Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunshine and Shadow, Grape and Lemonade

It was very helpful when I read about Valerie Easton's garden palette of Darkest Purple, Palest Yellow, Chartreuse and all shades of Orange. Her plants grow in a different climate so our choices are not similar but at last I had a plan for the front garden that keeps me from sticking in reds and pinks -- most of the time.

Sulphur butterflies love Lantana, here with yellow violas and rooted cuttings of chartreuse Alternanthera which take the place of violas when hot sun takes them out soon.

Buckeyes on yellow Lantana.

Once trailing Lantana is established there is little maintenance: too thick for weeds, drought resistant and one or the other color is in bloom in all but the coldest weather, so I grow two colors.

Persian Shield is a good indicator of when to water. When it wilts, it's time.
'Julia Child' is one of my fav yellow roses.
Beneficials on Shasta Daisies in the yellow rose bed.

'Easter Bonnet' LA lily in shadows of Loropetalum
Roses to the right stole the spotlight from April's yellow daylilies, now faded. Among the roses in this bed are Julia Child, Grandma's Yellow Rose which we call the Chicken Rose, Eclipse and Sunny Knockout. They kind of take turns being the Star.

The Upper Garden has areas with a similar palette that fades on the ends to reds and pinks. Pinks and purples together make easy beds too, isolated by green shrubbery. Echinacea plays well with others: pinks and purples are happy with it or it can go in with strong oranges and yellows because of the cones.

Tecoma stans or Esperanza if you will, plays happily in the
Fiesta Garden with Silene for now.
Pride of Barbados is putting on buds.

Monday we worked on repairing the screens on the front porch. Ancient boxwoods are too close to the house and make work difficult. He-who-mows proposed pulling up the boxwoods and "Just have pine straw and some flowers on the outside out of the way."  'She-who-prunes the meatballs and hedges' is torn between continuing to prune and changing to maintaining more flower beds.

On Saturday I invited in the 7' mower to back over what Mama used to call a 'Growed Up Mess' of Flowering Quince, Euonymous, Catbrier and who knows what else, narrowly missing an ancient deciduous Magnolia, a Nandina that was only saved because the Magnolia shielded it, some Asparagus that is never noticed until it puts up ferny tops four feet tall and a badly overgrown boxwood that got a little mangled. Part of it has rooted and formed new plants. Much pruning will rejuvenate it over time. Everything else is history.

Flowering quince has never been high on my list of early spring plants. Thorny, too bold a color to bloom with Redbuds and azaleas, and not thick enough to prevent catbrier from growing up through it. Euonymous is a thug. All these plants are from 50 years ago. I can remember when beside them was a rose trellis, long since rotted away, with what I think was "Paul's Scarlet" that my MIL enjoyed seeing out the window.
We could gather all the yellow daylilies in front of some Lantana....
Elysian Field (above), Pineapple Crush, Brocaded Gown....
Maybe some Hydrangeas?
A plan might be to move some Hydrangeas and mow where they were.

I'm sharing on Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. Do come join us, please.

I'm using a high phosphorus fertlizer to see if it helps with blossom end rot on my tomatoes. I've already added lime and mag sulfate and topdressed the containers with more potting soil.

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