May 09, 2004

Bed Head

The containers are fun. The three beds in front of the building are more of a challenge. There's a tree in front of the building which gives each bed a different light/shade exposure. Their one element in common is terrible soil, which regularly yields broken glass, various rocks, and other effluvia unearthed by the building's rehab five years ago.

I spent the morning digging up this kind of effluvia, dead-heading our remaining sad tulips (note to self: study bulbs) and tying up our past-their-prime daffodils. I also tilled in a lot of mushroom compost in an attempt to correct the soil. It was a nuisance to work around all the bulb plants, but at least I could see where they all are.

The west bed gets the most sun and plants usually do well here. The hostas shown are doing alarmingly well, in fact. (Note to self: learn how to divide these before they demand condo voting rights.) I tried to balance out the hostas with some purple meadow sage and, of course, begonias.

The center bed gets a mix of sun and shade, so I tried a mix of things. My neighbors really liked the two plants with lavender-colored balloon-shaped flowers. The garden center didn't put tags in these, however, so I don't know what they are. The magenta flowers are linaria , which are a kind of snapdragon, and we also have some violas and some wild violets that were growing there at random. Oh, and begonias!

The east bed is the strangest and saddest of all, because we've had such poor luck here in previous years. It gets almost no sun and is damp and sort of undergrowthy. I found large quantities of a brown, mossy root-like substance in the soil here, which may be why everything dies. But some brave hostas are coming up and so I opted for some shade-loving plants. We'll root for the pulmonaria, some shade-friendly phlox, and an interesting-looking silver dragon.

Posted at May 9, 2004 06:10 PM | az

The blue ballons might indeed be Balloon Flower AKA Platycodon. Another plant that look like that is a type of Campanula, maybe persifolia.... it is hard to tell exactly from the pic.

Posted by: ilona at May 18, 2004 03:49 PM