Left Bank Garden Makeover!
The Left Bank is my new name for the sunny garden bed that is west of the driveway, between the crabapple and the sidewalk. I like the name, but at the moment the garden looks like a collection of green lumps.
My intent with this garden was to prove that I was capable of planting a bed where the average plant was under five feet tall. I wanted something lower growing and colorful with year-round interest. The plants would also have to tolerate some fairly dry conditions.
The good news is that Judy (who usually resists change) has agreed to a do-over of this bed. Hurrah! Wandering in an abundantly blooming garden makes me happy, but I can be made equally happy rearranging an established bed.
At the moment, here’s what I’m thinking of in terms of which plants will be kept, removed, or added.
- Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata). These were brought to our garden by a shipping error. I used them to edge the east side of the bed, but they really haven’t worked out. Despite the full sun they tend to grow too tall. If I cut them back, they bloom very sparsely. They are destined for the compost pile.
- Starry Solomon’s Plume (Smilacina stellata). This is a good plant, but not right for this spot. Too aggressive. There’s a solid patch of them under the crabapple that I like very much, though. That’s where I’ll move the ones now in the Left Bank.
- Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium). Originally I chose this aster because it’s supposed to be low-growing. I love the abundant blue flowers. But while it is shorter than many asters it still tends to smother its smaller neighbors. I plan to reduce the number of Aromatic Asters from three to one. The other two I’ll transplant or give away.
- Various Salvia. This bed is a mess in part because I filled random bare spots with a bunch of Salvia (mostly ‘May Night’ and ‘Blue Hill’) that I bought really cheap at Home Depot. What can I say, I was in my Salvia Period. Anyhow, it wasn’t thought through and looks it. All the Salvia will be transplanted to the Parkway Garden.
- More Tulips. There are already some Species Tulips here, but digging up the bed is a great opportunity to plant more! In addition to more species tulips, I’m going to try the Kaufmanniana Tulip ‘Early Harvest’. Kaufmannianas are good perennializers and very early bloomers.
- Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepsis). Right now clumps of this shorter prairie grass are scattered around the bed in a way that doesn’t really make sense. I want to move some so that they form a solid border along the west side of the bed.
- Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum). These are currently planted right along the sidewalk. I’ll keep them where they are and add a few more to make a wider drift.
- Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis). Petunia-like lavender-blue flowers from June onwards. Low-growing so I’ll plant it behind the Prairie Smoke.
- Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule ‘Pulicinella Bright Solar Yellow’), To brighten things up I want to interplant the Wild Petunia with this summer-blooming yellow poppy.
- Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’). Very long-blooming, these will replace the coreopsis along the east edge of the bed.
- Oriental Lily (Lilium auratum ‘Gold Band’). These fragrant yellow and white lilies will bloom in August after the orienpets across the driveway are done.
So that’s the plan, tentatively at least. I intend to do the planting this fall. Any thoughts or suggestions?