The garden fills in a little: 2003

As you saw in yesterday's post, 2002 was the year of the box -- there was a lot of building before any planting happend. 2003 had very little building, some planting, and just watching the existing plants fill in.


Some of these plants are long gone. Some of them (the echinacea and heuchera for instance) are still around, and still going strong today.

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There's not too much to say about the changes in 2003, except that I was trying different plants:


Some grown from seed, some bought as plants, and many of these were not very successful. Delphinium (with the deep blue flowers right in the center of the image) doesn't do well here. The gaura (pink flowers near the front) is great, but I've never had one overwinter. I take that back -- I think one did survive, but it was a very weak plant the following year. I try with it almost every year though, because I love it.

The only plant in that photo that is still thriving today (besides the two grasses which I talked about yesterday) is the dark pink-flowered "Neon Flash" Spirea. Like the Miscanthus grass to its left in the photo above, I seemed to have picked a good spot for it.


The chicken wire fences were to keep rabbits out. Ah, the days when all I had to worry about was rabbits -- deer were uncommon visitors just 7 years ago, and the woodchucks... well they probably were around, but I hadn't seen any damage from them. I guess it's possible that what I thought was rabbit work was actually due to woodchucks... but that's all in the past now. The only thing I use chicken wire to protect today is the veggie garden and possibly some bamboo shoots.

I took a few different panoramic shots in 2003, so let's take a look at them:

June 2003

June 2003

September 2003

I did have one small project in 2003: I built three more small boxes along the side of the house:


Whereas the first round of box building (in 2002) was fueled by a desire to protect plants from herbivores,  (their added visual interest was secondary) these three boxes were built specifically for their looks -- to break up the monotony of the bare foundation wall. The same effect could have been achieved with shrubs or larger plants, but having the boxes there gave me more flexibility without having to use large plants.

So that's about it for 2003. We'll see a lot of the plants really take off next year -- the third year in the ground for many of the perennials.

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Gerhard Bock  – (December 18, 2010 at 11:18 AM)  

Looking at your photos, I guess you really don't have fences between your and your neighbors' properties. For somebody living in California, that's such a strange sight. Here everything is fenced, even large properties. You must have been so happy to discover bamboo for privacy!

Alan  – (December 19, 2010 at 7:47 AM)  

Yeah, in our neighborhood people only put up fences if they have a dog. The yards are larger (as you've pointed out) so privacy doesn't feel like too much of an issue, but the bamboo definitely makes a difference! When I removed that one bed of bamboo this summer it made a big difference in some parts of the yard.

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