- Short plants go in front and tall plants go in the back.
- Read the plant tags (and then count on them getting bigger).
When I asked Scott to help me design my meadow he gave me these really great plant lists and three different planting schemes but I went sort of off-script and then I forgot about the two bullet points above. I planted little bluestem grasses (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blue Heaven') right in the front of the meadow, thinking they'd stay two feet tall even though the tag clearly said they'd get four feet tall (and because this is Portland they'll probably grow to six).
So while the grasses were beautiful, they were obscuring the lovely fountaining of the Pennisetum 'Redhead' just behind them and generally looking inappropriate for front and center placement. And they were straight up hiding the Panicum 'Shenandoah.' They're in there, I swear.
So I relocated them to the back of the meadow. I'm hoping they'll continue to bulk up and I'll get a nice color block there. Even with their smaller stature I'm enjoying them in their new location.
And now Pennisetum 'Redhead' can really strut her stuff.
It's hard to tell, but there's a ribbon of Sedum 'Matrona' along the front of the bed. Hopefully that will bulk up next summer, too.
I am a little concerned that the little bluestems won't get enough sun next summer at the back of the bed. "Right plant, right place" has also been a hard one to learn. What other rules of thumb can I ignore next? Plant in groups of odd numbers, work the diagonals, never wake a sleep walker . . . what else?
Of course, all I can see when I'm in the front garden is Muhlenbergia rigens. I am so head over heels for this grass right now.
After its brief foray into bondage with the insulation installation, I decided to move it toward the front door. Greg didn't like the way it reached out and tickled him when he'd walk up the driveway (it's kinky, what can I say).
Because I'm a dick I moved it right in front of the outside faucet (M. rigens up! your! nose! every time you turn on the hose!). This grass can tolerate a lot of manhandling (especially after the bondage) so it will still look nice even if I drag the hose over it again and again. Or step on it to get to the faucet.
I've thought about getting bee hives but who knows what it would do with the hot wax?
Haha! You crack me up!ReplyDelete
Your grasses look great. I too need to learn to plan spaces better to allow for growth, it's just I want it to look good NOW, so they go where they look best at the time. Patience...
Oh man, that takes so much self control. And if you properly spaced everything the first time you wouldn't have the yearly fun of moving everything around! I think I moved my entire garden last year.ReplyDelete
Blurg! I'm so jealous of how great your grasses look...damn you, full sun conditions!!! I'm mostly bummed that all the blooms of my 'Red Head' get stripped by the pedestrians walking by...I just have empty bloom-stems :-( I think the 'Blue Heaven' will be ok...they might not color up quite so intensely in more shade...as long as they get a good 3-4 hours of sun, they seem to at least remain upright. I'm really seeing that I need to move my Muhlenbergia rigens as well...it's gotten so wide that pedestrians have to practically walk through it...sigh...one day, I'll get that spacing thing down, right?ReplyDelete
I think your spacing is fine--you just need a bigger lot! Maybe in north portland where we don't have so many street trees . . . :pReplyDelete
That placement and spacing thing is so hard to get right. I've been gardening for over 20 years, and I still make lots of mistakes. I think I need to get a Pennisetum 'Redhead.' Your grasses look lovely in all that wonderful sun.ReplyDelete
I think you do too, it's such a good grass!ReplyDelete
I already had you pegged as a rule flouter (one of the many things I love about you). Keep up the good work. A lesson learned by making a mistake is a lesson that stays learned, right? And sometimes they turn out not to be mistakes at all.ReplyDelete
The bane of my garden too -- the tall stuff is always in the wrong place. It seemed particularly true with grasses. I had to dig miscanthus out from the walkway where they claimed the entire walk and three feet of lawn on the other side. I had to put up a detour sign so people could go around them. Then I repeated the same mistake with some panicum, and on and on . .ReplyDelete
At least you are acting early and moving things before they get so huge. I do like the simple ease of your meadow, and the front space is looking great!
I am so thankful that I didn't plant 'Redhead' closer to the walkway, like I was going to originally. That wouldn't been a huge pain to move!ReplyDelete
I've been there. Right now I have two 'David' Phlox that are gorgeous except that no one can see them. Which is an accomplishment because they are not small. As to not reading the plant label, for me that is a symptom of GCSCD (Garden Center Sale Cognitive Disorder). I hear Abbott Labs is working on a medication that will bring relief to sufferers, but plant breeders are trying to block it. Oh, by the way, your grasses look great!ReplyDelete
You're hilarious--I think I definitely suffer from GCSCD!ReplyDelete
Rules? There are rules? I thought the plant tags served some sort of decorative purpose.ReplyDelete
Oh, that placement-for-eventual-size-thing is totally over-rated. You've been to my garden: It's all about everything that grew tall in the front and a few sad little waifs looking forlorn in the middle and back of the bed. My theme song apparently is, If Loving Tall is Wrong, I Don't Want to be Right.ReplyDelete
If your garden is wrong, I don't want to be right! Yours all looks so perfectly planned. You are totally my role model for giving things space to get to their full size. It's all perfectly knit together and nothing is leaning or squished.ReplyDelete