Showing posts with label garden planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden planning. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Notes to self

Note to self: this area, while lovely with all of its orange flowers, needs something to cool it down.

The Melianthus major, whose cool blue foliage probably would've done the trick, is too short to be seen from the street.

Maybe replace the Drosanthemum micans with something with blue flowers?

Note to self: cutting back the Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' in late May made it look terrible for a couple of weeks but now it's recovered nicely and it's blooming like normal but with a more compact shape. Do this again next year, harder.

This might be a good choice for replacing the Drosanthemum and cooling off the orange cannas.

Or maybe Salvia 'Black and Blue'?

It looks like the Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgandy' that I got for $2 at Viscaya's end-of-the-season closeout last fall is going to bloom. Don't miss that event this year.

Note to self: all the heartache and worrying over how to get your hands on Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' was totally worth it. Those floating eyebrows are gorgeous.

I mean, come on.

Pay attention to deadheading. The lewisia has been blooming for months because you've been diligent about snapping off the spent blooms, something you can do without shears.

Plant more annuals and biennials. They inevitably become your favorite plants and it's fun to have your neighbors ask you what "the Dr. Seuss plant" is (Verbascum 'Arctic Snow').

Divide that Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' in the fall. It's beautiful yellow flowers are threatening to eat the garden.

Stake the milkweed next year. These fell over badly and you couldn't seem the blooms from the sidewalk.

The neighbors shouldn't have to bushwhack to see these awesome milkweed pods. And maybe you'd see Monarch butterflies if you made them more apparent.

Never pull out the rue you planted. It might be coincidence, but once you planted it swallowtail butterflies started appearing in the garden. It's not much to look at so far but it seems worth it.

Note to self: edit the back rain garden. It's a freaking mess. Chop the penstemon next spring to keep it tidier.

Ditto the area behind the rain garden. It's an amorphous blob of ratty green.

Thank Alison for forever burning the name "Hen and Dicks" into your brain.

More pots. They are like jewelry for the garden.

Plant more of these Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High'. They bridge orange and pink so nicely and they are compact and very upright.

Can someone remind me to read this post in the fall? Pretty please?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Planning other people's gardens

My sister recently texted me with a request for plant ideas on her back patio. The owner of their condo installed a new fence and took out the English ivy that was covering the old fence (my guess is that it will be back) and gave them an additional four inches of bare dirt. She misses the greenness of the ivy but doesn't want to do edibles this year. She wants tough, drought tolerant ornamentals that can take part shade and won't require daily watering once they are established. She has young kids that play out there, so the plants can't be poisonous, pokey, or irritating.

The area is 17' long and 22" deep. This is a split view of the area at 8am:

And 1pm:

And 6pm:

So half the the space is getting dappled shade and half is getting full sun at the hottest part of the day. She lives in Campbell, CA. Her zone is 9b, which gets pretty hot in the summer, with about 19" of rain annually. It's not unreasonable for her to take a trip to Richmond to visit Annie's Annuals. Her kids are out of school for the summer and they'd have a blast there, right? As a result, I picked out plants solely from Annie's. She should be able to dig up and move everything she plants if they move to another house.

Here's what I have picked out so far. If she had full sun at her disposal this would have been a LOT easier. Salvias! Agastaches! So! Many! Grasses! This was a fun challenge. For whatever reason the color blue has always reminded me of my sister, but she's also a brash, sassy shit-talker, so I included some hot orange with lots of chartreuse to brighten up the shade. Presented in no particular order (all images are from the Annie's Annuals website) . . .

Aeonium escobarii, a blue-hued succulent:

Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee', a compact, chartreuse perennial that smells nice. This is only plant that might need regular water.

 Anchusa azurea 'Alkanet', a pretty 3-4' bush covered in blue flowers. I just purchased one of these for my yard. 

Asclepias curassavica, a grey-leafed evergreen milkweed with hot orange flowers. It attracts butterflies and is 3-4' tall and wide.

Muhlenbergia rigens, a tough low-water grass that might self-seed but she's in a rental so who cares! This one really might be too big for the space.

Crassula lycopidiodes, a chartreuse succulent that I want to grow in my yard so badly.

Senecio mandraliscae, a blue succulent that will work as a groundcover. Bonus: it grows in our brother's yard, so she can dig some up and not spend any money on it.

Here's the mock-up of what I had envisioned. I used the iPad app Paper, which I'm deeply in love with right now.

And with chicken scratch writing on it. Can you tell I don't own a stylus?

Option 1, nothing is to scale.

The grass anchors the L-curve with the Aeonium on the left and the Crassula and Senecio to the right. That leads to the orange milkweed, the Anchusa, three bunches of the Agastache, then another milkweed, and finishing with another combo of Crassula and Senecio.  Here's how the plants would look, going left to right.

The total should clock in at about $73, if she goes with this list. 

I've also thought about this placement: 

Option 2, nothing is to scale.

Or this one:

Option 3, nothing is to scale.

Seasoned gardeners: do you have any opinions on plant placement, plant choices, or anything else? Any glaring errors? As I'm writing this I'm noticing that her cement is stained with a light blue, which pretty much matches the Senecio I'd planned to use as a groundcover. That might look dumb.