Rarely do I have the privilege to visit other gardens. A short stint at home a year ago convinced me that I am not quite ready for retirement, but however grand another garden might be, my days are fully occupied and I am content keeping up with chores and with daily strolls through this garden.
One day trilliums are particularly splendid, then azaleas, the next it is irises, and tomorrow, orchids. I am pleased that Painted and Sensitive ferns appear in evermore unexpected places, with few requiring removal as accidental combinations often are superior to my plans.
While the start of May is a riot of color, it is late in the month before foliage fills open spaces. I must restrain impulses to fill every inch of open ground, though I am often planting something tall to stand above existing ground huggers.
Several areas of this thirty- two year old garden have been renovated in recent years as older evergreens suffered in increasing shade. While I am impatient for these to grow in, I am pleased with the start. Soon, I will be looking for any opening to shoehorn in some tiny delight that has caught my eye.
A swath of lawn churned to mud by foot traffic between the driveway and rear garden was renovated recently. Reseeding or sodding seemed only a shot term solution, and while considering the design for the new area it was necessary to keep a wide space open for lawn mower access. I am not overly excited by the gravel and granite stepping stones, but I’ve planted several ground covers that should creep to soften the edges (below).
This is an area out of character with much of the garden, with several non cold hardy mangaves and an almost hardy scheffelera planted that will be dug out or covered for protection in winter. Very likely I’ll regret this some chilly afternoon in November when the work must be done, but this is one more reason to be perfectly content in the home garden.
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In the second picture, what is the ground cover under the Kirengeshoma palmata?
It is a sport of Vinca minor transplanted from a patch of green many years ago. I find that vinca appears with a variety of variegations, but this one is fully yellow with no variegation in the spring fading to yellow-green in summer. After seeing vinca escaped into the wild I would probably not plant it today, but there’s no way I’m ripping out long established plants that completely eliminate weeding.
And what planting is creeping and filling between your flagstones?
It is Blue Star Creeper (Laurentia fluviatilis ‘Blue’). Long ago I tried thymes, but without watering they failed quickly. I don’t think Blue Star is any tougher, but there was probably just enough shade to keep it moist so that it survived. After it was established it has taken no care, not even pruning to keep it from covering the stones.
Is there a process for installing flagstone on top of river rock to keep the step stones stable? also do you first line a trench with a weed barrier? Would appreciate any how to pointers. Thanks.
I would not recommend flagstones on top of washed gravels since it will never be stable. Typically, crushed stone is placed under the stones, but I firmed these into the soil only. A fabric should go under the gravel, but I did not, so that ground cover plants can root and spread into the gravel. I am having to pull weeds but I knew that was the downside. I’ve started writing to show the finished planting early next week.