Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Search of the Jewel

We've made quite a bit of progress in this bed.  The weather has been cooperating these past two days and we managed to get all we had into the ground.

I like buying my plants as small as possible for two reasons:  they cost a lot less and they'll suffer less transplant shock when I plant them.  Frank likes buying plants as small as possible for one reason:  the hole he has to dig is a whole lot smaller.

Anything at one quart or under, I dig myself.  We get into that gallon stuff, it's Frank's baby.

I love, love, love lemon threadleaf cypress.  These guys grow eight to twelve feet high and I've positioned them behind that rock on purpose.  Can you imagine sitting on this deck and seeing this, at maturity?  No?  I can.

The Japanese maple I was concerned had been doomed is budding beautifully.  I see one or two branches that may need to be pruned back, but none that will impact its graceful, sweeping nature.

We are still at a loss for what to do in front of this magnificent stone.

I'm thinking irises but feel traitorous in having blooms in this garden.  The Royal Star Magnolia and the Rosebud Azaleas have flowers and that seems to be more than enough for this space.

But tall, graceful irises are tickling me at the brain stem.  Peonies, too.  Peonies and irises... will that work?

I haven't decided.  There is still time.

Until I do decide, we won't mulch this bed.

Weather permitting, we should be able to edge quite nicely, deeply, with emphasis and then mulch when everything has gone in.

With all the amazing, interesting, and unique foliage out there, I'm hoping for just the right jewel front and center.

All suggestions are welcome.


  1. Irises are pretty if you can keep the borers at bay, but seem too frilly (to me) for that natural mass of rock. You have great vertical focus with the maple and the magnoliia, I'd try something lower in front of the rock... a peony would be nice, and it has good foliage after it flowers.

    It's sunny, right? I like caryopteris, low and frothy in summer and if you leave the stalks uncut until spring, it gives see-through winter structure to soften the rock. http://laurries.blogspot.com/2010/02/caryopteris.html

    Or if you want a low shrub with fall color to go with the maple, Itea (sweetspire) is gorgeous and it has nice spring flowers. Get a smaller one like 'Little Henry'. http://laurrie-s.blogspot.com/search/label/Itea%20%2F%20Sweetspire

    Even a stand of black eyed Susans would be nice and naturalistic and would stand out against the rock.

    I could go on... so many favorite plants ... I wish I had a rock like that!

  2. You can experiment with the rock a bit and over time, you will find the perfect thing.

    Your veggie beds are looking great and yes, to get crops, you need sun...

    Looking good!

  3. Laurrie, the caryopteris seems like a good choice. I like that better than the sweetspire. As much as I love black-eyed Susans, I'm not so sure that such a cottage/informal/whimsical plant would look good right there. I think it would look good in front of a rock, but not that rock with everything else around it. I've also given some thought to false indigo (baptista) which I find beautiful. The caryopteris seems to have those same shades of blue.

    As Skeeter said, it will come in time. But I'm seriously going to look into the blue shrub. It looks great in your own photos.

    Skeeter, I am very proud of my little vegetable beds. :-) Thank you for noticing!

  4. I just love the structure you have created by planting those cypresses. I can see it for sure! The rock is beautiful all on its own but irises and peonies wouldn't hurt at all. How lucky to have a blank slate! Good job to Frank for digging those holes.



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