things and places for homes and gardens

Planted, finally

Monday 13 October 2008 - Filed under Plants

This weekend I resisted buying some pretty tempting new plants, because I had a load of things from two previous shopping trips I still haven’t managed to get in the ground, and we’re already halfway through October. I remember July and August dragging on forever, waiting for the time to come where I could get out there and get to work, and now that work time is here, I only had an hour free for gardening this weekend. I got some of the older, higher priority things planted anyway.

I have just started to learn how to plant a new bed all at once, and I like the way this one is shaping up. This year, I had this little island in the middle of the yard between two paths, and it was dominated by an ornamental rhubarb and plume poppies, which I liked in theory as a temporary placeholder, but I knew eventually I’d have to get different textures and more structure in there, and a lot more winter interest. I pulled the ornamental rhubarb and heavily thinned the plume poppies. This is the before, with the guys posing under the rhubarb for scale.

Oscar and Marco under the ornamental rhubarb

It looks all tiny now, but I like the new combination of textures and shapes much better, and I think it’ll look pretty good as early as next spring.
I still have the grasses at the corners of the bed (top), which make a good anchor.
I had a banana in an old bed that got overshadowed for a couple years, and has been a tiny little thing ever since, even though I thought I’d transplanted it into a better spot this year (top right). Now that the sun-hogging ornamental rhubarb is gone, I think next year it’ll put on some size.
The dwarf mugo pine (top, left) is from last year, also getting robbed of the sun it needed.
The rest is all new. In the center with red leaves, is my new little stewartia tree.
Along the left, top to bottom
- chocolate creeping jenny as ground cover (2)
- variegated carex (2)
- evergreen gardenia
- babys tears (2)
- euphorbia ‘charam’
- robust male fern
- self seeded mexican feather grass
- eriobotrya (bottom right with the big leathery evergreen leaves that will eventually be a small tree)

Carex, euphorbia, robust male fern, chocolate lysimachia, gardenia

A closer shot looks a little better, but doesn’t show as much:

Carex, euphorbia, robust male fern, chocolate lysimachia, gardenia

I seem to have forgotten about ground covers all these years, and I think it makes my garden look unfinished. I got so focused on the big things, I never considered buying anything in a 4″ pot, but that all ends now, next year is the year of the ground cover in my garden. One of my newest attempts is this Chocolate Creeping Jenny (lysimachia), which contrasts nicely with the evergold variegated carex behind it. I’ve heard lysimachia can be invasive, but the green variety has been well behaved in my yard so far, and the gold variety hasn’t even survived, so I’m not scared.

Lysimachia carex and baby tears

I’ve been neglecting this sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese Umbrella Pine) for months, and still didn’t have a place cleared for it in the ground where it could reach its potential eventual 10 foot width, so I cleared out a pot and put it in there temporarily, where it has some room to grow until spring. It’s hanging out with the agaves in the sun now, instead of being hidden away behind some other pots in hopes that the neighborhood thief didn’t see it and disappear with it. Now it should be heavy enough to be inconvenient to steal. It would make a cute little living christmas tree covered in white lights in a month or two.

sciadopitys and agaves

Now I’m down to unplanted stuff that all fits in one large wagon. Once all of those are planted, I can move on to pick up some of the shiny new stuff I saw this weekend.

2008-10-13  »  megan

Talkback x 5

  1. Anna
    13 October 2008 @ 1:57 pm

    Wow–look at what you have already accomplished. The dirt looks nice and healthy. I share your desire to get out and work with these temps being more comfortable. And I also share your love of buying new plants before the previous ones go in the ground. I’m more of a dreamer than a doer. I have to make myself a doer. The buying is easy.

  2. Patricia
    14 October 2008 @ 6:28 am

    Drat. I have all but two little itty bitty little plants in the ground–and now the Garden Fever Sale is over. I probably should have bought more. I suppose I could go out there do some general clean up.

    That Oscar and Marco sure know how to pose for the camera. Every time I try and get a shot of Pumpkin she dashes off in the other direction.

  3. Chris
    14 October 2008 @ 7:19 am

    I think I knew a Chocolate Creeping Jenny in college. She was not to be trusted around ones Snickers.

    Oh good god, I’m sorry. That was a fucking lame joke. Just terrible. I’m leaving it there because I need to be reminded of just how dumb I can be.

  4. Karen
    14 October 2008 @ 4:33 pm

    Nice work! You beat me by a mile. Still have many things to put in, and I doubt they would fit in a wagon… and there’s a very tempting native plant sale this weekend. Must. Not Go. Super cute umbrella pine, nobody’d better steal it!?! Have you lost other things to plant thieves? What kind of lame human steals a plant from another gardener???

  5. megan
    15 October 2008 @ 7:47 am

    Anna – same here, better shopper than doier
    Patricia – there will be more chances to buy things, I promise
    Chris – boo!
    Karen – I have plant thieves, and tool thieves. They’re not other gardeners, just opportunists who re-sell stuff in the neighborhood. Sometimes they try to sell stuff back to me again. Oops.