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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One Last Bed Redo Before Summer Sets In

Remember this bed?

When we had a pear tree in the bed, it was quite shady, but after we replaced the pear tree with a paperbark maple, it became much more sunny. So the perennials planted here that liked shade weren't liking it quite so much any more, and most of them got moved into the shady bed pictured below.

I moved the handful of Heucheras that were left into the back garden under the Douglas firs, except for the Heuchera 'Miracle,' which I gave to Jenni, the Rainy Day Gardener.

Well, that used-to-be-shady-but-now-sunny bed looks like this:
Sharp-eyed readers might notice I've extended the rock edging/dry stream.

It's not finished, there are still plenty of bare spots. And I've chosen plants here for their flowers, and drought tolerance, rather than their foliage this time.

I did try to do some mixing and matching with the leaves though. The Jade Frost Eryngium foliage had just the barest hint of blue in it (maybe wishful thinking), which made me think it would look good with the blue Melianthus. The Jade Frost flowers are blue, at any rate.

Daylilies, Purple Aster, Melianthus, pink Japanese Anemone and Jade Frost Eryngium. They won't all flower at the same time, of course.

Astrantia major 'Sunningdale' -- I couldn't ignore interesting foliage completely.

I sprinkled lots of hens and chicks just above the rocks

My tiny Embothrium coccineum, which hopefully will grow up big and strong some day, is way down at the end near the fence.
Also against the fence was a trellis, which used to have a Clematis 'Rosemoor' on it. It was small and delicate and planted way too far away to have any visual impact. So I moved it to the base of my purple smoke bush, where it will hopefully be happy and more visible. I replaced it with a Clematis armandii, which I got from danger garden's Loree at the Portland Bloggers Plant Exchange, which should be a much more vigorous grower, with showy flowers and evergreen foliage.

The woody stem originally was much longer. Clematis armandii is the type of Clem that doesn't need to be cut back all the way to the ground in the spring, but I decided to take a chance and cut it back more anyway.

It doesn't look like much now, but it will eventually.

It's putting out some healthy new growth.

I cut the extra stem into two pieces, gave the bottom end of each piece a good scraping with my bypass pruners, and then just stuck them in a pot of potting soil with some other cuttings. One of them looks to be dead, but the other one is putting out lovely new growth, so there's a sporting chance it's making roots. I'm hoping by the time it's ready for planting in the garden, I'll actually have a spot for it.

New growth means new roots on the business end, right?

'Rosemoor' Clematis twining delicately through purple smoke bush

Gratuitous shot of smoke bush foliage

I know I've said before that I'm done moving plants around till the fall, but I'm really done. Till fall. There's always something that isn't working.


  1. Looks like you've gotten a lot of work done. I didn't get near as much taken care of this spring as I wanted to, oh well there is always the fall. That clematis will be really pretty in the Cotinus. Nice choice

  2. Your yard always is so pretty no matter what area you show us. All of your hard work has certainly paid off.

    What kind of soil do you use, is it just the soil in the ground that you have amended through time or did you bring all of it in?

    Have a fun long weekend. xo

  3. It's like a puzzle, moving plants around for their foliage, their sun needs, how they go with other plants, their flower color --- but it's fun. I like how you've mixed things thoughtfully, and particularly how you have rock elements in with it all. Finished moving things? I don't think so!

  4. Your garden is looking good. Now sit back and enjoy--unless you think of something else to move! I don't know about being a sharp-eyed reader but I did notice the dry stream had changed a bit so I'm glad you mentioned it.

    Gratuitous cotinus foliage works for me.

  5. Wow Alison! You've done a lot of work this spring and your garden, always beautiful, is looking better all the time! I hit a little snag and was unable to work in my garden at all this week so the neglect and pile of potted plants continues. Fortunately, I've got this overgrown jungle look going so it's semi-o.k. I usually re-do beds in the summer when it's the worst time to do it because I have extra time then. Happy weekend!

  6. Hi Alison, boy, if there is any one who can propagate a plant stem into new's you! I love the changes to your new 'sunnier' bed. You haven't rested on your laurels at all this spring! Go Girl! Cheers, Jenni

  7. Your new beds are looking very promising, Alison. I can't wait to see your unusual clematis in flower. Love that you have one climbing on a smoke bush.

  8. I think it looks great, Alison! I like what you've done with the piece of clematis' stem. I am in the process of moving one huge plant, and might try your method myself. I also like your heucheras. This is a plant that just don't want to grow in my garden!
    Have a nice Memorial Day!

  9. I know what you mean about moving plants...I will be assessing and making notes to move in fall...I love both beds...and the look of the foliage of the Astrantia is wonderful and I will be looking for it.


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