Gardening With What You Have

Big Blobs of Green

Christine Froehlich 02/05/2016 Comments

Big Blobs of Green 


Last summer my husband put a roof on the pergola in our shady backyard to shield us from the berries that rained down from the enormous mulberry tree towering above it. The seating area underneath got an upgrade too- terra cotta tiles instead of the sloppy looking mulch we had put up with for so many years. We named it 'The Fort' and moved our comfy outdoor furniture into it. This quickly became our favorite spot to hang out in at the end of the day.


garden pergola


I thought I had done a pretty good job of coordinating the perennials and shrubs in this garden until I started spending more time in it. Around the end of August when most of the flowers were spent, the beds looked beyond boring, deteriorating into big fat masses of green foliage. Yes, there was a variety of texture, but it was all the same hue of green. How dull is that? I don’t know what I was thinking when I planted it.  Some tweaking was definitely in order.


I began making changes to the small bed below this fall. The border of Geranium ‘Biokovo’, which I had  chosen for its cerise pink flowers,appealing foliage and tolerance of  the dry shady conditions, was eating up most of the bed. Pretty when it was in bloom, but as you can see, it became more of a ground cover rather than a border plant. Way too much green foliage!

geranium biokovo


I figured the shrubs and the gold Hosta 'Sum and Substance in the back of the bed could stay put. To get a little more  color and movement happening,  I replaced the Geranium with  Carex 'Flacca', a short wiry gray grass, and paired it up with two heucheras I had never tried - Heuchera 'Black Taffeta' and Heuchera 'Sugar Plum'. Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' provided  flowers to the mix that lasted well into November.  The silvery purple leaves of  'Sugar Plum' nestled against the almost black foliage of  'Black Taffeta was pretty striking, and both have  sturdy foliage that holds up well  into late fall. Not bad for a quick garden fix! Three more beds to go..stay tuned to see what's next.


carex and heuchera

carex and heuchera

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