Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Still pondering

I haven't been doing any gardening, beyond watering and trying to contain some plants that have gone out of control. The salvia leucantha, blooming beautifully, has overrun the Maggie rose, which is threatened from its other side by the disappointing hypericum (St. John's Wort, supposedly a dwarf variety that's at least four feet tall and has never done much but sprawl and turn brown in the summer if it isn't watered; I've only gotten a few measly flowers every spring — but such cool flowers; I love the way the buds start as little balls before they open). Cool flowers or not, I think it's history as soon as the zexmenia that has grown up through it stops blooming and I can chop the hypericum down without losing a bunch of flowers. Then I may need to move the rose, although if I move it much it won't get enough sun (and I've never tried to move a rose; possible or no?). Then there's the Mexican flame vine in the same area that has responded to water and cooler weather with rampant growth (and even some blooms on the section that gets more sun).

I love the flame vine's buds, opening like little claws, and I like the way the vine looks trailing down the wall but — kudzu-like — it overtakes anything in its path.

Then there's the whole downstairs yard, something of a disaster area at present. The arbor needs to be replaced (without destroying the overgrown wisteria) and something needs to be done to give the whole area some sense of purpose. It's such a mishmash of dead grass and empty pots and mud. Oy. I say. One bright spot is the eupatorium havenese (I think that's what it is; definitely some kind of mistflower but tall with white blooms) is covered in buds; some start opening this week.

It's a cool plant when it's blooming but it's really not well situated. It's so sprawly that I think it needs more space to look it's best. Something else to think about moving.

Another plant I need to deal with is the red yucca between the Old Blush rose and the Climbing Pinkie on the steel teepee.(You can see it in the picture behind and to the right of the pots, up against the fence.) It hasn't bloomed in a couple of years (not enough sun?) and I'm tired of it. I need to figure out what to put in there: something tallish but not too sprawling, something that looks good even when it's not blooming, maybe something with some interesting foliage rather than blooms? I put the yucca in there originally to give the whole area some structure instead of just sprawling randomness. Maybe something else along those lines.


Pam/Digging said...

I've been trying bamboo muhly up against my privacy fence, and it's doing great. It's about 4' tall, though I think it can get a bit taller, and the feathery texture is lovely. Mine is growing in partial sun, but I see them around town in both full sun and partial shade, so it seems adaptable.

Annie in Austin said...

No matter where I put them my mistflowers always sprawl... did that in IL, too. Like yours, my garden has also fallen into "sprawling randomness" - what a great phrase, Susan! How tall of a plant are you thinking about for the space now occupied by the red yucca? Is it a 6-foot fence?

I'm in the pondering stage, too, which is a safer place to be. I've changed my mind about certain plant locations at least 15 times in the past week, but since the plant juggling was mental, redoing it didn't involve soil and shovels, and I haven't killed anything off by accident.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susan said...

Pam — That bamboo muhly looks interesting although I have a fear of everything in the bed kind of mushing together and I'm not sure whether the grass would add to that effect or not. Also, the plantings are on the south side of the fence and they are shaded in the morning from trees on the other side of the fence and then get sun from about 10 or 11 a.m. on until late afternoon. I've had trouble with plants kind of growing out horizontally trying to get more sun. I wonder if the grass would do that?

Annie — Indeer it is a six-foot fence. And that blank spot is directly in line with the windows and sliding door opening from our new addition into the garden. So I want something with some impact. Who knows what that means.

Annie in Austin said...

Well if it's impact you're after, what about something in the Bottlebrushes? [I think the genus is Callistemon.] They're supposed to be drought tolerant once established, but that's just hearsay... I've seen them but not grown one.


Pam/Digging said...

Are you still pondering, Susan? I've been wondering what's going on in your garden.