There's a relatively good-sized area sandwiched between the newly renovated succulent bed in front of our garage, the trees and shrubbery in the northwest corner of our property, and the neighbor's driveway that I've largely ignored for the 6+ years we've lived here. When we hauled in topsoil to create berms for the succulent bed, I used some of it to do the same in the neglected area after first clearing it of weeds and the one poor shrub I planted when we moved in, which had stubbornly refused to grow. As it's a semi-shady location, I decided to use it for part of my burgeoning bromeliad collection. It's by no means done but I've made a start.
|Left, the area after it'd been cleared and soil was added. Right, after soil amendments, rocks and the first plants were added.|
I see this area, not large enough to be called a secret garden, as a surprise pocket garden. Before I do more planting, I want to add a flagstone path to minimize the risk that anyone, myself included, will trod on the plants. I'm planning to use grasses and grass-like plants, probably Seslaria 'Greenlee's Hybrid' and Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nanus' (dwarf mondo grass) to soften the areas around the stepping stones and the bromeliads. I'll probably add shade-tolerant succulents too, like the Manfreda maculosa I need to move to make way for my future lath/shade house.
Mini-project #2 was tackled on roughly the same schedule as the bromeliad bed. I used some of that imported topsoil to raise the soil level and improve drainage in the garden on the northeast side of the house. Digging out a mass of germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) and Geranium incanum in the area was the toughest part of the job. After getting started on replanting, I wasn't able to get the Barleria obtusa I wanted to fill in the remaining empty spaces so it appears I'm going to have to propagate the plants I need myself.
I've been replanting areas of another large bed in front of the garage too. Many of the plants I put in during the first quarter of 2016 needed more shade than that location provided. I've been gradually swapping them out with plants that enjoy more sun.
Next, I tackled a problem location in the back garden, an area that quickly killed off anything I planted there, even succulents. The soil in this area is especially sandy and the soil amendments I added seemed to wash away from the area which sits on the upper edge of the back slope. I added rocks to help hold the new topsoil and soil amendments I dug in here and filled in with bulbs and a few plants. I'm trying to find more Lantana camara 'Irene' so I can tie the area just beyond it.
The moderate west-facing slope got a clean-up, a couple of new plants, and some bulbs.
|I cleared out some Shasta daisies and Agapanthus that were never happy here, relocated a couple of bearded Iris and added more Lantana, a Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata, and a Phylica pubescens. More daffodils and Sparaxis bulbs also went in here.|
In addition to these projects, I made a few quick fixes this week.
|I finally replaced the Coleonema that died in my front border with 3 Lavandula stoechas 'Silver Anouk'. At maturity, I'm hoping they'll look as good as the specimen shown on the right, shown blooming in April elsewhere in my front garden.|
There's still a lot to do but another heatwave arrived today and, after a brief cool down early next week, we're expecting yet another blast so I'm holding off any any more planting or transplanting until the temperatures cool again.
Best wishes for a peaceful weekend after what's been a very troubling week.
All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party