Monday, March 18, 2013

New Planting Bed: Part 2

I wrote about the creation of a new planting bed on the site of a large Eucalyptus tree removed at the request of a neighbor here.  With all the major plants in place, the bed still looked very bare as shown below.

Bed after initial planting in February

It's hard for me to live with so much bare ground for long.  Although I'm well aware of the need to provide shrubs and perennials sufficient space to grow, I find myself filling in with annuals and other short-lived or "dispensable" plants to create a more immediate sense of fullness.  The only exception in dealing with this bed was that I actually started with a working list of fillers and edging plants.  For once, I stuck by my list - pretty much, anyway.

Here's a view of the bed with the added plants:

Bed after the addition of fillers and edging plants in March

The Plectranthus cuttings I added are almost invisible in the picture above.  The foliage of the mature plant, with purple veining and purplish undersides, is beautiful on its own but graceful lavender flower clusters add another dimension when they appear in the fall.  Whether these cuttings will make it is still questionable as they seem to be getting more sun than they'd like in this partial sun bed.

Plectranthus fruticosus (?) cuttings with Helichrysum petiolare

Mature Plectranthus fruticosus (ID unverified)

I added some purple Heuchera as planned.

Purple Heuchera hybrid 'Melting Fire' with Heuchera maxima

And Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant."

Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'

I also added Teucrium chamaedrys (Germander) along the wall.

Teucrium chamaedrys (with annual Anagallis)

I inserted 3 very small cutting of Stachys byzantina 'Helen Von Stein' in one spot I thought could use a soft gray touch but in other spots substituted Helichrysum petiolare.  This should eventually cascade over the wall along the adjoining pathway.  In lieu of the Seslaria caerulea (Blue Moor Grass) I'd originally planned on, I used the small-sized Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' which has an airier quality but also tolerates partial shade.  When the Helichrysum fills out, the Festuca may need to come out.

Festuca galuca 'Elijah Blue (with Helichrysum petolare)

I admit to adding some things I hadn't planned on, like the annual Pericallis x hybrida (Florist's Cineraria).  I picked up the last 2 plants in the dark blue color while on a nursery trip with 2 friends who took me shopping to divert my attention from recent sad events.  When I decided that the jewel-toned plants didn't work in their intended spot, I plunked them into this bed, assuming they'll be gone long before the neighboring Loropetalum spreads out.  This 'Senetti' variety doesn't get as big and isn't as robust as the varieties I formerly grew but it has the advantage of being much less prone to leaf-miner.

Pericallis x hybridya

I also added 2 more Argyranthemum frutescens 'Elsa White.'  It's the first time I've come across a plant carrying my mother's first name and, while there are no doubt more out there, I couldn't pass on the symbolism of running across this particular plant at this particular time.

Argyranthemum frutescens 'Elsa White'

Now I'll give my selections some time and see how they do.  I'm sure I'll have to move plants that become overcrowded and replace or move plants that fail to thrive but, for now, I'll leave them alone to do their thing.

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