Lately, with the cooler weather, my thoughts have moved on to more than bulbs although bulbs have been the source of many hopes and dreams for spring.
This the front border adjacent to the curving sidewalk. The centerpiece is this charming little fountain. Just like in The Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain (or the iron bell in the photo’s frame). The fountain is topped with a pineapple, which is a symbol of welcome. Therefore, a pineapple fountain out front seems appropriate.
Before we built the sidewalk, I always thought the area was supremely ugly with the severely straight, edged border (shown at left). After we finished it, I now like the whole thing a little better. I can at least look it in the eye, instead of always blocking my vision with my hand as I inserted my key in the front door.
Although I probably should keep this to myself because I draw and create gardens for clients, I hate putting my own gardens down on paper. Landscapes look great on paper, but all that pen and ink just seems so final. My gardens are always changing. This may belie a certain sickness within my own personal borders, but I don’t want to think about that today.
When I’m designing for a new garden space at home, I kind of feel my way through it. The catalyst for this one was Carex buchananii ‘Fox Red Curly.’ I found an overgrown container of it while strolling through Precure Nursery in Oklahoma City. I fell in love with its color, sandpaper-like texture and twistiness, but it was very expensive, so I divided it into three plants. They will quickly grow into larger plants next year. The Carex echoes the rusty color in the bricks and the shape of the sidewalk itself. When they are grown, I hope they will drift across the walk.
After the Carex, I knew I wanted Amsonia behind them, but the nurseries were nearly out of plants in late September. I found three dwarf Amsonias. They are starting to turn their golden color, and in the spring, they will have light blue flowers. They should bulk up by next fall and show their true fountain effect. At least, I hope so.
In front of the fountain, I placed three Ilex x ‘Mondo’ ‘Little Rascal’ hollies. I already have one ‘Little Rascal’ in the back garden, and I love the shape and small stature of these male hollies which grow two feet tall and three feet wide. They have such an interesting texture, and unlike some hollies, they feel good to the touch. The new growth is a rusty red. Behind the fountain, I added an Ilex vomitoria, yaupon holly ‘Bordeaux’ and a bush honeysuckle. I’ve misplaced its tag, but I know it’s not one of the invasive species.
The worst honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, grows rampantly in my backyard, and I’ve been trying to eradicate it for years. It smells good. It’s pretty, but it’s bad.
As the garden tapers to a point in front, I took Terra Nova’s advice and planted three ‘Southern Comfort’ Heucheras and three ‘Midnight Rose’ Heucheras. They are supposed to take our heat and be adaptable to the south. I was told they will even take some sun. Mine are in partial to full shade. Next summer will be their true test.
So that’s this portion of the front garden. I like what I’ve done, but there is still more to do with the straight edge. I met with someone today who I hope will help me solve some of its issues.
Yes, even those of us who help others sometimes need help too. More on this adventure in another post.