Now that the gravel garden is close to completion, every day when Chris and his assistant leave, I've been indulging in some constructive staring. For several weeks now I've been slowly amassing plants, checking what I already had in my pot ghetto that would be drought-tolerant, ordering more of plants I like, and pinning pictures like mad to two of my Pinterest boards -- Plants for My Gravel Garden and Plant Combos. They are all lined up along my fence in a spot that gets sun when the sun comes out, and in the shelter of overhanging Douglas firs, so they won't get too drenched when the rain pours down on them.
This is the first garden bed I've put together with the goal in mind of putting together vignettes that will repeat throughout the bed and give it a feeling of unity. With my back garden, I knew I wanted a large area for PNW natives, and a sunny perennial bed, and a full cottage garden look and feel, but other than that, I didn't have any real design in mind. Many of the plants in the back were bought on a whim, and it suffers a bit from "one-itis."
So, here are some of the combos I'm planning:
Agave ovatifolia, ground cover Sedum, Sempervivums, species Tulips
Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston', Mexican feather grass, tall Alliums
Kniphofia caulescens, Mexican feather grass, ground cover Sedum, Semps
Nepeta 'Walker's Low,' Armeria maritima or Dianthus, Sedum 'Ogon'
French lavender, Carex testacea (deep orange in winter)
Purple Salvia, California poppy, Lamb's Ear, Tricolor Sedum
Russian sage, Blue oat grass, Lamb's Ear, Soapwort OR Dianthus pinifolius OR Teucrium aroanium (germander)
Miscanthus purpurascens, Lamb's Ear, Black Mondo grass
Agastache, hardy Geranium, Veronica
Yucca Bright Star, Euphorbia
Pennisetum Karley Rose, Euphorbia 'Rudolph', Alliums
Centranthus ruber, Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
Kniphofia, Eryngium 'Big Blue', Alliums
Hardy Geranium ('Ann Folkard' or 'Rozanne'), Lamb's Ears, Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco'
Bowles' Golden Sedge, Black mondo grass (I have been so tempted to put black mondo grass with the orange Carex testacea, but....Hello! Halloween!)
Pink Muhly grass, Sedum 'Neon'
Russian sage, Eryngium 'Big Blue', blue Agastache (like 'Honey Bee Blue')
Whatever you do, do not give me credit for coming up with any of these combos, they have all been cribbed from pictures and ideas found all over the wonderful worldwide web.
And now, just in case you are not totally bored out of your gourd, this is my list of plants slated for inclusion in this garden. If you think of any good combos here that I haven't mentioned, please let me know. And if you can think of any plants I don't have here that you love, tell me! I've resorted to Latin names for this list, best to be as specific as possible.
Agastache 'Acapulco Orange'
Agave parryi 'J.C. Raulston'
Agave toumeyana v. bella (I might need to bring this in for the winter)
Allium 'Purple Sensation'
Coreopsis 'Big Bang Star Cluster'
Cynara carndunculus (Cardoon)
Dierama pulcherimum 'Dark Cerise'
Eryngium 'Big Blue'
Euphorbia 'Red Wing'
Fargesia nitida 'Blue Fountain'
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Lavandula 'Goodwin Creek Gray'
Lavandula stoechas 'Violet Lace'
Miscanthus sinensis Purpurascens
Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens'
Origanum 'Barbara Tingey'
Pennisetum 'Ksrley Rose'
Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spires'
Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Pinwheel Dark Red'
Pulsatilla vulgaris 'White'
Rosemarinus officinalis 'Santa Barbara'
Salvia officinalis Gold-leaved
Salvia 'Indigo Spires'
Salvia 'Blue Flame'
Scutellaria 'Violet Cloud'
Sedum spurium 'Tricolor'
Sedum spurium 'Fireglow'
Sedum spectabile 'Neon'
Sedum makinoi 'Ogon'
Sedum tetraclinum 'Coral Reef'
Sedum rupestre Aureum
Sempervivum 'Hot Cocoa'
Sempervivum 'Harlequin Rouge'
Schizachyrium scoparium Blaze
Stachys byzantina 'Primrose Heron'
Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'
Thymus 'Pink Ripple'
Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin'
Thymus citriodorus'Archer's Gold'
Yucca 'Bright Star'
Shrubs and Trees
Arbutus unedo compacta
Juniperus 'Ble Star'
Juniperus 'Gold Cone'
Other small trees and shrubs that I'm considering:
Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki'
Aucuba japonica 'Goldstrike'
Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy'