Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Back Bed

I am beginning to plant/create so many flower beds that I have to name them to keep my records straight. The bed along the back of the house, between the corner and the basement stairs, outside of the India room, is imaginatively named “the back bed.”

The back bed was actually “the weed bed” until a few weeks ago. The concrete barrier between the bed and the lawn is severely eroded. The lawn and its accompanying weeds (henbit, violet, dandelion) crept into and took over the space. Mike routinely mowed it with the rest of the back lawn. To reclaim the bed, I ripped each plant out by hand and removed a honeysuckle tree at the gate end.

Like most of my beds, I planted it without a plan. At first, I intended to seat my lovely Miss Kim lilac at the corner, but after digging a bit, I discovered a clay pipe only 6 inches below the ground. I believe the pipe links the gutter downspout to the sewer. Miss Kim went elsewhere and, instead, I dug a fern from the side yard that was in danger of being mowed and transplanted it.

Next, I found a very healthy looking Asao clematis at Lowe’s and plopped it next to the railing. When it was time to plant my winter-sown columbine seedlings, I discovered that I had about 50. Fifteen went in the, also creatively named, “left front bed” and the remainder went in each end of the back bed. They will not bloom until next year.

On an impulse, I bought “100 Days of Lilies” (25 lily bulbs in a bag) at Walmart. I dug a long trough along the back of the bed and planted them there. Finally, I found sun-loving perennials on sale at Home Depot this week ($3.33 each!). I planted 2 Blanket Flower, 2 Littly Joy Daylily, and 2 Scarlet Lobelia. That’s it; the bed is full.

Because I bought them in bloom, the Blanket Flower has given me instant satisfaction. The Lobelia and Daylily are about to flower. Twelve of the twenty-five lilies have emerged from the soil. I am pulling for the other thirteen. The 35 columbine should put on quite a show next spring. And I can’t wait for the ugly railing to be covered by the clematis.

(If you click on the first photo, you will be brought to a page were the plants are labeled. The six plants in the front are in repeating groups of three.)


Anonymous Trissa said...

I continue to be amazed at what you accomplish in your garden. It will be even more spectacular in a couple of years as different plants mature. I checked out the pictures of Mr. Tibbs and he is adorable!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Be prepared in about three years to be pulling plants out of there.
I did a similar thing 7 years ago. I put lots of different flowering plants in to make the garden look good. Many of the plants couldn't compete with some of the more aggressive varieties. Now I move the columbine around the yard when renegade plants appear.
Avoid mint and liatris. They will take over! Fortunately I can transplant flowers to another property but I have to rid it of more trees before I do any more!
If you want any pampas grass let me know. I divided one clump into 5 smaller clumps and have nowhere to put 4 of those clumps!

5:38 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

We have a former weed bed also. I am too lazy to pull the plants out one by one, however, so we just sprayed it generously with Roundup, then a couple weeks later, raked and hoed it into submission, then Roundup'ed again. Soon we will actually plant something ... I hope.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

I welcome the aggressive plants! I'll chop them up and transplant the excess to another area.

11:56 AM  
Blogger crazygramma said...

Wonderful photos

6:18 AM  
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