Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I don't recall ever seeing that on the thermometer before, the winters having warmed since I moved away from the heat island of Philadelphia and of course before that it was sunny (sob) Arizona.  I've seen it a few times this winter.  Brrrr.  Socked in by snow with more coming.

Which makes me all the more garden-obsessed.  My sweet MIL gave me a beautiful orange tree whose blooms are very therapeutic at this frozen time of year.  One nice thing about us plant people is that we never have everything: it simply isn't possible.  Very easy to buy for, that's us.

It's funny I'm still so focused on this garden because the nursing home really is pretty wretched.  Their 24 hour employee entrance and delivery area starts about 20 feet from our fenceline, which is only about 60 feet from our house.  So less than 100' away it's diesel trucks and 24 hour lights shining over the dumpsters and air conditioners.  I'd post a picture but it would be a bummer.  Research shows that people are suprisingly resilient about life's set backs and that seems to be the case here-- it is what it is, right?

At the moment my thinking for the very blank west foundation is handsome stuff that can tolerate hot, sunny conditions, to wit:

  • Blue Chiffon Hibiscus (decided I Must Have This, even though I don't usually groove on hibiscus)
  • Dragon Lady holly or the like-- it's evergreen, it's narrow, it gets berries.  
  • Caryopteris to carry out the lots of blue theme
  • New Jersey Tea, probably Marie Simon, for the bee/native factor
  • A mass of something summer blooming-- thinking spirea is cheap and cheerful until the rest of the bed shapes up
  • I have a couple small boxwood and a teensy April Blush camellia, which I actually sited after reading a fair amount on the subject--the guy liked a NW orientation so I'm trying it.  Right now it is sheltered by a dead or dying Japanese Maple that was never going to make it in that spot anyway.  
  • Plug in liatris, peonies, maybe bearded iris
  • Wall germander for the low evergreen factor
  • et voila
Still have to measure REALLY well and plot it out on paper so I don't plant stuff too close.  So:  can I get all this planned by April?  Gotta hope!

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