Sunday, February 28, 2016

MONET GARDEN UPDATE

One of the main reasons I started blogging was to keep records of my numerous gardens and their myriad plants, still, time can be elusive and here I find myself  2 years since my last updated map of the west-facing 'Monet Garden' in the front yard of our zone 3 home. 


While the general colour-theme endures much has changed.

The entire front bed was dug up in the fall of 2014 and removed for foundation work. 
I raised the portion between house and path by 8 inches while adding tall Ostrich Ferns and Tree lilies since there is no shortage of tall plants in the front of this garden.  The Ostrich Ferns are a final acceptance of how shady this space is,


In fact I would have thought it too shady here for gorgeous, enormous tree lilies if there had not been some living here before I arrived on the scene (back left).

I was not kidding about taller plants in the front of the garden!  Next year the Echinops will also be tall on the left of the path (mixed with the Herons) and the gap in the bottom right of this photo will be filled by Echinops, Monkshood, or both. 

One way to attract people into the gardens is to almost hide some plants behind others, rewarding the explorers. I pruned back this path last fall in the hopes it will invite more foot traffic. 

You begin to see above how smashing it will look in two more years with the taller lilies sprouting up from amongst the tall Ostrich ferns, creating a dense canopy reinforcing the height of the raised bed to the left of the path.  I also lined the path with transplanted Forget-me-nots, which incredibly bloomed not just in spring, but all summer long. 

 Forget-me-nots now rule where once Lamium formed the densest of mats.
Columbine have been moved out - they are pretty when viewed close up but were totally lost in this hot mess.
White Pulmonaria (though thriving here) were moved to the more appropriately coloured 'Moon Garden'.
A dozen dwarf yellow Foxglove will add discrete contrast to the dominant blues and purples.
Calla Lilies will not be back as I focus on (native) perennials to build habitat as much as a beautiful garden.

Every year I am able to whittle down the variety of plants further in this part-shade bed, capitalizing on its specific conditions such as its rich, moist soil and pockets of sunshine.  There are still 18 different plants on the map but the longer I am here the smaller that number will get: the Pasque Flower and Siberian Iris are still in their testing phase and the Dumstick Allium are not so gradually on their way out.

The Lamium and Daylilies are perfect: low maintenance, aggressive, but boxed in and easy to control.

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