September 2, 2010
Front Landscaping Project: End of Summer Views
After our major landscaping project this spring, I was excited to see how the plants would fill in by the end of the summer. Here's an update on the progress with some wide view pictures. Sharing wide view shots is a Big Deal for me with such a young garden! Above is an 'Autumn Wood' daylily with daisy-form rose mums and 'Rozanne' geranium. I like how this color combo turned out. The five 'Rozanne' geraniums I planted this spring have grown quite large and have bloomed all summer long. I'm very pleased with them.
Here is a 'Giggles' dahlia with 'Walker's Low' catmint in the background. I planted a dozen of these dahlia tubers in the front yard and have been disappointed with their flowering. Half of them aren't blooming yet, and the first frost is coming up fast. I think dahlias aren't a good investment for my cold climate unless I buy them already in bloom. The tall, narrow form of the dahlias doesn't work well in my flower beds, either. Of course the catmint is growing by leaps and bounds and already needs to be divided. The bees love both of these plants. They busily buzz around the catmint and appear to take naps on the dahlias.
This is another shot of the dahlia, mums, 'Autumn Wood' daylily, 'Rozanne' geranium and some lavender lobelia in the background. I planted the lobelia to fill in some blank spots around the beds, but the little clumps just make the beds look cluttered.
My vigorous 'Abraham Darby' rose is in the middle of its second heavy flush of blooms. Unlike my experience with this rose in California, I haven't seen any rust on the leaves since planting.
Here is The Wide View shot for the post. I like the color scheme - warm peachy pinks, rosey pink and lavender. The foliage is a nice mix of glossy dark green (Otto Luyken Laurels, dahlias, creeping phlox), steely blue (Blue Star junipers), warm mid green (daylilies, lilyturf and Sagina subulata groundcover), and light blue-green (bearded iris).
Speaking of greenery, I am especially pleased with how my 'Green Tower' boxwood is growing (you can see it on the right of the shot). I was nervous that it would get crispy with all the sun and heat reflecting from the south side of the house, but it still looks perfectly fresh and green. Monrovia states that it will stay this color all winter instead of turning 'bronze'. That's great news since my winter lasts six months. This boxwood stays very narrow and can grow up to nine feet tall. It stands as a welcoming sentinel by the entrance to front veranda.
In the above shot you can see three types of filler annuals (they're the really short ones): double pink petunias, warm lavender lobelia and cool lavender fanflower (Scaveola). Like I said, it's colorful but cluttered. When the 'Blue Star' juniper reaches full size there won't be room for annuals anyway. Too bad it's a slow grower.
Although I'm not pleased with their contribution to the overall scheme, the double pink petunias are really pretty up close. You can see a touch of lime green at the base of the petals.
I'll end with this shot of 'Pink Double Delight' coneflower and 'Evolution' salvia (which grows as an annual in my climate). So what do you think of the end of season product? I think it turned out pretty well overall, though I'm planning a few tweaks here and there. Next year I'm not planting annuals, so no dahlias, petunias, fanflower, lobelia or salvia. But everything else should get bigger and fill in better. Eventually you won't see any bark. This fall I am adding a couple of 'Coral Supreme' peonies and six 'Just Because' lavender siberian iris to replace the ones I killed. But the overall color scheme and design will stay the same. It's nice to have one part of the yard mostly settled.