Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Garden Bed...Again

The foundation bed on the right side of my house has long been neglected. I've spent so much time in the back and side gardens, and I've never really known what to do with foundation plantings. The left bed has lots of shrubs, so it pretty much takes care of itself (it needs work, of course, but isn't as desperate as the right bed).

There used to be Aruncus and Astilbe here, but they didn't do well with the southeast exposure, so I gifted them to Mom. They like summers in Massachusetts much better than the Virginia version.

There are two little boxwood that came from my grandfather's yard. Many decades ago he took cuttings from boxwood on the Lawn at the University of Virginia. From those cuttings he created a mini box farm at his house. As the shrubs matured, he created shrub-lined walkways though the backyard. He kept up the box-farm, to have shrubs to fill any holes if some planted-out ones didn't make it. Before his house was sold, I rescued these two from that area and put them in my front bed. They've done pretty well there, despite the mistakes I've made. The one on the right I planted directly under the drip line, so if you looked at it from above you'd see a gap right there. The one on the left has done pretty well - not grown as big, but always looks healthier. Until the great snowy winter we just had. Not only did it have many feet of snow crushing it, but also all the snow from the front porch that I dumped right on it. (In my weak defense, it was already buried in snow, so I forgot it was there.) I hope it recovers.

In early spring there are crocus here. More crocus in the grass than in the bed, but that's not the fault of the crocus. Because I've neglected this bed, the grass has encroached. The crocus area used to all be garden bed. In the back are some giant alliums that I got in a trade last year. I've never had Allium before ,but they are looking healthy and just starting to send up flower stalks.

This year I acquired lots of seeds for wintersowing, both perennials and annuals. Some will help fill in this area. So today I decided to dig it out. The original bed was outlined in white brick set flush with the ground, so all I had to do was dig down to find it, then pull out all the grass between it and the house.

But I didn't like the squareness of that line with the retaining wall for the front walk. So I dug out a little more to make a transitional curve.

Now I just need plants to put here. I'd been thinking four o-clocks and cosmos, but I haven't gotten around to wintersowing those yet. I'll need some more shrubs for structure (I expect those box will be dwarfed by the flowers), but haven't decided what to put there yet. I think it will have to be structure-less for another year.

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