Friday, June 28, 2013

Bed 4

When we moved in to this house 25 years ago, I made a lot of perennial beds but had no hardscape structures or mature trees. Over the years we have renovated sections of the garden and of course the plants have matured and grown. I am pleased that each bed seems to have taken on its own personality lately. I have "names" for each bed so I know where I am planting what but even those have changed. Originally they were Beds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 whereas now they are nicknamed the Front, the Elaine bed, the Gnome bed, Bed 4, The Oak tree bed and the Vortex bed. (!!)
Bed 4 is halfway down the southwest side of the yard beside the pool pump. It's the only one that has retained its original name. Certain plants such as the spruce tree and the shrub rose have exploded in size. Many of the perennials are the originals, others are new. But there is great camaraderie among them so I thought I would show these successful combinations to you.

I have attempted to keep the gentle curved shape by edging sharply in the spring. I actually need to carve it out wider under the spruce because it's so hard to mow the grass under there. The main large plants are (from right to left) a spruce tree that was brought as a sapling from Northern Ontario, a shrub rose that's gone berserk this year in size, a graceful weeping Norway Spruce that still retains its elegant shape, a very ordinary do-nothing Rose of Sharon ( but it was a gift so I keep it) and a common lilac shrub, that bloomed its head off this spring!

The lilac in bloom

A close-up of the Weeping Norway Spruce

In the spring came a lovely group of bright red Darwin tulips. The stone fish wasn't yet being smothered by the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' so it's still deeper in. I had already planted 3 of the succulents: Sedum and Sempervivum.

When the tulips and muscari faded, in came the Siberian Iris and small yellow Allium moly.

As the Hosta emerged ( 3 clumps of Blue Wedgewood and a transplanted chunk of 'Great Expectations') and the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' filled out, I moved the Fish to a more prominent position. I also bought several more drought tolerant plants. They are now starting to bloom.

This is a new one that caught my eye: Sempervivum x hybrid 'Commander Hay'. It was big, interesting and cheap. I bought 3 in total. Extremely drought tolerant once established. They are easy to propagate - just remove the small baby rosettes and replant in a new location.

I thought this neon yellow sedum would fit nicely with a bed that is mostly green, stone blue and fall hues. This is Sedum rupestre (reflexum) 'Angelina'. It has a long, lanky habit.

Once I became totally enamoured with these succulents, I just ran right out and bought another one! Above is Sempervivum arachnoideum - Spider Web Hens and Chicks. Before it started to bloom, the rosettes seemed to be covered in spiderwebs.

Here are a few more shots of how well they blend together.

The daylilies are ready to bloom and the huge shrub rose will start to develop hips.

Helianthus are starting to bloom and in August the Red and Gold Fall Helenium will emerge (new this year).

Bed 4 has turned into a great 4 seasons show that has unusual plants that somehow co-exist well and even show each other off really brilliantly.

Please check my food blog - the latest recipe posted is Spinach Cavatappi Gratin.


Nadezda said...

there are new for me ideas in your bed 4. I love combination of wonderful Norwegian weeping spruce and bright blue irises.
Very pretty!
Also the succulents, I have some saxifrages, those are very hardy and think to plant them under my little fir.
Have a nice weekend!

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
That's the great thing about blogs: lots of new ideas! I'm glad some of mine were helpful.
It's Canada Day weekend so we'll be celebrating in red and white on Monday!

HELENE said...

I like flowerbeds that have all year interest so when something is finished, something else is starting out. Your bed number 4 is a good example of that :-) I’d love to have all of this in my own garden, but your bed number 4 is probably the size of half my garden! I like your Sempervivums, I have been thinking of getting some for a container, your photos are lovely and show how marvellous they are.

Indie said...

The bed has such a nice combination of shapes and structure. I just love that weeping spruce at the end! I think I need one of those!

Astrid said...

Hi Helene
I was especially excited to hear how easy Sempervivums are to propagate! Who knows? the garden could be filled with them next year!

Hi Indie
Boston should be in a good zone for a Weeping Spruce - go for it!!

Foxglove Lane Studio said...

You have the most amazing green fingers Astrid! I am very impressed by your combinations:~)

Astrid said...

Thanks Catherine - I think they are inherited :) You should see my Dad's and aunts' gardens.

Jennifer said...

I think that "Bed 4" deserves an interesting name like some of your other flowerbeds. The fish ornaments stand out so maybe it could have a related name?
Whatever you call it, I like the plantings. The Weeping Norway Spruce is my favourite and I wish I had one just like it. How old is it and do you have to prune it in anyway?

Astrid said...

Hi Jennifer
You're right - Bed 4 does sound pretty bland……hmmmm……Fishy Bed? Pool Pump Bed? Norway Bed?
Speaking of the Weeping Spruce - I bought it at least 20 years ago, probably at Connon's. That's where I tend to get my better quality plants. The first few winters I wrapped it because I didn't want it to die but then I decided to try without burlap and it does just fine. Pruning is never needed. It's a beauty, eh?

Landscape Design By Lee said...

I like your combinations of texture. Aren't the different types of sedum great? I discovered those a few years back... they add great color and are hardy! I enjoyed seeing how you used them for color in your beds..very nice!

Astrid said...

Hi Lee
I am really pleased with the sedums and the different types of Hens and Chicks. I may need to buy more :)

Alistair said...

Hi Astrid, Your garden is looking very beautiful. Its good to name the areas of your garden as trying to tell your wife, husband or partner that you intend planting a rose shrub in that spot of the garden which is almost half way down the path and slightly to the left of the yellow Azalea. (well you get my drift)

Astrid said...

Ha ha ha Alistair - you're right! they never get it :)