Thursday, November 14, 2013


I loved my original plans for the front garden but it turns out that there is not enough sun getting to this bed for quite a number of the plants I had chosen to live there, let alone thrive, and "thriving" is how I envision all my gardens three years out.

So it is time for what we call at work a COE or Correction of Error.  The 'error' of course was planting so much in my first year rather than waiting and observing, but honestly this is how I learn. Even still I am one year in and still unsure whether the garden is part-sun or part-shade, but now I know it is certainly not full-sun, and next year I will learn even more.
 I have everything planted and  planned but since I have been remiss about documenting what has happened in the bed since moving in let us take it a step at a time. In the end the design is not that different in many ways from what I had originally planned (above).

We will start with a look at what I planted this past spring after having built the garden the previous fall.

Small triangles are lilies: some incredibly tall ones that were here already and some gorgeous cream coloured ones I planted with dinner plate sized flowers.

Bright blue are Iris. Those in the far left oval are white with purple falls that I bought at a Friends of Gardens Manitoba annual plant sale.
The long pink oval along the front is made up of two kinds of Bellflowers that I have grown from seed. 

Green crosses are Verbascum that came from the garden of a work colleague (thank you Rhonda). Apparently they need full sun and flop over in rich soil so I am going to move them into the backyard where the bed is mostly original soil as compared to this freshly made lasagna garden.

Yellow heart is a lone blue Lupine.

Green circle were 80 purple Liatris that definitely did not get enough sun but whose bulbs all still looked very heavy when I moved them into the Sun Garden.

Blue stars are Bachelor's Button from Shelmerdine's that I got just before I admitted to myself that this garden was not getting as much sun as I had hoped and planned for.  Happily I was able to use a gift certificate I had gotten for Christmas (thanks Joyce & Gerry)

I did not include a marker for the Bachelor's Buttons I started from seed but they are spread along the front, and while they make for gorgeous close-up photos they are lanky and spindly and I do not hold much hope for them long-term here.

Nor did I include markers for Flax or tall purple Asters, both of which I planted in the spring but neither of which are getting enough sun to have much of a future in this bed.

White circles are one of the few contrasting colours, yellow somethingorothers.

Bright green oval is Lamium that was previously growing in the original part of this bed but has really taken off in the new soil since transplant.

Yellow vertical rectangle is Globe Thistle. Stunted this year, but perhaps that is normal for its first year from seed? Or perhaps it did not get enough sun - also very possible.

Blue vertical rectangle and blue horizontal rectangle I believe to be tall purple German Iris, the same as in the Sun Garden, but I cannot be sure until they bloom one day.

Also in the horizontal one I planted a 50 tiny Iris Reticulada as soon as we moved in a year ago, about 20 of which came up last spring.

 The red smile is made up of Allium Molly, another of the few yellows. Whether Hyacinth or Geranium it should have some contrasting companions sharing its bloom time.

Odd purple shape is made up of about a dozen Hardy Geranium which should fairly quickly take maintenance for that whole part of the garden off of my hands by filling it all up.

The light grey-ish purple circle to the far right are 3 blue Columbines which may very well get overrun by the Geranium. 

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 describing what I planted this fall and what is on the menu for next year respectively.
 Parts 2 of 3 & 3 of 3


  1. I've never seen a lily bloom that large - gorgeous!
    I need to do some planning for my gardens, too. Thanks for the reminder!
    Have a great day!

    1. Lea,
      Thanks for stopping in. I got that huge Lily at the local lily society's annual fall sale. Prior to that I had never seem a bloom that large before either!

  2. Derek, don't be too hard on yourself. Gardening is in part an experiment. When plants don't perform as expected, we try to figure out the reasons and correct them. I have moved plants many times. A garden is never static, and thus never reaches perfection, for things get too large, some die, and always one is needing to make changes. I know you'll do well over time! Your post was interesting and yes that lily is gorgeous!

    1. Beth,
      Tanks for the advice. I won't be too hard on myself because I knew exactly the risk I was taking when I planted there based on assumptions. It is how I learn best. It just means digging up and transplanting, but as you point out, that's just para for the course.