Tag Archives: Shade gardening

Moving Some Rocks

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to get some spots in the garden in order before it got too cold. One is shown here:

Stephi Gardens

Stephi Gardens

It’s a spot that in theory should be a good way to have dealt with the slope of the garden as opposed to the level patio. The problem that developed was that the small foot or so of garden that aligns with the lower grill area, just has become a place for dirt, leaves and other random outdoor junk to collect and wash onto the patio. Plants haven’t seemed to want to grow very well there, so it just became an a dirty eyesore. We had originally planted purple tuurtleheads and bee balm in the area, then added some other plants as things died back.

So finally this year, I decided this area needed a change. I had the stones moved forward to the edge of the brick and some plastic added to keep the dirt from washing in. There’ll be a bit of a slope, but it can’t be worse than the ugliness of what I am dealing with now. Neither of those original plants did great in this locations, so what’s left of them I’m moving them to other spots.

Moving the plants–a clump of turtlehead roots

Purple Tutleheads
and some very scraggly bee balm that needs more sunlight.

Bee Balm

The spurge that does do well here, I’ll split in the spring.  It’s about 5 years old so probably ready to split.  I’ve also been been finding such interesting Coral Bells (Heuchera) lately and they seem to like it here.  I’ll try to add some more of them and some interesting hosts and astilbe to round it out.  I’m hoping this impoves the look and keeps the patio a little cleaner.

Here’s what it looks like now, honestly not much better, but getting too cold to really do much.  The rest of the plants to be added and moved will need to be done in the spring.  At least I’m ready!

Stephi Gardens

Stephi Gardens

 

 

Yet another problem area addressed

As I’ve worked on the problem areas in the front yard, I created another sore spot in the area where we moved the Annabelle hydrangeas from. On the north side of the house were the 4 hydrangeas and a row of Hicks yews. The hydrangeas had to go because they were just too big for the space, leaving big gaps at either end. They look great where they are now!

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It’s is a difficult place to plant because it is on the north side and under the soffit of the house. Therefore very shady and somewhat dry. The yews have done just fine, but I do give them at least about a watering can full of water dumped right down the center every 2-3 weeks during the summer and into fall. I didn’t want to add more yews, but instead wanted a deciduous plant that could take those conditions. I watched the location for a few weeks and decided it gets about 3 hours max of full sun. I settled on Wine and Roses Weigela. While it would flower better and have darker leaf color in full sun, I think it will look good in the space, and be a good contrast to the yews, even in this less than ideal location. If it does awful, I like the plant enough to move it to a different location after a couple of years.

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This area still looks a little sad, especially without the mulch in yet, but I’ve learned in the past to be patient and let plants grow into the space. I’ve had to dig too much up after a few years because too many flowers, shrubs and even trees were planted too close together. Money down the drain! In a few years this will grow to be a healthy plant and not be overflowing the space.