For more than half of the past year I’ve been observing and writing about my small side yard garden. I didn’t know when I started the project where it would lead. Inexperienced house painters, a severe drought and weeks of intense heat have brought me to an impasse. Try and make do or rework. Since I am a landscape designer, I’ve decided to redesign and renovate my own gardens.
In the twelve years since I first started gardening here, times have changed. Winters are warmer but seemingly more intense. Water restrictions are in place in the summer. Spring and fall are still cooler, but spring seems shorter and fall longer.
The structure and overall layout of the gardens will not change much–the plant selection and some of the details will. I’m adding a rain barrel to an area of the yard with no spigot and difficult access, but is adjacent to the house and has a downspout. I’m going to relocate some plants, trash others and add new ones. Anything new will have to be tough to be a long term contender. Here’s some of what I’ve been stockpiling–you’ll see the combinations aren’t for the faint hearted. I’ve been struggling with how to use yellow foliage for a while, so I’m taking it on in the home garden.
I want to combine this Rhus thphina ‘Tiger Eyes’ and grow the Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’ up through it.
A new introduction. This is going in the front yard in a newly enlarged bed. I live on a corner. It will stop traffic!
I want to beef up the late season show. The gardens have a progressive dominant bloom color from early spring to mid summer. It loosely ranges from white to yellow to blue to hot pink, so I’m adding indigo and orange to the late summer show with Veronia noveborancensis (an Eastern native) and Helenium x ‘Dancing Flames’. The Continus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’ in the background will yellow up more when it gets its new sunny home. More to follow as the story unfolds–I’d love to hear your thoughts.