When we last checked in on this garden that is the first thing people see when they come in our driveway (other than possibly the garage straight ahead), I was sharing how I had let the whole thing sort of slip into a sad state because I knew I was sick of. Upon further reflection I realized that there were design problems from the very beginning (which I’m letting myself off the hook for because it was the first garden I ever designed) and while I still like the concept, changes are needed.
I’ve been doing a lot of sketching and have settled into something I’m liking quite a bit.
As I’ve mentioned before, the chive hedge will stay and I’ll rearrange it to line each segment. The paths, which are now a paltry 16 inches wide, will expand to 24 inches wide. That will eat up a lot of planting space, but it has to happen (and there’s always room for plants somewhere else). The pea gravel that is currently there will be changed out for some other kind of gravel. Cobblestones will line the outside and the middle circle, but I’ll do steel edging again for the “spokes.”
|Not that you can tell there’s an obelisk under there, but there is and it supports the ‘William Baffin’ climbing rose (that the deer like more than I do) and a clematis.|
As I previously mentioned, I’ll leave the obelisk with a climber in the center circle and probably replant a few other things in there. For the rest of the planting, I’m thinking about a boxwood meatball or even a square, but something tightly clipped, in the middle of each section. Then each section would be further divided with three different grouping of plantings. If I line them up right, the effect would be a diamond shape.
Each subsection (shown by different colors on the drawing) would be completely planted with just one plant variety but not divided by any other physical barrier. I’m envisioning a combination of flowering annuals, grasses, dwarf shrubs and perennials. Planting a variety of things would allow me to accommodate for the fact that even though it’s a small garden, part of it is much shadier than the rest.
Among the plants I’ve been playing with in my head are Mexican feather grass, verbena bonariensis, dahlias, ‘Bobo’ hydrangeas, rhubarb (which is the only plant staying because I don’t want to move it), hakonechloa, begonias, coleaus, nepeta and alliums. None of that has to be decided now and I’m having fun playing with all the options in my head so I’m sort of saving the fun for winter.
The gardening season is rapidly drawing to a close, but my goal is to get the hardscaping finished this fall. I also wanted to get the boxwoods planted if possible but now is a great time to plant here and planting in two or three weeks isn’t so great. I’m just not sure I can get it to that point in time and I don’t want to risk the health of four expensive boxwoods by planting them too late.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel about this garden now that I have a better concept of a plan. Frankly, it’s the most excited I’ve been about this space in a very long time. That’s good because I’ll need the enthusiasm to get through some of the hard work that needs to happen before the snow flies.