Making more space, permanence

I realized something late last week: my walkway planting beds need to be wider. They also need more permanence, or year-round interest, as they're quite barren in the winter.

So I decided to do a little turf removal, some plant shopping, and I think I did something good.


We'll open with a few looks at the bed before my digging started:

Things are looking a bit thin right now, as some of the previously-dominating plants like Artemesia 'Powis Castle' took a big hit this winter and will take a couple of months before they fill their allotted spaces again. Things look more full form certain angles:

I'm filling in with some seedlings -- I've got no shortage of volunteers this year -- but resisting the urge to plant everything I have. Things need a bit of space, or they will come July. Patience.

As for permanence, I realized that I really like the dark ninebark in the back garden. Wouldn't a dwarf version look fantastic here in the front?

Why yes, yes it would! This is 'Little Devil' ninebark, small, bushy, beautiful.

I essentially doubled the width of this bed, filling in with annuals -- cannas to start with. I'm sure I'll add more perennials (and annuals) as the summer progresses a bit.

I realized that the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) -- another dwarf variety -- that I planted earlier this year needed more space, so I moved it back a foot or so:

It's difficult to judge where things should go early in the season when very little has emerged. You think I would know this by now. Too eager to plant I guess. I gave the ninebark the space it needs, as it's easier to plan at this time of year, at least for me.

Oooh, that's going to look so nice in a month or two!

I just hope that 'Little Devil' stays as small as it's supposed to (3-4' tall and 3' wide).


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Lisa  – (June 12, 2014 at 5:56 AM)  

We planted a dwarf butterfly bush in our front bed, and actually considered the dwarf nine-bark. The dark leaves get lost in the spot we wanted it, though. But it sure is pretty!

Mark and Gaz  – (June 12, 2014 at 7:46 AM)  

Nice to see a buddleja amongst your planting! Looking good already and will get even better and fill in nicely in the weeks to come.

Steve Lau  – (June 12, 2014 at 8:05 AM)  

How much grass do you still have left?

Garden Fancy  – (June 12, 2014 at 10:08 AM)  

This is how it happens... little by little gardeners enlarge their planting areas until there's more bed area than grass area -- or maybe no grass at all! (Although I still think small, well-trimmed grass areas enhance the look of planting beds.) Looks good!

Alan  – (June 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM)  

Steve: In front, not too much -- less than 10 minutes of mowing. The back has a bit more, mainly because of the sewer easement that remains largely unplanted.

Garden Fancy: I can rarely use the description "well-trimmed" on my lawn areas. ;)

LostRoses  – (June 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM)  

Nice! But your birdfeeder is still empty!

Alan  – (June 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM)  

LostRoses: the chipmunk is still around, so the birds are neglected a bit.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM)  

More planting space and less grass is ALWAYS good. I like what you chose. I have several dwarf buddlejas, and one ('Buzz') has remained really compact at approx. 3 ft.

Jennifer  – (June 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM)  

I love Little Devil! I've used it a bunch and it does stay small - maaaybe gets 4' wide. It keeps a nice vertical branching structure and doesn't get all leggy like other Ninebarks.

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