Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Chance To Show Off As A Xeric Garden

Well, this has been the year for my alley garden to step up and perform in the intense heat we have had the past weeks.  It has been fortunate that rain has also been in the picture along with the heat and I haven't had to drag the hose out to the back to water.  However, last year I think I only watered a few times all summer in the alley garden.

The Alley Garden
It has really grown this year and, of course, I am always concerned about the garbage trucks wheeling over the  plantings.  So far, this has not been a problem, and my neighbor in back of me has planted grasses in her alley space.  This could be catching and if it is, this alley could be a great place to take a stroll or a garden walk.
Centranthus Alba

Panicum Northwind

The Panicum Northwind looks great, along with the sedums and nepeta Walker's Low.  I am not sure yet about the Gaillardia Mesa, but it is the first year.  This is not an eye-popping color garden, but is very wispy and muted as far as colors.  That's okay with me as it looks sort of meadow like and is certainly carefree.
Gaillardia Mesa

The Agastaches have a licorice smell when you brush by them or bend down to take a sniff.  All of these plantings are waterwise, meaning they require less watering than most other perennials.  I do not use mulch around these plants but have them surrounded by river rock so that the soil does not wash down the alley in a rainstorm. 
Agastache Blue Fortune

Agastache Rosita

I will revist the Alley Garden when the sedums begin to bloom.


garden girl said...

Looks like your idea to plant in the alley is catching on Eileen! It sure makes an otherwise boring, and sometimes notoriously ugly, if utilitarian place so welcoming and lovely. How cool it would be to have an alley garden walk. I hope your other neighbors follow your lead!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Loved this post. I'm changing my gardens over to xeric. I'm not removing any plants but rather letting them die and replacing with drought tolerant ones if they require more water than natural rainfall supplies. This really isn't a hardship for gardeners because there is a huge variety of xeric plants to choose from.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Linda, I did take a better look at my neighbor's alley garden and I see she has added daylilies. So far, it's looking good. Maybe I can sneak a photo for next time.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Marnie, I should have put the link for xeric plants on the post. I will add it, as they are the only place I have found that carry some of the more unusual ones.


Tufa Girl said...

Soon will be moving to a place with an alley - thanks for all the inspiration!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks for your comment. It has been fun and sure much better than trash.


Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Isn't that wonder that your neighbour is getting on board and planting an alley garden too. It just shows you that you can make beauty is a small area. The plants look great.

Rose said...

What a lovely way to beautify a space that normally is unattractive. Choosing plants that don't require much water is a great idea. Nice to see your idea is catching on in the neighborhood.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Rose, we still have many unsightly areas in the alley, so even a few more gardens would help.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Gardening In A Sandbox, thanks for your comments. You are right, just about any area can be made to look better.


RainGardener said...

Eileen how wonderful that you have another place to plant - the alley is a great idea and will help to beautify an otherwise plain street. Love what you've planted too.
Hey you said you needed lessons to do a slide show when looking at my Snapdragon slide. Just go to and all ya do is upload some pictures you'd like to use and then just click on the slide show you would like. They do it all for ya. You can click other things to add another color or item or you can just use one as you see it. Easy as can be or I wouldn't be able to do it. LOL

Gatsbys Gardens said...


Thank you so much for your comments. Also, I will definitely go into and see if I can work up a slide show. I really enjoy looking at them on other people's sites.


Carolyn Gail said...

Don't believe I've ever seen such a lovely garden in the alley, of all places, Eileen. Terrific job!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Coming from you Carolyn, that's a real compliment!


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love your alley garden and how you've used a space that many people would ignore. Those Agastache are both really pretty. I bet you have lots of butterflies visiting all those plants.

Indoor Fountains said...

If only the alleys in NYC were this beautiful lol.

Great job. This alley garden looks a lot better than any garden in my yard haha. Keep it up!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi! I haven't been to your blog in awhile. I'll have to go to your latest posts to see what you've been up to. I did a search on Panicum North Wind, and scanned over the photos to find a blog. I like to see what bloggers have to say about plants as well as the folks who sell them.

Gail, from Clay and Limestone recommended panicum(s) for my front yard. I am checking on the ones available at a plant sale I'm going to Friday. I like this one. How's it doing this year? Your alley looks awesome!