Sunday, June 19, 2011

Border Patrol

As I make my rounds of the garden each day, I become more and more aware that it is a garden of borders.  I don't have room anymore for islands or berms so borders frame the small amount of grass that I have.

There is a border of roses, Knockouts and Pink Meidiland, phlox, lilies and daylilies, daisies and other perennials that keep this going throughout the summer.

On the sitting side of the patio Green Velvet boxwood is enhanced by coleus and sweet potatio vine spilling over the raised bed.  These plantings do not draw bees or other insects.  An outside fan on the patio keeps the mosquitos at bay.

Pathways are important to lead you into the border and in some cases even have a place to sit and relax.

I am on another small pathway taking this photo, not enough room to sit but it allows me to get into the garden.

To keep it interesting it is nice to have highs and lows in the border.  The south side is a very hot area during the summer so the plantings have to be appropriate.

I changed the plantings this year to zinnias, crotons that I wintered over, sedum, daylilies and coneflowers.  The clematis and Eupatorium Chocolate also do well in the heat.  There is still some veronica here that has survived, but most of the perennials I have tried have not been able to take the heat.

The front south border does not get the relection of the heat from the house so it is much easier to grow and keep watered the perennials that thrive here.

Little Henry's Garnet Sweetspire faces southeast and for the first year in seven is going to bloom profusely.  Don't you just love all that bulb foliage, I always hate it this time of year!

I used a systemic on it last year and again this spring along with feeding it an acidic fertilizer (read that it prefers an acid soil).  So, I guess we'll keep this one.

Little Henry you've got a reprieve!

Groundcovers help a great deal in regard to weeds and water retention.  This is Blue Dart Myrtle in the front areas.

The front borders are more subtle with splashes of color not masses.  Soon, the daylilies and lilies will be blooming along with the heuchera, astilbe and hosta.  Lirope is the ground cover in this part shade bed under the Chanticleer Pear tree.

My Endless Summer Hydrangeas actually have quite a few flower heads this year.  Let's see if they can repeat their first show.

Wintercreeper is a border across from Endless Summer, suffered from scale, dormant sprayed and treated with a systemic.  It looks good so far. hate to lose it because it turns a beautiful crimson color in the fall.

The astilbes are about ready to bloom on the north side.

This north side border does get morning sun, as you can see, and the baskets at the top of the fence get even more sun later in the day.  It took me awhile to figure out the planting scheme.  The bleeding hearts take up a lot of room but when they begin to yellow I can cut them down.

I guess even my vegetable garden is a border along the driveway but my most surprising border is beyond my back garden, outside the fence and beyond the gate.

The Alley Garden

Borders do not have to be masses of flowering perennials and annuals.  They can be just interesting in various tones of green, interspaced with darker leaf colors and grasses.