Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Makeover

For awhile now I have been redoing the north side of my garden.  It is a small area a little over six feet in the narrowest area and about ten feet in the widest area.  There is a path down the center with a fence on the northern most side.

Anemone Andrea Atkinson and Hosta Dancing Queen

The carex grass was not fun to remove, had grown under the fence into the neighbor's yard.  There are lots of grass roots to clean up so I am sure we will be pulling out grass for sometime.

Multi-Blue Clematis and Hosta Maui Buttercup

This is a Type 2 clematis and will bloom early, also taking part shade.  I have had to go smaller with the hostas so that the watering system can be effective. 

Epimedium Rubrum and Heuchera Pinot Gris

The Epimedium Rubrum will turn red in the fall and the Heuchera Pinot Gris will grow in full sun.  I have tried to relate colors even though the plants are different.  The repetition of plants is not part of the plan for this narrow garden, but more concern with color, form, height and blooming time.

Crested Wood Fern
The Crested Fern will grow three feet tall and are at both ends of the long pathway.  It is a shade fern but I am hoping with the water it can hold its own in this environment.  I like the strength in its fronds.

Some people do not even landscape an area like this, just mulch or stone works for them.  However, with limited planting space I welcomed the chance to develop a shade garden.  I really missed the plants I was able to grow in my old, old house and my last home, like Trillium, Jack In The Pulpit, Dutchman's Breeches, Brunnera, Thalactrum, Aruncus Dicocus, Bloodroot and even the violets.  I really do not miss the violets, have them popping up all over because my home is built on an old garden.

Quick Silver Showy Ginger

Brunnera Jack Frost

After this summer, I am not recommending Astilbe in this area, water not being the problem, just heat.  I will keep my many Astilbe for another year and see what happens but right now they look fried.

The ferns have done well so I am planting some additional varieties along with more Heucheras.  Heucheras are interesting in that some hardly notice the heat like Peach Flambe and some go into hiding when the heat hits like Miracle and Plum Pudding.

Lady Fern 'lady in red'
This is fern that produces red stems.

Dicentra Luxuriant
This is one of my favorite bleeding hearts, blooming all spring and summer.

I have added another Hellebore, Red Racer and a Type 3 Clematis Claire De Lune, can't wait to walk this path next year.

The fences are no longer needed, but I wish the foundation wasn't showing.  Most of the plants will grow taller and cover this area.  I like the idea of being able to add some annuals on both sides.  The sides of the pathway have similar plantings but do not match.

This area is still a work in progress, need a couple of more plants and of course some mulch.  It will certainly be a more interesting path than previously!


Jenny Short said...

Your garden looked perfect to me. That's the thing about gardeners, especially my husband, they are always changing things around. I know our new plantings will look beautiful. Lots of work! xo Jenny

Zoey said...

It looks good. As you mentioned, it will be fun to see it mature a bit next year.

scottweberpdx said...

Looks great...and I'm with you...when you don't have a lot of space, you don't let ANY of it go to waste!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Oh Jenny, thanks for the compliment but most gardeners never think anything is perfect. I am trying to make less labor for myself.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

I am tired of cutting down the grass on this side so hopefully this will not be as demanding.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I think I have every area in my garden planted out, even the alley.


My Garden Diaries said...

Great work! I can't wait to see how it all fills in!

Jennifer said...

Hi Eileen, Quite a lot of work went into this makeover. It will be interesting to see how everything matures.
I have had terrible luck with astilbe this year. It really doesn't like heat or dry conditions. I have lost many of my plants this summer and don't think I will replace them.

Lona said...

It looks just wonderful Eileen. It is going to be even more pretty when it grows a little. I love the Ginger plant. The leaves are so pretty.

Darla said...

Such a sweet path!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl this is absolutely WONDERFUL !! I love that you are using a lot of the plants I have and love .. the whole layout is perfect and I can't wait to see how this grows in and up .. it is going to be fantastic !
Joy : )

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Garden Diaries for visiting, hope they all survive our heat.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


It has been a job just trying to figure out what to put into this area, can't grow too much.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

I do like that ginger, haven't seen the variegated one before.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Joy,

I do like all the varieties you show on your posts, found a couple of new ones that I will show soon.


allan becker said...

I can see the potential becaus , even in its infancy, it looks great.

Beth said...

I like what you are doing with your pathway garden, Eileen. I always enjoy your commentary on how the various plants have worked for you. You are a good garden coach! Love the header photo too!


There is no wasted space in your garden, is there? I can't wait to see this area next year. It's going to be amazing. I might have to try the ever-blooming Bleeding Heart. How awesome is that?