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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunny Perennial Bed -- Back Garden "Sleep Year"

I think I am finally finished planting in this bed. Most of what's in there is seedlings started this spring, and one-year old plants bought online from Bluestone and Santa Rosa Nursery. So they are all still really small plants that are still in their "sleep year." You know that old saying about perennials? "The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap." I thought it would be interesting to take a picture of what's growing in this bed now, and compare it to the same time next year, and then the year after.

Here is a picture of the bed, taken facing East.

And the same bed, facing West.

The centerpiece of this bed is an Indian Plum tree (Oemleria cerasiformis), one of the earliest native trees to flower in the PNW.  It is still pretty short, and I don't know yet if it's a female or a male, but I'm very much looking forward to it flowering next year, in late winter/ very early spring.

I tried to balance the plantings in this bed, by putting some of the same plants on each side of the tree, but not in the same numbers or configuration. But I did try to keep tallest plants in back, shortest in front, and then everything else in between, and in a variety of flower colors.

For example, there is a Penstemon 'Husker's Red' on each side, but on one side it is flanked by two large clumps of red Oriental poppies, started from seed under cloches. In front of it is Nepeta 'Walker's Low' and behind are a few clumps of red Lupine.

On the other side the red Lupine is growing beside another clump of red Oriental poppies, but the Penstemon 'Husker's Red' is further away, and there are three Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' in front.

The Penstemon 'Husker's Red' further along in the bed is flanked by a white perennial Oriental poppy called 'Royal Wedding,' with some clumps of Rudbeckia 'Cherokee Sunset' nearby.

It will be interesting to see how my careful plan works out next year when everything is bigger and starts flowering.

Just for the record, here is a list of what I've planted in this bed.

Iberis sempervirens
Rudbeckia 'Cherokee Sunset'
Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'
Dahlia 'Black Beauty'
Dahlia 'Harlequin'
Shasta 'Alaska'
Veronica spicata 'Blue Carpet'
Dianthus barbatus 'Sooty'
Gaillardia 'Burgundy'
Shasta 'Crazy Daisy'
Shasta 'White Knight'
Salvia farinacea
Chasmanthium latifolium
Centaurea dealbata
Lupin regalis 'Morello Cherry'
Lupin regalis 'Le Chatelaine'
Eupatorium 'Little Joe'
Papaver orientale 'Red'
Papaver orientale 'Royal Wedding'
Geum triflorum
Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
Helictotrichon sempervirens
Hemerocallis 'Barbara Mitchell'
Coreopsis 'Sunray'
Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch'
Centaurea 'Amethyst Dream'
Monarda 'Colrain Red'
Lupin 'Sundown'
Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' and 'Biokovo Pink'
Fuschia magellanica 'Aurea'
Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'
Dianthus 'Fire Star'

There are a few clumps of annuals as well:
Cosmos 'Sonata'
Pineapple Sage

I wonder what else I can shoehorn in here?