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!

1 comment:

  1. Caryopteris and spirea are great choices for your spot. Also: fothergillas have done well for me in my west facing foundation strip. They are beautiful woody shrubs with awesome fall color and get to 4 or 5 feet tall. And for a low spreading woody ground cover Duetzia gracilis 'Nikko' does well in the west strip too and is pretty (blooms frilly white in abundance in May, then becomes a nice clean green background plant.) Low arching abelias (the dwarf ones, not the big rangy things) are good there too. New Jersery Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is an elegant low shrub that has done well for me in the west planting. I love its mounded low shape and pretty lilac-type flower spikes.

    Where that Japanese maple is a placeholder in your picture, a nice tall viburnum would be great... many varieties to choose. (Not sure what to recommend for a tall narrow evergreen.) Have fun designing!