Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Entrance garden makeover part 1: weeding, edging, planting one section


BEFORE
The soil in this area is about four inches deep, then hard-pan, and what's in those inches isn't that great. I realized my idea of plants spilling gracefully onto the path was not really happening. I needed to edge with boulders to match the other side, and bring in a bit of soil. I also sprinkled a few Osmocote pellets around. Not too many, but this isn't even the native soil really - it's builder's dirt basically, with some amendment.

Also the hummingbird sage is spreading everywhere and there are weeds too, of course. I put the hummingbird sage I pulled out into pots for reuse elsewhere.

AFTER
The edging really makes a difference. Now I have to improve the other side to match! Actually on the left bed (as we look at the house) I've also recently planted some babies that I hope will also grow and fill in, and make that very sunny bed more attractive, while the slower growing shrubs get a grip.

Another view with Duncan in his spiffy new anti-sun coat (he has had treatment for skin cancer). 
Have I mentioned I love working with stone? Also - with plants!

Lovely plants! Fruits of propagation - into the garden!
As far as the plants - I put mostly California fuchsia - Epilobium canum - in the front, where there is more sun. They bloom orange-red around September, and alum root - Heuchera micrantha - in the back, where there is more shade. They bloom early summer, and look like coral bells, the garden plant people are more familiar with.

Heuchera micrantha in foreground
I grew all the plants I'm adding from seed, from local wild plants. Actually some were gathered from my garden - second generation from wild.

California fuchsia, young plants - with seaside daily bottom right and hummingbird sage right.
I also added some ruby chalice clarkia - Clarkia rubicunda - here ad there. Moved some seedlings from the pool garden where they are reseeding like mad! I'm not sure if they will flower here, or survive. They are a bit tasty to critters.

Hard to propagate columbine - I'm happy!
Also columbine - Aquilegia formosa - in the shady zone, and for the sunny zone sagewort - Artemisia californica - and coyote mint - Monardella villosa. These last are new ones for my propagation program - very happy to have been able to gather and grow them from wild seed.

It's a bit hard to see these small plants in the photos. I hope to show larger plants e'er long!

A curious critter - fence lizard - hiding in the stones.

This sweet little lupine was there before I started adding plants.
Then of course I sprayed everything with anti-deer stuff!

I don't endorse any products but this one is convenient and seems to do the job just fine. Also discourages rabbits.

All very satisfying!! And today when I woke up - everything was still there! Bonus!

Today I put in a redwood habitat bed, again using graduates of the propagation program - but more of these things in another post.

3 comments:

Alison said...

I love the rock edging that you added to your beds, defining both path and beds. I'm in the middle of doing something similar, and I'm also putting in lots of baby plants that I hope will grow up to be lush, gorgeous adults.

Country Mouse said...

Thanks, Alison - I don't know why I waited so long to do this! I hope to see your "something similar" in a post on your blog! I just enjoyed your seed starting post. Great fun!

Diana Studer said...

We lost Henry our cat to sun damage which started on his white nose. Duncan has chosen a sensible dark head.