In the early stages of garden making, this sort of frivolity is commonplace. With a relatively blank canvas, the ideal spot can be found for just about anything. But unless your last name is DuPont or you are lucky enough to own acreage and have the time and/or resources to tend to it, and with the exception of annuals, at some point you have to start exercising a modicum of restraint when shopping for plants.
On my small suburban property, with the exception of annuals, the good old days of piling plants into the nursery cart are over. Nowadays when I head to the nursery I almost always have a specific spot or area in mind and have given some thought in advance to the type of plant that would enhance the garden and perform best. In past years this hasn't been the case. I've always had an "inventory" of plants cooling their heels in a shady area of my patio while they wait for me to find the perfect spot for them in the garden. I fondly refer to that collection as my pot ghetto.
As I reveal my current pot ghetto which consists of just a few measly cuttings of Coleus and Hibiscus acetosella, some bits and pieces of Canna tubers, a small Aster frickartii 'Monch', two three inch pots of Persicaria capitata 'Magic Carpet', and two pot bound Tithonia seedlings I can almost hear my garden friends out there gasp in collective horror. Say what? That's it? No shrubs? No trees? Just a couple of perennials? No real annuals? Yes, that's it. Consider me plant less.
Nothing more than a pitifully staged vignette.
Well...I do have one more plant-a recent impulse buy.
Meet Echinacea-Sombrero Salsa Red.
Yes red-actually more of a reddish orange but I saw it and I just had to have it. Who cares if I was breaking one of my cardinal rules not to be seduced by flowers over form and foliage? Who cares if the type of full sun conditions Echinaceas prefer don't exist in my garden? Who cares if it's yet another designer hybrid that might not make it through the winter? Who cares? It was calling my name. And 40% off at Natureworks didn't hurt.
So now I have it and must begin the search for the perfect spot.
Option #1 East Fountain Garden
Yikes! Even if I take all the pink/purple toned annuals out of the picture, and add additional plants for foliage contrast, bloom time coincides and clashes with Indigofera kirilowii, the summer star of this garden.
Option #2: Garage path garden
Definitely a possibility. Conditions are dry and not much else is blooming here now. Sun is sufficient now but decreases as the season progresses. Existing spot would be a squeeze-especially if the Montauk daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) decides to take off. But after five years of doing nothing maybe a bit of friendly competition is just what it needs.
Option #3 Side Entry Garden
During the winter of 2010-2011 voles ate the bark from the gound up to about eight inches on the trunk of a specimen Acer japonicum 'Shishigashira' I had planted here along with most of a juniper and a fabulous patch of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'. Last spring the back half of the tree died but the front half leafed out so I left it. This spring the whole tree was dead so I had to remove it and start from scratch. In an attempt to be artsy I arranged a few glazed pottery pieces with a container and some tropicals and annuals in the ground. I like this option except I'm afraid the Echinacea won't be structural enough after it's done blooming to earn a spot in such a front and center garden.
Option #4 Patio
Maybe, but I've already committed to a dark leafed orange Dahlia here. Normally this bed is heavily planted in season spanning tropicals and annuals due to it's proximity to the patio dining area.
Option #5 Side Walkway Garden
As soon as this 'Moonlit Masquerade' daylily finishes blooming I plan to move it back where the crappy foliage can hide for the rest of the season. I have very few daylilies left in the garden. Even for the heavy bloomers and for the two or three weeks they bloom, the daily dead heading and dead leafing required to keep them looking decent just doesn't seem worth it. Supposedly Sombrero Salsa Red is a compact grower reaching only two feet tall so it would front down the Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet' quite nicely.
And so the process continues. Stay tuned for my final decision. I do have a couple of other spots to consider. If nothing else, I'm finding more open spots in the garden than I would have guessed I had. Time for a more plant shopping!
Fun tour and read! Can't find the voting button. So my write-in is 'option 2'. Maybe move the montauk daisy to the blue-foot garden? Those things grow to shrub proportions so it must not like it's current spot.ReplyDelete
My 'pot ghetto' has been limited to a few special seedlings and cuttings for a few years now, and I've moved to collecting empty ceramic and metal pots to add to the ever growing collection of potted grasses/annuals/shrubs on the patio. I've been debating a huge square white metal container at HG for weeks now, and if they would mark it down for me I'd find a spot and a purpose for it!
Cynthia, I suspect the Montauk daisy wants more moisture. It seems to look OK until I give it a haircut in mid to late June then it starts to burn up. This year I've been watering it regularly and it seems happier. If it were to take off it will probably get too big for the foot garden.Delete
Good luck with that Homegoods container. The Homegoods stores around here rarely mark the glazed pottery down-probably because it sells before the season gets to that point.
I vote for number 2!ReplyDelete
Option #2 is the crowd favorite so far, honeybee.Delete
What a great read Sue. Fun stuff. Can't believe your pot ghetto is down to such minimalist proportions. Love the new echinacea! I dont' have any red in any of my borders so have no spot for that one. I can't decide where best in any of your vignettes so can't wait to see what you decide.ReplyDelete
PS I'm thinking it's time for a patio party in CT
Maybe I should plan something for after I get home from Seattle and before I leave for the cottage. Jeez-where is summer going?Delete
I picked up some of the Goslings Dark Rum. The neighborhood liquor store didn't have the ginger beer and had no idea what I was talking about so I'll have to go elsewhere for that. Dark and Stormy patio drinks here we come!
I vote for option 2. That is a beautiful composition of forms and foliage, and the terra cotta urn holds it all together. Your orange red echinacea will punch up the subdued palette there. Yep, option 2 for sure.ReplyDelete
Option 5 is also a beautiful combination, all on its own, even without the echinacea.
By the way I love the blue feet pots. I saw them at Natureworks last summer, and really wanted to buy one to put at the entrance to our driveway. The foot of the driveway . . . get it? You know, the foot. . . never mind.
Option #2 seems to be a favorite. I have to admit I'm leaning towards it myself. I was afraid people's eyes would be glazing over after five options but I do have a couple more spots to consider.Delete
I get it Laurrie...:). I scored the blue foot at Natureworks winter sale in February. It was marked down to $30. My friend grabbed the other one. We're both suckers for blue accents in the garden.
This is a classic gardeners dilemma Sue..Option 2 is popular but I'm liking 5. The tour was great whatever you decide !ReplyDelete
I may wait to plant it until I get back from IU9. It's been so hot and dry and I wouldn't want to have to rely on my friends who come to water the containers to keep it from shriveling.Delete
Oh my! I'm with Deanne and don't have a favorite spot for your impulse lovely. It sure is fun reading what goes through your mind at each site though. I'm eager to know your decision!ReplyDelete
Here the plant ghetto has expanded rather than decreased. I did well in spring and restrained myself, but lately have found interesting shade plants and well,...you know. The heatwave means that planting has been put off. I hope tomorrow to dig out excess pulmonaria and bleeding hearts and move rodgersias and jack-in -the pulpits and....Oh well, we'll see. I have a tree to remove too. I have about 5 I'd like to get rid of. Why does it have to be so expensive?
You're much more ambitious than me, Marie! Yes, trees are expensive to remove. I have that Sycamore I'd like to send to the big mulch factory in the sky and some limbs that need to be trimmed but they will have to wait.Delete
My pot ghetto looks about like yours. In fact I have it "arranged" on an old bakers rack too. I thought it looked good in each of the pictures, but then maybe it's just that the gardens each look so good.ReplyDelete
I like order in the garden even in the pot ghetto, Michelle. We may be alike in that respect. :).Delete
I vote for #2. I love all the foliage interplay but I think the area could use a good pop of color to mix things up!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your input, Debbie. Option #2 is the clear winner. I'm starting to envision a little twist to it though...Delete