I suppose my title is redundant. Every garden is, of course, a work in progress; very few gardeners I know are ever completely satisfied with their gardens’ designs!
Here is the bed that lies next to our side patio. It is a great place for sun-loving flowers, and you can see that the marigolds absolutely thrived here this summer!
In fact, they thrived so well that they overtook their bounds and mingled with the lawn, resulting in some very tall, weedy looking grass at the bed’s edges.
There are some foundation perennials in there, most of them in the blue family. Since I’ve always been fond of blue and yellow together, I’ve decided to re-work this bed using that color scheme.
First, I pulled out all the marigolds. I felt a little bad doing it, but, frankly, their messiness was wearing on me, and I hadn’t really wanted orange marigolds there to begin with! (The seed company sent me the wrong seeds, and I didn’t realize until too late!)
Next, I removed the hybrid tea rose ‘Sedona’ that has occupied this bed for the past two years. With its beautiful deep coral blooms, it did not fit the theme! Don’t worry, I did not toss it into the woods with the marigolds!
I began the process of transplanting this established rose-bush yesterday, by giving it a good, deep watering. Today I dug a hole for it in the rock garden. I tried to make it a couple of inches deeper than it needed to be, and about twice as wide, but the rocks and other plants in there made that difficult!
I added a generous shovelful of composted cow manure, plant compost, and bone meal to the hole, filled it with water, and left it to soak.
Only then did I start to remove ‘Sedona’ from its bed, circumscribing a foot-wide circle around it. Thanks to the good soaking it had the day before, as well as the shallow root system of the hybrid tea, it was quite easy to remove from the ground with no discernible root damage.I placed the rose in its new moist hole at the same depth it had been in the old bed, gently tamped the soil around it, and watered it well. I did not trim the stems at all, having read that doing so could focus the plant’s energy on creating new leaf growth rather than re-establishing its root system. All in all, ‘Sedona’ and her roots were out of soil for less than five minutes, and I am confident it will take well to its new home.
Once the side patio bed was cleared of what no longer belongs, I sharpened up its edges and even expanded its boundaries a bit at the far end, where the lavender sprawls with wild abandon. Besides the ‘Munstead’ lavender, the plants that remain are Clematis ‘Riviera’ (pale lavender), a yellow Coreopsis, tall blue Balloon Flowers, Blue Flax, and a blue Scabiosa.
Finally, it was time for the fun of planting! I moved two things over from the rock garden: one blue Scabiosa, which I put near its mate, and a small segment of the large clump of broader-leafed Coreopsis, which I placed near the back of the bed, about a yard away from the one already there.
Toward the front of the bed, I added two newly purchased Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee,’ one in front of the Balloon Flowers, and the other at the opposite end of the bed. A Geranium ‘Rozanne,’ part of my mail-order purchase earlier this season, now makes its home just to the left of the lavender.
Near the ‘Sedona’ rose’s former location, I finally planted a Baptisia australis (False Indigo) which I bought, (ahem), in early June and left on the shaded porch all summer. Despite the neglect, it survived! I expect it will eventually grow to similar size of the Balloon Flowers and add some height interest to the bed.
I planted an Aster ‘Peter III Blue’ smack in the middle of the bed, so there will still be violet-blue color here in the fall. Additionally, since I was already mucking about in there, I planted a few groups of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ bulbs. I may add some daffodils by the end of the month; I remember that ‘Baby Moon’ bloomed at the same time as the Allium last year.
Finally, here’s a bit of an experiment–Blue Gentian, which I found at Lowe’s last week, being sold as part of their “Winter Garden” collection. I have no experience with this plant at all, and am somewhat worried that the soil here may not stay moist enough for it, but I want to give it a try. When I visited Mt. Rainier in August, Blue Gentian was one of the wildflowers in bloom, and I fell in love with it, so it will make me happy and bring back fond memories of my trip if it does well here.In planning this bed, I chose a collection of plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season. The Clematis and Blue Flax will bloom early, followed by the Allium, lavender, and Baptisia. The ‘Rozanne’ geranium, Balloon Flower, Scabiosa, and Coreopsis will provide blooms for most of the summer, and perhaps continue into the fall, when the aster should hit its stride.
The blue perennials do far outnumber the yellows, but I plan to remedy that by planting a few true yellow marigolds in the odd spaces throughout the bed. I’ll put some in the window box that sits on the deck above the bed as well, to draw the eye upward and maintain the theme of that area. The marigolds will bloom and supply cheery sunshine from early summer straight until fall’s first frost.