Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Take on the Red Bed

After I failed to create the Red Bed I'd envisioned, it evolved into a more or less hybrid between a butterfly garden and a tropical plant plot.

Helen Yoest describes her Red Bed, which is a bed between her gardens and her neighbor's immaculate lawn, as a composite of not only red foliage and flowers, but red berries, fruit, stems, pods and fall color. "There is also a slash of yellow, purple and orange."

I'd already added those last colors, in the form of tropicals like Pride of Barbados, Tecoma stans and Castor Bean. From her list, I added to my roster Dogwood for red berries and Society Garlic, of which I have a two gallon bucket of starts. I was thinking to add a bottlebrush (callistemon rigidus) as well, from her list, but further research indicates that bottlebrush are allelopathic. Okay, Dogwood and Society Garlic.

Dogwood has not only red berries in winter, but red leaves hung on forever this fall on some of my smaller seedlings. I have just the one to move to the Red Bed. Dogwood branches grow in beautiful horizontal layers in part shade; this bed is in full sun. The tree will still be beautiful, like the one in my picture.


  1. The Dogwood looks so beautiful. I read that it's a deciduous species... Hmmm... Interesting. I especially like the foliage colors.

  2. It's fun to plan and research a new gardening bed, or changes to a bed. It sounds like your garden area will have something interesting in all seasons, when you include berries, fruits and stems into the plan.

  3. Interesting, our dogwoods get a deep burgundy color, never red.

    I am wanting more red berried plants for fall and winter. I love the two Nandina Domestica that I have now.

    Funny how these beds take on a life of their own, sometimes very different from the ideas in our heads.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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