Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fifty Shades of Green

Over the weekend I added some new plants, moved others, and salvaged some remnants from last year. I've decided to stick to shade tolerant plants this year. I like that many of the perennials are coming along with little effort on my part. However, the result will be less color in the garden. Instead, I will seek out more variegated assortments of plants - Fifty Shades of Green. I did include some marigold plants that we started indoors from seed a couple of months back, but I am not confident that they will survive the eventual annual onslaught of slugs (although I have yet to see any so far this summer). 

New Plants

Hosta ('Orange Marmalade')

One can't go wrong with Hosta. This zone 3 plant will grow to about 18" and of course loves shade. I chose this plant because I loved the light orange-yellow color to it leaves. It will contrast with the existing green and white versions of Hosta that already populate the garden. 

I planted it along the back of the garage in an area that receives a lot of light, but once the bamboo recovers from its thinning it will be a more shady area.

Ostrich Fern (Matteuccias struthiopteris)

This zone 3-8 fern should grow between 3-5'. As a Rhizomatous spreader it will send off new  growth without being invasive (I should be able to move new growth). 


I liked the light green color compared to the more gray versions of Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum ‘Metallicum’) elsewhere in the garden. Two were planted along the southern, shady edge along the garden fence.

Brunnera (macrophylla 'Emerald Mist')

This zone 3 perennial will grow to about 12 - 15 " and spout small blue flowers in spring. It likes shade to partial shade. I  planted it along the northern edge of the garden where it will get a bit more morning sunlight.


Rock Cress ('Snowfix')

I have had some success and some failures with Rock Cress in the past. One last try this summer. I moved one existing plant and added three new ones.


It will be a question of how much sunlight they get.

Scotch Moss (Sagina subulata 'Aurea')

The moss I planted last year survived and is making a comeback along the granite steps. 

However, I added three new plants to the area to ensure it fills in completely.

White Nancy Lamium (Lamium maculatum)

I placed a small planting of this zone 3-9 plant near the two Hosta along the south side of the garden near Buddha. It should grow to about 6-8 inches and produce a white bloom (sorry, no picture).

Goldilocks Rocks (Biden ferulifolia)

This annual will grow to about 14" and produce yellow flowers. It will need full sun, so I planted near the garage door, a spot that get alot of sun in the garden.

Moved Plants

I moved a variety of plants in the garden that had been planted in the past. Some were moved to be in more shady area, and others moved to where they could get more light:

White-Variegrated Japanese Forest Grass 

'Lemon Lime' Hosta (small leaf)

Mophead Sedge Grass


Irish Diamond Hosta Hosta x 'Allen P. McConnell'.

Ajuga 'Dixie Chip' (Ajuga hybrid)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Stepping Stones

Worked on the garden all day today - the first day without cold wind and rain in many days. I decided to  include new plantings and move some others. In the process, I found myself reworking some of the stones around the plantings, especially near the west end of the garden near Buddha and the circle of hostas. Going in and out between the rock pile next to the garage and the locations within the garden was difficult because there was no formal entry or steps to make it easy. The one set of steps in the center is not always convenient to enter and exit. I therefore decided to create a second set of entry steps near the west end. I had several large rocks I was saving for a different project in the garden, but decided to use them because they were large enough for steps and had nice flat surfaces on one side. 

It wasn't easy moving them into place, but with some effort and caution, I was able to do so without too much of a struggle. They are very stable and make entry and exit much easier than before, when I often slipped and stumbled into this area. They also look nice - more natural than the granite steps in the middle.