21 May 2009

Garden Project #3

Well, I chose the hottest and windiest day of the season so far to tackle Garden Project #3, the croissant-shaped bed next to our patio. Like the other areas I've been working on, I completely ignored this bed last summer and it had become a bit of a weed patch. (Well, truthfully, it has had some serious issues for a few years now!)

As you can see in the "before" shots above, the plants in this garden are oddly spaced. They were fine when I initially put them in a few years ago, but some have spread and others have died, leaving a lot of ugliness. As the summer wears on and plants reach their full size, this bed looks really awkward and out of balance.

As I hope you can see in the "after" shots above, I spent a good portion of the afternoon and evening re-working this garden. I'll be the first to say that I didn't solve all of the problems, but I hope that I've fixed at least a few. Notably, I have three large clumps of asters in the center of the bed which always start out looking nice (and provide lots of height) but by mid-summer begin to begin to suffer from some unidentified disease. I decided to give them one more summer and if the same thing happens again, I'll remove and replace them with something else. And the coreopsis (variety: Zagreb)...let's just say that I have PLENTY of it.

Although it may not be obvious, I added a lot of plants to the bed to fill in the gaps and fix some of the "balance" issues. Some were new purchases, and others were divisions of plants from this bed or others. I also added a small lilac bush to one end to provide a bit of a focal point. And finally, although it's difficult to see in the photos, I plugged in a few annuals for color. When all was said and done, I covered everything with six bags of mulch and watered it down so it wouldn't all blow away!

Now that the perennials are in place in all of my garden areas, I am planning to use my stash of metal plant tags to mark each one. I've done this in the past and have found it helpful. It also gives a nice sense of order to the garden. And we all know that I like order! :-)

This particular bed is going to take a lot of attention to cure everything that ails it. I hope that today's changes are a few steps in the right direction.

Next on my list: See that distant garden with the large bridal wreath bush? It's No Man's Land. I'm scared to even venture out there, but I promised myself (and our neighbors) that this is the year. Stay tuned.


Judy said...

All the garden work you've done lately makes me tired to read about it. You've really done a nice job. It will be very rewarding in a couple of months to see everything settle into its new home. Thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

Thank you, Judy! Believe me, I FEEL it! Yesterday's work wore me out. lol I just hope things actually live and do well this summer! :-)

Debbie said...

Just adding the new mulch is making it all look nice. And a lilac bush, love how they smell. Hopefully the hard work and time with nature brings you some peace of mind.

Maureen said...

Beautiful job Janet!

Er, when you're finished there, care to come up and help me? Thx!

Kristina said...

It looks like we spent the weekend doing the same thing. I AM done for the year...no more...lol

I also have to tell you that until last week when it broke, you and I had the exact same statuary in our garden bed. The fairy reading a book....I was so bummed that the wind blew it and it hit one of our big landscape rocks. I want another but I can't remember where I got it...do you remember?

Kristina said...

BTW - It looks super!

Janet said...

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement! After I took pics of this bed, I began to think it looked like I hadn't done anything! I appreciate your comments.

Kristina - I'm pretty sure I got that statue at a local greenhouse here in Johnston which is now out of business. That's too bad that yours broke! I can try to look tomorrow to see if there is a manufacturer name on the bottom of it.