Thursday, May 17

My Favorite Spot - May 17 2007

While walking around taking pictures for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, I was struck by how nicely the area around the Japanese rock garden is filling out. Taking a cue from Kasmira, I decided to write a quick post about this area, my current favorite spot in the garden.

The red sedums--I have both 'Fuldaglut' and 'Voodoo' but can never remember which one lives in each area of the garden--are filling in nicely all the way around. Their rosy color mitigates the unnatural peachy brick tones of the recycled landscape block that borders both the rock garden and the sidewalk beside it. They also contrast nicely with the cool grey-green of the culinary sage, the bright green of the chives, and even the dark green of the nearby blackberry.

Two years ago, my boyfriend decided to surprise me while I was stuck working overtime. I came home one day to find a small Japanese-inspired rock garden plopped down in the middle of my backyard!

Japanese garden purists would scoff at our feeble attempt--and since he rarely reads my blog I will admit here that he did not really live up to my construction standards. But I love that he took the initiative to add something to the garden that he knew I would enjoy, reused stones and landscape block that were part of my spring 2005 retaining wall demolition, etc. More than anything, I am just happy that he's taking an interest in the garden and prefers plantings to grass!

Speaking of, the grass disappeared from that area shortly thereafter and the ugly beige fence was painted a muted dark grey. The doomed 'Bing' cherry tree, an old peony that I inherited with the house, a blueberry, a couple of espaliered apples, a grapevine with a trellis, and various other things have come to live in this area. I love how the 'Caradonna' salvias look against the bed of red sedums... the dusky purple leaves of 'Ichiban' eggplant do similarly good things for me on the far side of the rock garden.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on this area as spring progresses. I plan to build a trellis for the grapevine soon, and the wood is already stained a dark red color. The previously mentioned peony has blowsy double flowers that are the brightest shade of magenta you can imagine--and it's already waist high this year so it will need lots of space when it blooms. And a little further back, the 'Sum and Substance' style hosta that I got a start of at work is starting to unfold its leaves.

It may turn out spectacularly well... it may turn out spectacularly awful... but either way, it sure will be interesting to watch!


Anthony said...

I guess you have very high "construction standards" because that rock garden looks great to me. Although in my yard it would be called "the sandbox" and be filled with the kids toys. :)

kate said...

It will be a treat to see your peony in bloom. You have done an amazing job at changing this area ... I loved hearing about how your boyfriend surprised you with a Japanese-style garden. I'd love to see more pictures of the area as summer progresses. Ah salvia!

meresy_g said...

Ohhh...I love those salvias! And what an interesting composition with the chives. I too have chives that have spread throughout a perennial bed and they have turned out to be a lovley addition.

lisa said...

I think you have a great eye for composition! Enjoy the progress...I look forward to more pics!

Annie in Austin said...

Whoa! Chives and red sedum - oh yes, Kim! That's a combination with some pizazz.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kati said...

I do love that salvia. I think I'll have to go out and get some more salvia. In my previous garden, I had lots of the salvia 'Mainacht' that was generous with seedlings. Never enough,in my opinion! Your garden is so inspiring with such bold combinations! oh, btw, I'm glad you are enjoying the trillium photos.

A wildlife gardener said...

What an endearing thing to do for you...a litle Japanese area to your garden. I love what you have planted there too.

Susan said...

As always, your plant combinations are splendid -- and inspiring.

That salvia looks so much like one (or two) I have in my garden: one labeled salvia nemarosa "May Night" when I bought it and the other labeled salvia superba "May Night. As far as I can tell they are identical (although there may well be some important horticultural distinction that I'm unaware of).

-- Susan from South of the River

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you have a 'Zen' garden created with love! Great combinations and photos!

Anonymous said...

I really like your red sedum Kim and it gives me an idea for one of my garden beds now. Is it one plant in your photographs or is this a few?

Regardless, I'm going to search it out.

I love the way your gardens growing. As others have said, you have great composition.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Lovely to see that you use redleaved plants too in your garden. They are so pretty, more gardeners should use them.

Sounds like a wonderful idea that new trellis in dark red. Looking forward to the pics!

Unknown said...

anthony, it doesn't look too bad. The thing that kind of irritates me about it is that he didn't bother to use a level... argh. :)

kate, I will definitely post more pictures--I just realized that I didn't show an "after" long view.

meresy_g, I like the chives, too! The first time I grew them I was surprised at how pretty they are, even when you keep cutting them for eating.

lisa, thank you. :)

Annie, you made me giggle. I don't know that it has a whole lot of pizazz when you put it that way, but I kinda like it. The chives look like a grassy edge... hmm... I think I need to just go take some more pictures. lol.

kati, I have May Night/Mainacht elsewhere in the garden... but have never been lucky enough to have volunteers! I would love for these Caradonnas to volunteer, though.

wildlife gardener... he IS a keeper. :)

Susan, it IS very much like May Night, except that the flower stems are a very dark purple instead of the greyish green ones on May Night!

layanee, thank you for stopping by my blog! I just checked out yours as well... what great pictures and interesting posts.

stuart, there are probably 4 plants in the picture, but they do spread--I just have these packed together in part because there is a bit of a slope there and I wanted the roots to keep the dirt from washing out. These are either 'Fuldaglut' or 'Voodoo'... 'Dragon's Blood' is another red, but it seems to green out more than the other two.

yolanda elizabet, I do love the red foliage, too!

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