Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Good, the Not so Bad, and The Downright Ugly

This is the good growing side of the arbor gardens (you usually see it from the other end). It gets the most sun and everything I plant seems to like it here. Most of the area is not terribly rocky and I can dig down deep enough to plant.

This is the opposite side, which also looks pretty good from this end.

This is the exact same side, but looking from the end up to the arbor.
It's not so bad. . . I have been on working on making it better (last year I installed the path and replanted that section). It's coming along. I need a little more color in that center area. It's the rocky area where the Obedient plant is. The Obedient plant is in bloom in this pic, but it's so small you don't even notice it from this angle! I need something with a big punch in this area. Even more phlox would be better.

Here are both sides looking down almost to the end. There is actually a pretty good-sized area down by the white table that you cannot see as it turns in towards the woods.

and thank goodness you can't see it, because it is the ugly!
I can't get anything to grow here because there is so little sun. I had hostas for a few years, but they did not do well because they like water and this area is way to far from the hose (even when I put two together), so it gets no extra water. Last fall I removed all of the hosta and put all of the big clumps of black-eyed Susans that I took out of the upper gardens in their place.

Genius idea, I thought. BES grows like a weed and a big swath of them would look great way down here. I would have plenty to cut for indoor arrangements. I was pretty excited to see how it looked this year.

Well, the excitement turned to sighs as I the weeks passed. As you can see, the Black-eyes Susans did not grow like I expected. They are still alive, but tiny. I am hoping that they are sleeping the first year, will creep next year, and leap like crazy in year three!


  1. I bet they will be better next year...the first season for me always feels a little 'meh', but I'm always surprised by the following season (well, for the most part). If there is more shade than they like, you might want to try rudbeckia will take a little more shade than regular BES, and produces HUNDREDS of smaller flowers. I actually like them even more than the regular BES, they are spectacular in a drift of several plants, and seems to bloom for a solid 2 months!

  2. I hope so, Scott. I am not familiar with triloba...I will have to google it. I love the 2-month bloom time!

  3. I like the theme of your post. Your gardens are looking good. I bet the Susans will spread more next year. I looked up that other kind, and I'm thinking that's what I have in my veggie garden. They spread by seed, and don't always come up near the original plants. I'm not sure if they are the same thing, though.

  4. I think we all have spots like that in our yards. Sorry the BES aren't growing, but maybe they do need to take root. You could alway try succulents like Hens and Chicks or pot up so big boy pots of shade loving plants, that's if you don't mind watering them.
    I want to know about the triloba too. And have you tried Bee Balm? I grew some watermelon color ones from seed and it's a bit shady and dry where they came up.

  5. Ohhh...look at these!

  6. double dig that area and add tons of compost and mulch it up good! How long has it been since you improved the soil there? How about some soaker hoses until the plants get a leg up? European ginger likes your shady spot and you can underplant with it. I always find beauty in your gardens.


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