I wrote about redoing this bed last year around this same time of year, in this post.
Right now the plants have given it a kind of split personality, a cross between a spiky danger garden and a new perennial, Oudolf-ish kind of deal, along with something else unidentifiable. Maybe the unidentifiable ingredient is me.
Anyway, this summer this bed got very little water. I think I may have hauled the sprinkler out there once or twice. For the most part, the plants didn't seem to mind. The ones that faded badly or died outright got yanked. And like in my previous post about the northeast corner, I replaced a shrub that shriveled with one that will be a lot more tolerant of not getting watered. In this case I pulled out another native, a twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), which in the spring is a favorite of the hummingbirds, but by summer has lost so many leaves to drought that it looks like crap. I replaced it with another Arctostaphylos, a variety called 'Sunset.' There are so many great varieties to choose from in the Manzanita family.
Grasses in general are drought-tolerant, but they do need watering for the first year or so to get established. I had to pull out a few clumps that died after not being watered over the summer, surprisingly, a Miscanthus, and three clumps of little bluestem.
|Echinops 'Blue Glow'
|Panicum 'Red Sunset'
|Eucomis 'Aloha Lily Tiki' proved drought-tolerant this summer, although it didn't flower
|Newly planted Eucomis 'Oakhurst'
|Nolina La Siberica
I'm still hard at work on two more areas of the back garden, pulling out dead or unwanted plants and replanting with new. I've also started installing a bottle border, something that I've had in the planning stages for years. I'll show pictures of it when it's finished.
But for now I think I've reached:
FYI: I bought the concrete butt on a recent expedition to Dig Flower and Garden on Vashon Island. I bought lots of plants too, but the butt, well...it followed me home.