Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Permanent transformation

Long time since I posted, but I was so busy in the yard, that I had no desire to write about it. I made several new beds, divided plants, transplanted and retransplanted. My problem is that I cannot visualize what it will look like when the plants get bigger and so I am permanently rearranging things from one bed to an other. I got the side bed close to the backyard entry planted and this is what it looks like today.

I put Cypress mulch on the way and bordered both sides of the beds with heavy rocks, which I got from Home Depot. Just carrying all these rocks from their dump to their destination in over 110 heat with 100% humidity was a challenge in itself. It took me several days until I had that job finished. The spider flowers that you see between the Castor Beans popped up after I didn't expect them to germinate any more. So that was a huge surprise. I have sown Cleomes the last 2 years and never got any plants. Now they are squeezed between the Castor Beans, which I don't like very much. Anyway, I let them be, because I don't want to disturb the Castor Beans. But the entire bed must get redone, because I failed to mix some good dirt into the heavy clay, and nothing grows really well there. This clay is like a rock, when it gets dry. On the right you see these huge Celosia Argenteas, they sprouted from the last year droppings everywhere. One plant is now 10 feet tall and has a stem like a tree. It grows in pure sand, unbelievable. I hope I can get it out after it has bloomed. Those roots tend to be very deep and hard to get out of the ground. Behind the Celosia there are Motherwort, which I bought as Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh) What a disappointment, when I didn't get Black Cohosh, but 9 feet tall bushy plants with very little flowers only. I found out in Dave's garden that it's motherwort (Leonurus japonicus).
But God thanks they are only biennial and I won't have to tolerate them next year. I wait until the seeds are ripe and then they will get out there. I was planing on adding soil conditioner and cow dung to the hard clay and plant everything fresh. The plants that I wanted to get big, didn't, but the ones, that I don't want got huge.

Last week, when I was in Home Depot, I saw this gorgeous Hibiscus, called Kopper King, and I had to have it.

Planted it in the front , where I have the most sun and some Rudbeckia around it.

It looks pretty sad on the picture, because I planted it during the hottest part of the day, but it recreated quickly.

Isn't this bloom gorgeous? The Rudbeckias suffered too, but I know they will regrow very quickly too and multiply.

In the meantime until I can add some nutricions to the soil, I made the middle bed ready. The plants are still small and it doesn't look like much now, but I am sure in a month or so, everything will look beautiful.

I used little rocks for orientation, so that I could get some kind of symmetry into it. They will be removed as soon as I am working on my next project. In the middle I have planted Cortaderia selloana (pink Pampass grass), 4 Castor Beans, 1 on each corner, 2 different medium high varieties of Cannas, which I still need to figure out what exactly they are. Impatiens balsamia (touch-me-not) purple, pink, Asclepias tuberosa (orange butterfly weed), purple Bellflowers which I got from my neighbor and 2 Pennisetum setaceum (purple Fountain grass). Close to the border there are several Musa Basjoo, Cryptum, Daylilies and more Cannas. Just got this one done last weekend and started already a new bed. I've bordered it with those heavy rocks again and sprayed the grass with Round-up super concentrate. That stuff kills the grass within 4 days and one bottle lasts me over 2 years, and I basically use it almost on a daily basis.

I've mowed the lawn yesterday and collected the grass already for the first layer on top of the dead grass. I know some people work with newspaper, but I have found the round-up and grass layer works faster and I can start adding soil only a few days later and plant. This will be my succulent bed with one exception. In the middle, on a slightly higher level I will plant a Pindo Palm (Buta capitata) which is now in an other bed. I think the leaves of that Palm go very well with Yuccas and other succulents. Once I have the grass spread out (probably need to mow again to fill everything up) I will add a layer of topsoil mixed with sand and work with many rocks inside the bed. Can't wait until I can get started. Stay tuned, it should be a working progress latest next weekend.

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