Over a month ago, I showed you two sections of my new terrace garden, Shrubbery Row, which features groups of shrubs, and Dogwood Corner, filled with annuals surrounding a Kousa Dogwood tree. Today I finally bring you the last installment of this series, highlighting the uppermost section, which I have devoted to perennials. I haven’t come up with a good name for this area yet; suggestions are welcome!Beginning at the top left corner of this bed, you can see a tall annual Dianthus, bought at a deep discount in mid-July and planted there for instant, constant color. This fall it will be replaced with Buddleia Lo and Behold ‘Blue Chip’, a neat and compact butterfly bush, accompanied by ‘Moonbeam’ Coreopsis.
A bit downhill from the Dianthus is Stachys ‘Pink Cotton Candy’, bought on impulse while shopping at Lowe’s. It should produce twelve to eighteen inch spikes of pink flowers in mid-summer, with a similar spread. It is deemed hardy to Zone 4.Though related to Lamb’s Ears, this Stachys lacks soft, fuzzy leaves, but does seem deer resistant. The bees sure love it, though! I plan to edge the border behind the Stachys with a short row of Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ overlapping a row of Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’ (hyssop).
Down a bit from the Stachys are four sad Liatris. They came from my favorite local nursery, in a four pack that sold for the same price as a four pack of annuals.
They took well to transplanting, and one even started to send up a flower spike. I was excited that I might this immature plant bloom its first year!But alas, a deer had a different plan. No Liatris for me!
The Liatris were meant to stand beside and behind Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) ‘Becky’. Friends have reported to me that the deer have eaten their Shasta Daisies, but, knock on wood, no one has bothered ‘Becky’ (so far.) Her big white blooms are long-lasting and plentiful, reaching just over two feet in height. Even in September, she still has buds!
I plan to dig out the area of grass behind the Shasta Daisy up to wall, and will plant a Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ in that space.
In front of the mystery Coreopsis sits Monarda ‘Pink Supreme’, a dwarf bee balm with bright pink flowers. It should grow to about fifteen inches high and no more than two feet wide. Unhappy with transplanting, it dropped most of its leaves and its flowers shriveled. It seems to be making a good recovery, though, and I think it will be lovely next summer!
Behind ‘Pink Supreme’, there are four Coreopsis ‘Early Sunrise’, the best performers among the several four-packs I bought. Each of them has bloomed from late June on, and the plants have bushed out well. I love their sunny yellow hue!
I bought Red Hot Poker plant, Kniphofia ‘Redhot Popsicle’, on impulse because I thought it would complement the yellow Coreopsis well. I may have made a mistake. Its label claims it is cold hardy to -20, so I assumed it is safe in my Zone 5 garden. However, upon arriving home and researching the plant, I found it is hardy only as far as Zone 6. Lessons learned: 1. Don’t impulse buy! 2. When in doubt, use my smart phone!A good friend shared some perennial geranium with me, and it will fill in the areas around the Coreopsis. Its flowers are pale purple, and bloom in spring through mid-summer. I was delinquent getting the divisions into the ground, so I am happy to see it doing well now!Finally, at the lower front edge of this section of the terrace garden, flowing into the front of Shrubbery Row, I have Balloon Flower, Platycodon ‘Sentimental Blue’, and ‘Crown Rose’ Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana. Each of these blessed me with a few flowers already this summer.While I don’t mean to wish away the rest of this growing season, or even the long cold winter ahead, I can’t wait to see what develops in this section of my terrace garden next summer!