Thursday, October 3, 2013

I think that I am done changing this border

The borders lining the path entering our back yard have been work in progress for 14 years and there was nothing there when we started. We had gravel on the house side and grass on the yard side. We removed the gravel and the grass little by little, spring after spring until it shaped into two long borders along the path.

Eight years ago my hubby Nic and I decided that it is time to re-build our old brick patio and the path leading to it. I was happy with the plantings around it, but the 39 years old rail tires holding the brick in place were collapsing, the brick patio and alley were no longer leveled, grew lots of weeds so it was time to have it re-done. Early May 2006 instead of focusing on planting like in other seasons, I was pulling out all my plants from the beds around the patio and 2 ft on each side of the path. Nic built two new permanent garden beds to store the moving plants: one shade and one part sun bed which we placed strategically in the borders so that we can use them after this project was over. The roses were temporarily relocated to the vegetable garden raised beds. It was a lot of work (not that I didn't have enough with a full time job, a 9 month old and a 3 year old). The contractor finished the install of the interlock concrete pavers path and patio by end of June that year, and during 4th of July holiday instead of relaxing and enjoying the new patio I was planting (wrong time of the year, I know!). It was a great opportunity to re-design and plant new varieties since we brought new soil for beds with extremely good drainage.

Today looking at the pictures taken this year I feel that I am done changing this border! We planted the borders with perennials for shade and part shade blooming from April to October and several plants even stay semi-evergreen through the winter (Carex brunnea "Variegata", Sedum reflexum and Sedum hispanicum minus). The design improvements I've made in the last three years focused on varying the textures, shapes and colors of the plants foliage, and repetition of same or similar plants.

The 10 pictures attached capture the long path beds at about the same angle different times during the growing season. This is how I see my path borders when I step outside from the house.

I am working on another set of consecutive pictures to show how the borders are seen when entering the backyard from the garage south side.

April 16, 2013 - There are only a few blooms at this time: Primulas, Pulmonaria, Grape Hyacinths, and Scilla. The borders are painted with fresh emerging foliage of Astrantia, Astilbes, Brunnera, Carex grass, Creeping Jenny ,and various Sedums.

May 18, 2013 - In only 30 days a complete make-over takes place just from spring's mad growth. White and purple Columbines, Doronicum Orientale (the yellow daisy like flowers to the left), Candelabra Japanese primulas in shades of pink, Cranesbill Somobor (in burgundy), Mysotis (forget me not) and Dicentra "Gold Heart" are blooming at this time. The chartreuse foliage complements the dark green foliage and is given by little hosta "Friends", Lysmachia nummularia "Aurea" and Dicentra "Gold Heart". The large area of blue flowers in the background are Ajuga at their peak of their bloom.

May 26, 2013 - the inside border is dominated by the large foliage of the Hostas: "Sum and Substance" and "Elegans" . The blooms from May 16 continue and the Coral Bells are starting to bloom.

June 1, 2013 - the right border is captured in sunlight (unfortunately) and the soft pink of Astrantia clumps looks almost white surrounding my favorite Hosta "Great Expectations". Geranium cantabrigiense "Karmina" on the outside border is at peak bloom spilling over the path and some of the matching Digitalis purpurea "Camelot mix" are starting to bloom. The arbor at the far end of the view is covered with blooming Lonicera x heckrotii "Gold Flame" . White Japanese iris, "Yellow flag" iris and purple Siberian iris are also blooming by the arbor.

June 12, 2013 - the garden was ready for over one thousand visitors brought by the Hudson Home and Garden tour this year. The borders look their best with the blooms of Astrantia, Astilbe " Peach Blossom", more Digitalis purpurea "Camelot mix", pink Geranium cantabrigiense "Karmina" , and the purple Campanula glomerata "John Elliot". Far by the arbor you notice a yellow orange tall bloom of Trollius.
June 21 - Astilbe "Peach Blossom" are at peak of their bloom. Astilbe "Ostrich Plume" is starting to bloom. The red bloom in the border is Lychnis Arkwrightii. The white taller bloom next to Lychnis is the Pentestemon digitalis "Husker Red" 
July 14, 2013. The borders get "stretched up" with the blooms of pink Echinacea, near white "Joan Senior"  Hemerocallis (z.3-9), the yellow blooms of Ligularia "The Rocket" (z.4-8) and the pink tall Filipendula "Rubra" (z.3-8) at the back of the view. The blue flowers are Platycodon "Sentimental Blue" 
The borders gets painted with the red blooms of the Lobelia Cardinalis (z.3-9) and "Fireball" Hardy Hibiscus (z. 5-9) and the shorter Lobelia cardinalis "Ruby Slippers". The yellow orange bloom in the back view is Ligularia Dentata "Marie-Britt Crawford" (z. 3-9)
August 30, 2013 - The yellow Coreopsis "Moonbeam" (z.3-9), the purple Lobelia gerardii "Vedrariensis" (z.3-8), and two large clups of Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' (z.4-8) are now in bloom. The burgundy folliage is Coleus "Mississippi Summer" (annual here in z.5).
September 13, 2013. Various varieties of Fall Anemeones are starting to bloom. The white bloom on the arbor at the back of the view is Clematis terniflora surrounded by Cleomes in white and pink that come back from seed every year.

October 1, 2013 . The white clumps are Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama "Snowbank"(z.3-9) is a native of Eastern U.S. and a favorite for the month of October. The most floriferous fall anemone this year was the double pink Anemone hybrida "Party Dress" (z. 5-9). Near by is the Tricyrtis Hirta "Miyazaki" (Z.4-8) another favorite for late fall due to the interesting orchid-like flowers.
If you want to see these borders from the other end go here.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous. Love this series documenting the garden through the year. It's so inspiring to see what is possible with good planning for the design and exceptional garden grooming as it grows.