Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Zen Garden

We had our first snow yesterday - I thought the Zen Garden looked nice so here are a couple of winter shots - enjoy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Birthday Plants

Went out for my birthday (Oct. 25) and purchased some plants that I had been eyeing since summer. Being late October, I got both sets at a significant discount.

Clumping Bamboo (Fargesia ‘rufa’):


This non-invasive bamboo should add more of an Asian esthetic to the garden.

False Cyprus Cumulus (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cumulus'):


These small evergreen shrubs are easy to maintain and will not grow too large. They are very shapable and look like miniature versions of larger evergreens seen in traditional Japanese gardens.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plants 2009

"Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can be either flowers or weeds."

White-Variegrated Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Albo Striata’ or ‘Albo Variegata’):


This zone 6 plant should bloom during the summer and likes partial shade. When mature, it should be 12-24 inches in height and spread about the same size. If it takes, I should be able to divide the plant next spring/fall to fill in the space behind the Buddha statue.

Green Mound Juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘Green Mound’):


Although this evergreen is best off in full sun, I am taking a chance that it can make it in partial shade. It could grow to 8 inches in height and 6 feet wide. I was able to acquire three of these plants for free. I placed them in different areas. Note: one died during a heat wave in July 2010 and was replaced with an identical plant)

Beatlemania Mophead Sedge Grass (carex caryophyllea ‘Beatlemania’):


This zone 5-9, semi-evergreen reaches 12 inches and makes a great groundcover. I liked its unusual “mophead” shape, so I picked up two - one of which I placed near the small granite Japanese Yukimi lantern, the other near the opposite approaching stepping stones.

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum ‘Metallicum’):


This zone 3-9, deciduous form plant, with tri-color foliage, will do well in shade, but will die back to the ground in the winter. I placed one near the small granite Japanese Yukimi lantern, the other near the the statue of Buddha - both on the southern shady side of the garden.

Viridis Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Viridis’):


This zone 6-8, low graft, small tree, has fine leaves that should turn a shade of gold and crimson in the fall. Also, over time, I should be able to “train” the branches to grow in a direction towards the gravel bed of the garden. I liked this tree because it was more like a dwarf maple and somewhat shrub like. Over time it will grow slowly and only to a height of 8 feet. I wanted it to be a focal point and so it proved to be the most expensive plant in the garden.

Plantain Lily (Hosta ‘August Moon’):


This zone 3-9 Hosta will do well in shade and will bloom mid-late summer with a whitish/pink flower. Although a Hosta, its flower should be different than the transplanted Hosta with purple flowers near the east of the garden (near the Buddha). I place two of these plants in the garden on opposite banks near the west end of the garden (near the retaining wall).

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’):


This zone 3, low growing groundcover, contains ruffled yellow flowers in early summer. It likes sun to partial shade, bur needs to be watered more regularly. As a groundcover, it should spread to about 12-18 inches, but grow no more than 3-6 inches in height. I placed one each on the north and south sides of the garden opposite of each other. I intend to let them drape down along the rock profile into the bed. However, the plant can be invasive, so I will need to keep it in check.

Variegated Liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’):


This zone 4-10 groundcover has yellow-striped green leaves and is a clump-forming, grass-like perennial. It spouts a purple lilac flower spike in the summer. I planted six of these on the north and south sides of the garden near the west end (near the retaining wall). Note: moved to the Dragon's Spine, spring of 2011.

Variegated Giant Liriope (Liriope gigantea ‘Variegata’):


This zone 6 groundcover is also a clump-forming, grass-like perennial with purple flower spike in the summer. I plated two of these on opposite sides of the garden’s west end (near the retaining wall). They should grow to about 18 x 18 inches. They are similar to the Variegate Liriope described above, except bigger. Note: moved to the Dragon's Spine, spring of 2011.

Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia ternata):


This zone 3-9 groundcover likes partial to full shade. It blooms in April/May and spouts a yellow flower, but no strawberries. It is a vigorous grower in shady areas, so I have to keep it in check and make sure it doesn’t spread to far, especially since it has a fast growth rate of 1-1.5 feet for each small planting. I planted six in an attempt to fill in the upper two levels of the northern edge of the garden, near the retaining wall. Note: removed summer of 2010 - I feared they would become too invasive.

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Beni-kaze’):


This zone 5 grass will remain green throughout the summer and then in the fall the leaves will turn a striking red (‘Beni-Kaze’ means red wind in Japanese). It likes partial shade and should do well in the rock garden (I noticed later, as shown in the photo, it does get some light about mid-day). I planted it next to the large granite Mioshi post lantern at the entrance to the garden.

Bunny Blue Sedge (Carex laxiculmis ‘Hobb’):


This zone 5-9 evergreen sedge should grow to about 12 x 16 inches. This plant is low maintenance, prefers partial shade, but does like to stay moist. It has a silvery blue foliage that is a bit different than some of the other plants in the garden. It should bloom yellowish-white in May/June. I will need to cut it back in winter, but it can easy be propagated by division. I planted two, one near the base of the stepping stones and the other just beneath the Japanese maple (you will note in the photo a Japanese inspired candle in the garden for night time illumination).

Rheingold Arborvitea (Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’):


This zone 2-7 needled evergreen should grow anywhere from 3-5 feet and spread an equal amount. I planted three, spread out along the length of the south side of the outer garden border (a “poor-man’s” fence). However, the plant is known as a slow grower. They like full sun to part shade, but because I planted them off-garden in the shady, weedy, property behind the garden, they might not grow so large. I was hoping they would create a natural “fence.” Note: moved to the Dragon's Spine and house bed area, spring of 2011.

Orange Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva L.):


This daylily is common and often seen growing along the sides of roads. It has apparently spread across much of the United States. I transplanted about 20 from existing wild plants already growing in the weedy area adjacent to the garden and from the fence line to the east of the garage. Note: moved to the Dragon's Spine, spring of 2011.

Hosta (unknown):


One of the first planting in the garden were these Hosta, located at the east end of the garden, near the Buddha. They were transplanted from my front yard, where they had resided for more than twenty years. Sorry, I have no idea what type they are - I know that when they bloom, they produce a purple flower. If you know the variety, please let me know.

Clumping Bamboo (Fargesia ‘rufa’):


This is a non-invasive form of bamboo. Each plant should reach about 8 feet. The plant is cold hardy, so they should survive the winter months. Eventually I will be able to divide these clumps and spread them elsewhere. Note: these spent the winter along the fence line (pre-fence) and were then moved to the rock area next to the gazebo at the end of the Dragon's Spine.

False Cyprus Cumulus (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cumulus'):
This zone 4 plant like full sun to part shade. It shouldn't grow to more than 4 feet in width over time. It has a symmetrical canopy with a regular globe-shaped outline - easy to maintain. I like these plants - they add a Japanese esthetic to the garden.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Slide Show: Plants: Phase II (August, 2009)

As summer was coming to an end, and the price of plants began to decline, I began the process of acquiring additional plants to fill in the western section of the garden. Again, locating plants that will make it in shade has proven a challenge. I am hoping these plants make it into next year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Slide Show: Plants: Phase I (July, 2009)

I have only just started planting - there remains much to do, most of which I will continue in the fall. For now, I’m giving some of these plants a try and hoping that they will get enough light.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slide Show: Rocks (June, 2009)

These images show the initial start of the project and then the final form. Mostly digging a big hole, sculpting dirt, laying weed fabric, moving a lot of rock, and then mulching.