Friday, June 24, 2016

What's in a name?

As I began posting about the planting schemes for various parts of the yard I realized that John and I were going to need some sort of shared understanding of what we were calling each part of the yard. With so many new beds and nooks and crannies, I imagined a nightmare as we tried to communicate something about some part of the yard and having to spend way too much time explaining which bit we were talking about. Especially since I won't remember the names of plants as well as John and I pictured myself constantly saying "you know, the green thing over by the stone thingy" or something like that.

With John's input and cooperation, I came up with names for each of the unique areas of the yard. Although some of these areas will be similarly planted to some of their neighbors, they do each represent different planting schemes, locations, topography, etc.

click on image to englarge

I tried to come up with names that were descriptive and not too cute.

1. Perennial Meadow
2. Front Border
3. Library Border
4. Arbor Walk
5. Pot Terrace (no, not what you are thinking)
6. Apple Walk
7. Urn Terrace
8. Urn Border
9. Magnolia Hill
10. Magnolia Corner
11. Hornbeam Hill
12. Hornbeam Row
13. Oak Corner
14. Pond Terrace
15. Terrace
16. Herb Garden
17. Kitchen Border

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June isn't busting out all over

Normally a lot would be happening in the front garden. And I guess it was--albeit completing untended this year--until this week.

Last week

Last week


An almost clean slate

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

plant list : The Library Border

The little sliver of border just outside the windows of the library is on the northeast side of the house and is pretty shady. We are planning a profusion of hellebores and Japanese Beech Ferns. I imagine this is a bed we will play with over the years, adding and subtracting various varieties. But for now, we have a list of nine different varieties that we are getting from Pine Knot Farms near Clarkesville, Virginia. 

5 x Hybridus PK Select Bicolour
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

5 x Sahinii 'Winterbells'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

5 x Hybridus NGN SIN Appleblossom Strain
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

5 x 'Pippa's Purple'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

3 x 'Apricot Blush'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)
3 x 'Ruby Wine'
(photo Pine Knot Farms)

3 x 'Amethyst Glow'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

3 x 'Jade Star'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

3 x Double 'Jade Tiger'
(photo: Pine Knot Farms)

30 x Phegopteris decursive-pinnata (Japanese Beech Fern)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

plant list : Perennial Meadow Garden

My last couple of posts about granite and stone walls and such have been a little gray and monotone. It feels like time for a little color. The plant list for the yard has largely been finalized, so while it doesn't look like much now, we can at least dream about what it will look like.

In the front yard there will be two large (at least large for our yard) borders that will be planted as perennial meadow. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the yard, John and our designers took their inspiration for these beds from the work of Piet Oudolf. Although ours won't be this big and mature, we will have a yew hedge framing our perennial meadow.

Piet Oudolf's garden in Hummelo, Netherlands
Last summer when we were visiting friends in Buck's County, Pennsylvania we made our usual stop at the truly spectacular Linden Hill Garden Nursery. We noticed they had turned a drainage ditch into a wet garden that they called the Rill Garden. Since we will have two drainage outfalls in our front yard, we decided to make them a part of the planting beds rather than try and channel the water off of the property. Not only does this make for interesting planting opportunities, but it also keeps more of our runoff onsite which is better for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

So our perennial meadow beads will have a wet end and a drier end.

What we have right now is a muddy puddle. It's the low point, not just of the front yard, but the entire property. Rather than fight the fact that all water flows this direction, we are deciding to embrace it by planting things that like wet conditions but don't need to be in constant water.

Plants for the wet ends of the perennial meadow garden

Baptisia australis 'Purple Smoke'

Carex muskingumensis (Sedge)

Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead)

Eupatorium 'Gateway' (Joe Pye Weed)

Iris 'Caesar's Brother'

Sambucus canadensis 'Lemony Lace' (Elderberry)

Lobelia siphilitica

Panicum 'Shenandoah' (Switchgrass)

Thalictrum 'Black Stockings' (Meadow-rue)

Plants for the drier ends of the perennial meadow garden

Allium sphaerocephalon

Molinia 'Transparent'

Aster umbellatus

Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'

Amsonia hubrichtii 

Echinacea pallida

Liatris aspera

Stachys 'Hummelo' (the purple in the middle)

Fothergilla 'Mt Airy'

Echinacea 'Pow Wow Wildberry'