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

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Front Plant Bed at Its Best in 2018

I'd like to share the views of my Front Plant Bed that I think was in its best shape ever last gardening season. And, I know exactly what gave this plant bed its luscious, best ever look.
Of course, many plants reached substantial size and several new important plants have been added (among them, Japanese maple 'Autumn Moon' and Hydrangea 'Oregon Pride').
But, there were two more important elements which I added to this central bed in 2018.

First, one of my potted Red Banana plants (Abyssinian bananas, Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii') was placed here.
Starting from the spring when I got it out of the garage, tall Red Banana instantly added dramatic effect to the Plant Bed. In summer, when it unfurled its gorgeous dark leaves, it became a star of the Front Garden. What a gorgeous architectural plant it is!

Second, several containers with annuals were placed in the front of the Plant Bed. What's important, those were relatively tall containers, which allowed their flowers to 'float' and fill otherwise empty or dark spaces. For two of these tall pots, I bought hanging baskets and just plopped them into the pots (instant gratification!). From afar, the pots are almost invisible and the flowers look suspended in the air.

Only the central front bed is shown in this post, but the second Banana plant and several identical pots were located  further to the right, on the opposite side of the driveway. It provided a sense of unity and rhythm to the entire front garden.

Abyssinian Banana, big bush of Hydrangea macrophilla 'Oregon Pride', Phormium (New Zealand Flax) and Japanese Maple 'Autumn Moon' are striking plants defining the look of this Plant Bed

It's difficult to overestimate the impact of the Hydrangea macrophylla 'Oregon Pride' in this Plant Bed. 
It's not just the large bright flowerheads that can differ in color on the same bush, but its big leaves and striking burgundy stems that attract attention. 

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