I envisioned a soft carpet of moss beneath my feet as I walked through the garden…
and then the weeds came.
So now not only do the beds require weeding, so do the paths! YIKES!
I have been resisting the pea gravel alternative. When I am alone in the garden the crunch of the gravel is delightful but when accompanied, it is so distracting it is difficult to have a conversation.
Plants with a cascading habit, call attention to the ground plane. Above, The heavy flowers of Snowflake Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’), draw the eye to the Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum).
The flower on ‘Snowflake’ has double sepals, significantly different from that of ‘Amethyst’ above, or ‘Alice’ below.
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ forming it’s flower heads. This is one hydrangea that SHOULD BE PRUNED early spring. These hydrangeas form flower buds on NEW GROWTH.
UPDATE ON EPHEMERALS:
The Trillium are fading, (see yellow foliage). What will clothe the ground now is Vinca. I really tried for Selaginella kraussiana aurea, below
but it prefers the path so I’m going to stop fighting and let the vinca do its thing.
Arum foliage has died down & the berries have formed. They need to ripen, then they will be spread where more are needed. See previous post on Arum.
FINALLY THE POTAGER:
Below squash, peppers, cucumbers, beans, Eggplant
and below, TOMATOES!!
Have a great week end!
©All photos and text 2010
How important is Texture? Texture can be more pleasing than flowers, and persist longer. In smaller gardens where every design element is seen up close, it is of particular importance.
Here the bold glossy leaves of Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) stand in a mass of delicate Maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris).
Plants used for background need to be fine, dense and matt in order to be a suitable foil for either statuary or flowers. Above St. Fiacre against a matt evergreen Arborvitae (Thuja plicata). On either side the coarse, shining leaves of Gardenia (Gardenia japonica) and Banana Shrub (Michelia figo), reflect too much light to be an effective background.
Contrasting textures apply not only to plant relationships.
Here the fine ferny foliage of Japanese Maple ( Acer palmatum) stand out in sharp contrast to the smooth Bluestone walkway.
The best effects are achieved with simplicity. Texture = contrast = beauty.
© All photos & text 2010
Every gardener/designer has their own ideas on groundcovers. I thought I would share what I do with my hydrangea.
At the base of the shrubs, and forming a nice ‘sweep’, I plant the small tubers of Arum italicum ‘Pictum’. This delightful little plant is the ideal workhorse groundcover for any shrub that looses its leaves in winter. It does not appear till October/November, the handsome foliage persists all winter, and disappears in mid spring, just as the shrubs leaf out.
Here the Arum covers what would be bare earth as the Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) is cut back early spring. (See the stems peeking out?)
Weeks later, the Annabelle starts to fill in. By the time the Arum foliage dies back the hydrangea will shade the ground.
PLEASE NOTE: do not prune all your hydrangeas. The macrophylla type hydrangeas (big blue or pink mophead or lacecap flowers) formed their flower buds last year. If you prune them, there will be no blooms this year.
The flower buds on Hydrangea macrophylla .