Planning changes

I've decided to remake one of my newer planting beds. Maybe. I'm strongly considering it. I have a hard time removing plants that seem to be doing fine, but in this case I think I've almost convinced myself it's the right thing to do.

It's this small bed next to my driveway. It's only a couple of years old, but hasn't satisfied me yet. I suppose you could say that it doesn't have a focus yet, a purpose.


By "purpose" I mean in the overall scheme of my garden. Since this is in the front of the house, I feel like it should contribute in a strong way visually, but so far it's been a just a collection of plants.

A canna, two or three grasses, volunteer annuals, some Agastache (which is in almost every part of my garden). It's just not working though. When seen from certain angles it's fine...

...but overall it just seems like a jumble -- and I've got plenty of that already.

Because it's a smaller space, I think it needs to simplify and contain bolder plants, something that grabs the eye. Something like...

...bamboo? The bamboo near the mailbox looks great. Maybe a bigger-leafed variety for this bed? Something that gets 3' (0.9m) tall or so, or can be pruned to stay that height?

One of my ideas is to expand this bed over time, reducing the lawn area. I'm not sure that I can do that with a mixture of plants -- plants that were at the front edge would end up in the middle after expansion, and I'm not a big fan of moving things around year after year. Bamboo would easily expand into any new space that was made available (that's an understatement).

Plus it's beautiful when given a bit of space.

Maybe something like this?

Or maybe this?

Or this one?

I'm 80% sure I want to put a bamboo here -- choosing the variety might be the hardest part though.

I will miss having the grass plumes backlit by the setting sun...

...but since that only happens for a few minutes a day (at most), I think I can give it up for something that looks more pleasing all of the time.


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Mark and Gaz  – (October 10, 2014 at 4:49 PM)  

What about a Miscanthus for that spot? Perhaps accompanied by a couple of boulders. But bamboo sounds like a good choice. What about a variegated Sasaella?

LostRoses  – (October 10, 2014 at 7:57 PM)  

I second the miscanthus. Find a home for your other plants and let it be a focal point. They're so interesting in all seasons!

Hoover Boo  – (October 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM)  

Are you thinking just a bamboo and nothing else? It might be a good rest for the eye, but variety is so much fun.

Anonymous –   – (October 14, 2014 at 6:36 AM)  

How much sun in that spot?

Alan  – (October 14, 2014 at 7:15 AM)  

I should have mentioned that this spot gets partial sun (more shade than sun), until the Ash tree dies (which it's been doing slowly for the last 10 years it seems) and we remove it.

For that reason a miscanthus won't really be happy here. The bamboo by the mailbox is a variegated sasaella already, so I'd like some contrast.

Since it seems like it's never going to be dry enough to plant anyway, I may not have to worry about this until next year. :)

Anonymous –   – (October 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM)  

Save that spot for the megaolphylla. If not, go with the tsuboiana or bitchuensis (possibly the same anyway). The viridistriatus doesn't look good enough the rest of the year, though the Spring show is incredible. The shibatea is too leggy/floppy.

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