When we started thinking about how to organise the garden, we considered it would be logical to create a bed of aromatic plants near the canopy, as this is where the kitchen's door leads (yes, we are lazy and we don't feel like having to walk around whenever we need three sprigs of chive). So we choose to do that on the other side of the path relative to the garden - the area with red-ish, brick-like borders on the picture.
In its original state, the area in question more or less included a cherry tree, a rhododendron, some sea thrift and a lot of houseleeks, and it was covered with pine barks, as usual. Near the cherry tree, there were also a ceanothus and another rhododendron. Oh, and there was some kind of huge, quite rickety and rather scary concrete "cup" - an accident waiting to happen really. And a drip for the cherry tree. Yes, that white, vertical thing near the trunk is actually a pipe which was used by the former owners to water the cherry tree... which had been there for 6 years... in an area that used to be a swamp... :s
Of course, the gas tank's removal did not help either. Let's just say one of the rhododendrons did not enjoy being rolled over repeatedly by a trailer truck.
We started clearing the area: removing the brick-like borders, the pine bark and the scary cup. The base of the cup went 50cm into the ground, so it was definitely not easy, especially in the middle of a dry August; removing the cherry tree's drip wasn't much easier, and indeed there's still a little chunk of PVC pipe somewhere below
Then I started adding plants from various window boxes I'd had for years: aromatic plants of course (thymus, rosemary, savoury, chive, etc.) as well as a few as various flowers such as daylilies, carnations, Christmas roses, columbines, perennial geraniums, violets, lily-of-the-valey...
I planted a few stonecrops and houseleeks near the head of the cherry tree, as the area is really dry...
I added some bulbous plants (yellow grape hyacinths, irises and tulips), as well as a "The President" clematis and a "GoldFlame" honeysuckle to cover the pergola, in Autumn.
I added a few more aromatic plants and some ornamental plants my father-in-law gave me in November:
And here's what it looks like now:
... and a few lovely pictures:
The columbines are starting to bloom, so is the honeysuckle (although its flowers are rather ugly as they started blooming right before Winter), and the clematis is budding...
It looks nice, but there were a few screw-ups.
- There used to be a bottlebrush (a layer from my father-in-law's), but it did not survive the Winter.
- There's lesser celandine everywhere, and I'm afraid I'm going to have a hard time getting rid of it.
- The light green plant at the front is devil-in-a-bush, unless I'm mistaken. There's a lot of that growing everywhere as well, and I'll need to find a way to "segregate" them (I like the plant, but it's a tad invasive).
- I was hoping the black and white tulips would flower at the same time... as it turns out, the white tulips bloom earlier than the black ones.
- It's a little bland right at the beginning of Spring. I need to add daffodils and more tulips.
- The honeysuckle got invaded by aphids; most of them have died out now, but the leaves were badly damaged.
First Summer. An urge to plant flowers (or anything, really) to cover various empty spaces. Some plants obtained from the school's roof garden. Holidays with the family and therefore more plants from various gardens, accompanied by even more relatively common plants found in the Massif Central.
The challenge - setting all that up in the middle of August (which was particularly dry last year).
A potential solution - the flower bed in from of the garden shed.
Original state: a small area covered with pine bark where a daylily and a bergenia are rather busy vegetating. I couldn't find a picture of the area in this state, however
First stage: removing the pine bark, digging, adding some loam.
The next step would be to plant whatever I can get my hands on: grape hyacinth bulbs, irises, a few ground covers (wild thyme, basket of gold, creeping broom, etc.), some plants (forget-me-nots, perennial geraniums...) and various wild stocks (bellflowers, mallows, scabiosa, etc.)
I also added very small marigolds. I didn't expect anything from them, especially not flowers, but I had to plant them somewhere...
In Autumn I added some more bulbs: ornamental garlic, botanic tulips. Looking good so far...
... and a first, happy surprise: although I planted it in August, the pot marigold bloomed, and only disappeared when it started freezing!
- a few forget-me-nots:
- botanic tulips:
- a lyre-flower I added in Spring to replace the mallow (which didn't survive):
The flower bed increased in volume - even the daylilies which were already there grew bigger, and I'm going to need to move them at some point. It looks rather promising for now: budding ornamental garlic, irises ready to bloom...