
I stood back and took stock of my bed and tried to view it as I would a client’s. I’d been unhappy with it for a while. So off I went, three days in a row, to the nursery to load up every inch of my car with plants.
We filled the holes and created structure and contrast and texture (all the things I preach about!) These are the plants I added:
- Foxtail ferns
- Variegated agapanthus – these are way cool!
- Persian shield
- Sparkler Sedge
- Purple pixie loropetalum
- Mexican bush sage
- Amistad salvia
- Bat-faced cuphea
- Blackfoot daisy
- Mexican honeysuckle
- Purple skullcap
- Yellow zinnias
- Skeletonleaf goldeneye
- Sun coleus
- Copper plant
- Helianthus maxmilliani
- Whale’s tongue agave
- Miss Molly buddleia
- Yellow bulbine
- Mexican bird of paradise
These didn’t all go into the walkway bed, I filled holes in other beds, too. I finally replaced my critically-wounded franzosini agave with a whale’s tongue. It will never be the same, but it also won’t make 30 pups a month that have to be cut out and it won’t get 20 feet tall and it won’t freeze as easily.
I love the new plants and the new mulch that followed, but one of the things I’m most excited about is that they finally brought me moss rocks to put in the section of dry creek right by the front door. After lots of — no, tilt it this way, no, bury that end, no turn it around, not this way, that way — I am happy with the placement of the rocks. They add so much to the natural look of the entire area.
Though they are still small, the Persian shield and loropetalum will add a nice purple to the lime spikes of the sparkler sedge and the hot gold Cuban duranta that’s now just emerging from dormancy.
My new passalong bronze iris from Robin at Getting Grounded went into this bed along with some coleus to mirror the lime and purple on the other side.
These foxtail ferns (my first ever) will provide some structural contrast for the rock rose volunteer in the center that I babied over the winter. The yellow zinnias will coordinate with the yellow skeletonleaf golden eye and the bright edge yucca further down the bed.
I can’t wait to see the brilliant purple Amistad savlias bloom next to the bright edge and the agapanthus. (It’s still hard to envision it all since almost nothing is blooming quite yet.)
This vignette is at the end of the path – yellow columbine, golden grass, sun coleus, creeping jenny, a yellow lantana and hidden – a copper plant that will grow to become a nice tall bronze backdrop on the left.
This is just a little slice of the bed behind the pool. The ginormous Maggie roses used to live here. Now the center piece will be this Miss Molly buddleia, surrounded in front by a semi-circle of pure yellow bulbine. On either side of the bed are phlox paniculata and lavender trailing lantana and Mexican oregano.
I moved the Amistad salvias from behind these bright edge yuccas last fall. They just didn’t do well in this bed – I think it was too hot for them here. The stock tank I painted holds an evergreen wisteria planted in the fall – check out the amazing bloom color here. So now between the two I have three Mexican honeysuckles with their hot orange blooms to play off the purple, yellow and lime. Love those combos.
So, now I wait, and water a lot by hand. Bought a few new expandable hoses (yes, I love them and will do a post soon). And I’m using rainwater from the tank, so that feels great. I think there are probably 200-250 gallons in there and that’s going to go fast if it’s going to be 90 every day.
I’m happy with the result and enjoyed walking through the garden tonight with gin and tonic in hand, surveying all the new things and appreciating my garden.