Monday, January 27, 2014

What about

Viburnum "Dawn," which is apparently tall, narrow, arching, with fragrant pink in spring and good foliage thereafter?

With:  tall conical holly, mounding camellia, some Helleri Holly or small boxwoods for the front, and New Jersey Tea, baptisia, peony, and iris, and possibly caryopteris if there appears to be room in the middle. With some Rozanne geranium or ajuga to fill in.  And dwarf deutzia.  And it is not all going to fit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

West Facing Bed

Jotting notes--

I think I want a tallish narrowish evergreen in the first third (Dragonlady Holly probably-- won't eat up too much of the bed. Wish I could try a Red Oak Holly but we don't seem to get them around here, maybe not hardy enough?  I am not neglecting that feature in this very cold winter.)

A narrow, vase shaped thing for just behind and to the right of it-- Aronia?  Blackhaw viburnum much pruned?  Ninebark Summerwine?  I gather Cotinus gets too big, even pruned to within an inch of its life.

A flowering shrub in front and rightish of the vase-shaped thing-- thinking New Jersey Tea for this, as I want to try it and it's bee/insect friendly.

Tuck in baptisia and/or caryopteris.  Peony and iris would also do well in this hot sunny spot.

There's a teeny April Blush camellia to the far left... hoping it prospers, but time will prove.

I want something lower and green for visual relief-- I have some little boxwoods I can plant and move I suppose if they get too big.  My favorite look is tall green thing/medium flowery thing/evergreen skirt-- just a touch formal, perhaps because I live in town.  If I lived in the country, which I hope to some day, I would want something less buttoned up.  Comme ca:

I know it looks silly to put up these rather grand images, but they have common elements I love.  This further illustrates:

Noting in all of these gardens there is lots of green, which frames the flowers.

Not that I'm setting the bar high or anything.

*Noting these images come by way of Pinterest.  Pretty sure the first is by Jan Johnsen of Connecticut, a fabulous landscape designer whose work I have come to admire by way of the web.  The second is I think Sir Roy Strong's British garden.  The last is a lovely space I believe by Tara Dillard of Georgia.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mount a Rescue

I have been literally WALLED IN with gardening books and magazines, and my laptop handy to reference Pinterest and Missouri Botanical's website.  I am a little tetched, people, but that's okay.  They say loss of interest in usual activities is a sign of depression, and since my obsession with gardening has only waxed with time, guess I'm in ok shape.

My most recent focus has been the West Foundation Bed, which according to Tara Dillard's theory of multiple axes, should look much better than it does.

To encourage myself, some pictures from the progress of last year:

Still a long way to go, naturally, but I am enjoying (most of) the process.  This is the space I am planning now:

This west-facing site is dryish and hot, backed by an expanse of glaring (but charming) yellow siding.  I figure any time in the back garden is going to be spent facing away from the nursing home and towards the house, which means a good deal of work remains to be done.  Last year we cardboarded and leaf-mulched most of the area-- I plan to plant it up as far as the retaining wall, pretty much, with just a stone pathway once I steel myself to fork over for the stone.

The space is about 14-16 in depth and about 30 feet long-- I did measure, though I better check that again.  My idea is that I need a tall narrow evergreen as the focus to one side of the bed, and something lacy and vase-shaped by the basement doors (awkward spot) to screen the window without blocking too much light.

This is with the benefit of a free trial garden photo-shop style program, which I dearly wish I could afford-- $500 is a lot of plants, alas.  Only a few plants are available in the trial but it allows you to get a rough sketch of placement/ideas.

I need plants that can take heat and afternoon sun. For the low shrubby things I am thinking caryopteris, spirea, bear's breeches, baptisia... plenty of choices there.  It's the shrubs behind the tall conical thing and the vase-shaped lacy thing on the right (represented by a Japanese maple) which are causing me angst.

Back to the books!