MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Front Flowerbed in August


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If you have trees growing in containers, rotate them once in a while, my friends! I ignored this rule for several years, and sure enough, one of the Italian cypresses, in the background of the picture below, sent roots through the dranage hole in its pot*. By the way, I pruned those cypresses recently, and they look better now. It answers a question asked by one of the fellow bloggers - have I hired gardeners? In my dreams, Rene, in my dreams! (I have an earlier post Do You Have A Hired Gardener, Tatyana?)
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The front bed is the one I was most pleased with
this year. I should confess that I never had a plan of what to plant in this bed and what colors to use. I was just buying plants which I liked and which required full or part sun. Somehow, it worked well with pink and purples prevailing in July and August.
Acanthus mollis (Bear's Breech) didn't bloom last year. It just took a leave of absence I guess to gather energy, and voila - here it is showing its big glossy leaves and white flowers with purple markings:
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Well-drained soil, part shade - Acanthus has what it needs for long blooming in this location.
New students in the classrom were the drumstick alliums of rich, intense purple. I planted a lot of alliums last fall and winter. The drumsticks got the space in the central bed. Their green tops poked out in the past winter which was pretty mild. For half a year, I was skeptically watching the tall, thin, sickly looking green stems. What good could they produce? So, when these textured pom-poms greeted me in July, after our 11-day Alaskan vacation, I got pleasantly surprised. Yes, they were small, but I find their heads charming and interesting. It looks like they are floating above the other plants.
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Die-hard Spanish lavender looks faded after almost a 3-month blooming period but still provides some color. Soon, I will lightly trim it to give it some shape and tidiness, but in January 2/3 of its green branches will be cut off (be sure to leave 1/3 of the GREEN branch. Nothing will grow from the leafless part of it).
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Hardy fuschias never disappoint me. I bought them several years ago as tiny starter plants for $2.50 each, and since then they proved to be low-maintainance, reliable fellows. I remember my Mom used to have them as house plants. Geraniums, fuchsias, kalachoe, miniature roses were thriving indoors in the houses heated back then by stoves which didn't dry the air as central heating does now.
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Daisies, a short compact variety, came here by chance when I was looking for a space to put clumps of them which I got after separating an original plant. They might look out of place in this picture, but there are three groups of these daisies blooming in front of the house, thus creating repetition (two of them are seen in the next picture). I would say that this summer was very good for daisies! Both varieties, short and tall, did their best!
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The rose Mister Lincoln also came here not because of some great creative idea that struck me a couple years ago, but because I didn't find another place for the plant which was a gift from my mother-in-law. I wrote earlier about another rose which I planted in the vegetable/perennial bed for the same reason. I need to clarify that it's not actually a lack of space. There is a lawn that can always be reduced. What stops me, is the difficulty of preparing a planting hole for the roses. It takes several hours of digging, using a pick-axe, and picking out a great number of rocks of all sizes. It's much easier to put roses in already existing flowerbeds.
All my Mr.Lincoln roses, planted here and there, produced huge blooms this season. Probably, this is their response to a dose of composted horse manure which I spread under each bush in the spring.
Spurge (Euphorbia X martini), seen in several pictures above, has already been blooming for a couple of months. I can't say I love its color in this particular place, but what to do.
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It's funny, I just noticed that I called this bed 'Flowerbed' and 'Garden bed'. What an inconsistency! I use the term 'Garden bed' to note the fact that, besides the flowering plants, there are shrubs and trees growing there:
Green Mound juniper, Sungold Threadbranch cypress,
dwarf English boxwood, Japanese maple, Canadale Gold euonymus and Privet tree (Ligustrum lucidum).
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*P.S. Lesson learned: After we cut that tall cypress' roots which escaped from its pot, we went on a short trip to Arizona. When we returned, the tree looked dull and its foliage was absolutely dry. I think, it's gone... It's clear to me now that the timing was wrong when we cut its roots: a heat wave came right after we left, and a neighbor didn't water it enough. This is a big loss for my garden. The remaining cypress needs to be relocated since the symmetry is now gone.
Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

24 comments:

  1. Your garden is bursting with beauty. Well done, my gardening friend.

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  2. I want all of that at my house! Beautiful photos.

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  3. As usual I am awed by the beauty of your garden. I imagine you have rich soil where you live.

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  4. Beautiful..., and that is the outcome of not having a PLAN. I wonder how the whole garden will look like with real plan. Over here in Putrajaya, I am still romancing with sunflowers, and they are everywhere, joining marigolds with their yellowest of yellow. Cheers ~bangchik

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  5. I love the color combinations and your photos are very pretty. You did a wonderful job without a plan. Your use of containers at different heights makes it interesting. Also, I think the daisies add a lot to your garden. A+....:)

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  6. Hi Tatyana,

    Very nice border with so many plants of interest, a very welcome sight at this time of the year... I love how lush and full it is :)

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  7. Beautiful as always. Can't wait for mine to look good someday. Sometimes I wonder if they ever will. I have hundreds of flowers but just can't seem to get the placement right!

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  8. It's gorgeous Tatyana. You are a wonderful gardener to keep plants looking so great in late August. Everything is so tired looking here. Ready for a break from the heat I guess but not me! Sorry you lost your cypress. I have a Japanese Maple in a container ~ I'll have to remember your advice...

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  9. Tatyana, You must be really good in gardening and photography. Everything looks stunning over here.

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  10. Sorry about the cypress.
    You beds do look great. The plants work together very well.

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  11. I'm so sorry about your Cypress, how sad :(.

    Your pictures are WONDERFUL, the mix of colours, textures and heights is so pleasing, and definitely looks immpeccably planned. Great post!

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  12. Everything looks beautiful at your place right now. I need to study these pics to see what I need to add for next fall :-)

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  13. Oh, the lessons that we learn sometimes cost a fortune. I'm sure your garden will still look beautiful without the other cypress...but I can sympathize with you. :(

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  14. Love your combinations - beautiful.

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  15. Hello,
    Your front flowerbed is so gorgeous. I love it and you put so many flowers.

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  16. hi, i hope i am not offending you but your garden looks really...english...a delightful blend of colour and shape...

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  17. Your "flower beds" and "garden beds" are beautiful. I'm sorry about your cypress tree. Could it be that it needed to be re-potted to a larger pot because of it's size? If so, no doubt that trimming those roots led to its demise. I have cypress in pots and just repotted them so they wouldn't get root-bound.

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  18. What a picture perfect garden! I love the way you've combined textures, colors and the Acanthus. Sorry to hear about the cypress tree.

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  19. Your garden definitely looks as if it loved our summer. Everything looks so green and happy. I just love the Drumstick Alliums and am definitely looking for them this year.

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  20. Oh Tatyana, I feel your pain at the loss of your Cypress. Have you considered 'Wilma Goldcrest' Arborvitae? It's a fast grower and has the golden/chartreuse foliage we love. I'm very happy with mine. After relocating the remaining Cypress [get out the pick ax!] you could get two Wilmas and use them as replacements so they could grow simultaneously--just a suggestion. If you like I'll send you a photo or two of mine. Just let me know.

    The alliums attract bees too. This is another benefit of having them.

    Your Acanthus is oh so enviable. I cut back a bunch of invading plants to allow mine more room to grow. If mine look like yours I will have achieved something major.

    I love the pedestal holding the pot and plant in your front garden. Very tasteful. You've got serious talent, dear friend!

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  21. love how they blend and form a frame . god's paintbrush the finest ever!!sandy

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  22. Your garden is looking beautiful. I'm sorry about the cypress. I would keep watering it for awhile and see if it perks back up. When I overwinter rosemary, it sometimes dries up, and I think it's dead, but we put it outside, and it puts on new growth.

    I planed bear's breetches last spring, and it hasn't bloomed yet. I hope it does next year. Yours looks awesome!

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  23. The garden's looking great. Sorry about the cypress. A painful reminder of the impermanence of everything.

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