Saturday, March 5, 2011

Before and during...

It's getting warmer, daffodils are blooming, oak leaves are dropping, and gardeners are getting project fever.

This week marked the beginning of a new project in my garden.

I've been working on the front mailbox bed since we moved in. The previous owners had a mishmash of meatball-shaped shrubs. I took them out several years ago and planted a nice array of native and drought tolerant shrubs and perennials. Plants included Lantana, Butterfly bush, Loropetalum, Blackfoot daisy, Hymenoxis, and Bi-color iris.
Don't get me wrong -- I love the plants. But I still had issues with the almost square bed which lacked definition, was too deep and flat.

So, this week I started on the project to make the entrance a welcoming addition to our landscape.


See how overgrown it looks without some way to break up the depth?
The right side will get a little sprucing up with just a few new plants -- I have to replace two agaves that died in our cold winter. And it will get updated as well, with a natural rock edge to match the left side.
It looks o.k. in early spring before the plants grow, but it still has an odd, uninteresting shape with no flow.
Just imagine a small rock wall that provides an elevated garden bed along the left half of the existing bed and extending it down to meander along the driveway. Then the lower lever of the front bed will meander in front of it, segmented by little vignettes separated by smaller rocks, providing spaces to highlight favorite plants and create focal points.
Tons of rock for the raised bed arrived this morning. Rock breaking starts Monday (I will not be a part of that team..I'm the design team!)

16 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Sounds like a big, exciting project, Diana. It's smart of you to save your back and let a hired crew handle the rock breaking and setting. You can do the fun part when it's time to plant! I look forward to seeing the after pics when it's all done.

Diana said...

I need to start thinking about what in the heck is going in there! I hope to use some of the existing plants, but the whole point is for it to be well-planned...so the planner better get to planning!

Kathy said...

Can't wait to see the finished project! There's still snow covering everything here.

getgrounded said...

Diana, this is such a great project and is going to be a blast for you to plant out. I think you've chosen the perfect entrance to create that welcoming feeling that fits you so well. Can't wait to see the updates!

Diana said...

Kathy - I'm sure you're tired of the snow already, but I suspect it might hang around a little longer up there. But you can see how dead and dormant my beds are around the new area -- it's pretty gloomy right now. Oak leaf fall, miserable all-covering green oak pollen & caterpillars in our hair before it gets nice!

Diana said...

GetGrounded: I'm excited about it, but it's hard to visualize the plants without the bed there, but I have to decide which of the existing plants to move where! May need a soil pile on other side as a holding bed while I ponder! (could be a while!)

Carol said...

Love to see new projects going in the springtime. I'll be watching to see how this turns out for you.

Diana said...

Carol -- I think new spring projects go hand-in-hand with Daffodils! I'm mulling over what to put in the bed, but I'm really going to have to see if finished before I can get the full effect!

Patchwork said...

It looks like a good start. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
I have a 'welcome' area that needs redoing, too. It might have to wait a while. There is lots of replanting to do here. Too much cold.
Thought we were moving away from cold, but it was 26 here in Wimberley this morning...ugh
Good luck.

Jayne said...

How exciting for you - glad to hear you're on the design team and not the heavy-work crew, lol! I look forward to seeing the progress. You have a beautiful home and garden.

fairegarden said...

Hi Diana, I thought it looked good before, but do thing the trailing wall will add loads of interest, not to mention be so fun to plant! This is a job for strong backs and machinery, can't wait to watch the progression! :-)
Frances

Diana said...

Patchwork: Brrr - that's cold for just down the road from us! I have many holes to fill, too, in all of my beds. It's frustrating to feel like I'm starting over in some places!

Jayne: Thanks for the sweet words - I just can't be on the heavy work crew any more -- but I really like being on the design/shop/plant little things crew!

Faire Garden: One of the downsides of my property (in my opinion!) is that is is so darn flat! So this is my attempt to build in some character and some height - I hope it adds interest!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Oh, how exciting, Diana! I love rock walls. Do be prepared to add soil more frequently than expected. Since my rock borders went in last year, the soil level has dipped significantly. I've got to get my guys over here to deal with that.

Diana said...

Cindy - Thanks for the soil adding advice. That makes sense - not sure I would have thought of it beforehand though, so it's good to know for planning (and planting!)

Gail said...

Diana, I am so excited for you! I agree with Pam; rock breaking and setting is best for a hired crew! I look forward to the updates! gail

Layanee said...

It looks so much better than most driveway gardens already. A few vertical growers will add a new dimension for sure as well as your size increase. What fun to plan additions and changes.