Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

End of the Month View -- April 2014, The Bottle Tree Bed

The last time we took a look at the Bottle Tree Bed, in March's End of the Month View post here, I was in the middle of overhauling it, having just pulled everything out and amended the soil with compost. I had just started putting plants back.  Since then, I divided the Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' and Sheffield Pink mums and spread them out throughout the bed, in a more satisfying pattern than the haphazard way I had them placed originally. I returned the Verbascum phaeum and sword ferns to the bed as well, and finally planted some of the perennials that I bought last fall, such as Carex 'Banana Boat,' Anamanthele lessoniana, and Amsonia hubrichtii. I pulled out three peonies, and moved them to the sunny front bed, where it looks like they are going to flower despite the fact that I moved them so late in their spring growth.

So, at the beginning of April, it looked like this.

The sleeping angel kitty used to be nestled under the big rock. I like this spot better.

I harvested another major crop of rocks when digging holes for all the plants

For a few days I left these Centaurea dealbata here by the fence, and then had a brainstorm that they would be more at home in the front garden, so out they came

I dug up some tall Veronica 'Lilac Fantasy' and Sesleria autumnalis from another bed that was too crowded and planted them in the Bottle Tree Bed

View of the Bottle Tree Bed as you enter the back garden through the gate

At Hortlandia a couple of weeks ago I bought two Tulipa 'Love on Fire,' and planted them in the bed next to the Carex 'Banana Boat.' But I think it needs more spring bulbs, like windflowers and species tulips, to brighten it up even more early in the year. I'll try to remember to order some in the fall.

Later in the month, just a few days ago in fact, I planted three pots of strawberry foxglove in the bed, plants which I sowed two winters ago.

Some of the new plants in the bed are flowering.

Lamium orvala, although still short, has put out a cluster of flowers. I certainly hope it gets taller next year after it has a year to grow and settle its roots.

Isn't it a pretty flower?

Verbascum phaeum, grown from seed a few years ago, is going to flower despite being dug and replanted

My Ribes sanguineum are flowering profusely too, to the great delight of the hummingbirds and bees. I planted them here four years ago, bought from the Pierce Conservation District sale quite inexpensively, and they have turned from leafless sticks with roots into towering flower-laden (and later currant-laden) shrubs.

Flowering maybe two feet or so over my head

My tiny yellow tree peony, which returned two winters in a row while still in its little nursery pot. I hope it thrives here too.

The bottle tree bed is home to a couple of other pieces of garden art. This rusty old bird, bought a couple of years ago at The Best of the Northwest, a juried art sale in the early spring (I blogged about it here), peers out at visitors from behind the Sambucus 'Black Beauty.'

This little piece of beaded garden art came from Gardener's Supply a few years ago, and the beads, especially the amber ones, have faded in the weather and sunshine.

Now, at the end of April, after some tweaking and spring growth, the bed looks like this:

The End of the Month View is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener's Weblog. You can read Helen's current post here, and check out the comments where other bloggers leave links to their posts.