Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Most Unusual Garden

I have talked about my xeric garden which runs along the south side of my house right next to the foundation, but I have not told you about my xeric garden along the back of the fence facing our alley.  My hose barely reaches back there, so I was required to plant only those perennials which needed very little water.

The first thing we did was to have this strip dug out (it was all gravel, clay and asphalt) and filled with good soil which was then topped with a heavy river rock that would not wash into the alley in heavy rains. 

,Along the back I put in Panicum 'Northwind' a tall upright blue-green grass that turns tan in the fall and stays standing until the most heavy snows.  I also used some Sedum 'Autumn Fire' which stays more upright in the winter than Autumn Joy.  Interspersed throughout this thirty foot plus strip is Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Agastache 'Rosita', Agastache ' Blue Fortune', Centhantrus Ruber Alba 'White', and Sedum 'Vera Jameson'. These perennials are all xeric (requiring very little water)

It was a challenge planting these among river rock, but mulch would not work in this area because of the water flow, it would wash down the alley.  A few other neighbors have begun to beautify the back of their homes in the same way.  We now get some walkers down our paved alley to look at the garden.  I live in the suburbs but the lot is very citified.


Dave said...

I'm a huge fan of catmints! My kids like them too and go around smelling the scented leaves. I've added quite a few through cuttings. I also like Northwind a very nice grass!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Dave,

I agree and have several varities throughout the garden. I like the fact that when you cut them back they rebloom until frost.


allanbecker-gardenguru said...

The combination including Panicum "Northwind" is awesome. At 6 feet tall, it needs to be added to my wish list. Glad to have made its acquaintance.

Darla said...

You have a very delightful blog, good information shared here. I would so walk your alley and admire your flowers. Beautiful photos...Dahlias are a favorite of mine, I was snooping through your older posts.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Allan,

What is nice about Northwind, it does not get full like Miscanthus, stays upright.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank you so much Darla for your nice comments.

I actually met a woman at my local garden center who loves to walk our local alleys with a friend looking at these unexpected little gardens.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It must look really pretty back there. I love that you used an area that was a difficult site and created a nice garden in it. I really love that first Agastache, I haven't seen one that pink before.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine,

As far as I know, this variety is only offered through High Country Gardens. It is pretty compact for Agastache and sort of a magenta in color. I was out back yesterday and it looks like it survived the winter.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Good morning Eileen. What a pretty bunch of blooms. I just planted Walkers Low and Agastache 'Blue Fortune last fall so I am hoping to enjoy them this summer. I am loving your Agastache Rosita though. So many flowers, so little room.LOL! Back to the list that never ends.
Happy FF.

Tootsie said...

I absolutely love the blue flowers in the header of your blog. I could not find your Fertilizer Friday post, so I am commenting here.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, I have only been able to find Rosita at High Country Gardens. Blue Fortune I found at Home Depot last year. I do see that the Rosita has come back, but no Blue Fortune poking through yet.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Tootsie,

I did put my blog on Fertilizer Friday. I am not sure I am doing it correctly. I might need a Fertilizer Friday lesson! I will email you and tell you what I am doing.


noel said...


i loved the words with the visuals, your spring garden is beautiful!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Aloha Noel,

This would be your spring garden, but I will have to wait awhile to see these in full bloom this year in my garden. Nice hearing from you!