30 August 2011

yet another project

As if I don't already have enough on the go, this weekend I am tearing out this entire backyard garden (except for the sword fern, lilac tree, rhododendron, and boxwood).

I will be transplanting the existing eucalyptus, hostas, peonies, and carex grasses and then picking up some new plants to create a much more harmonious landscape with some Asian influences and a muted color scheme.  It is definitely a challenge in creating a new garden space from scratch; knowing the different perennial blooming times so that there is a continuous rotation of interest is what I'm finding to be the most difficult aspect. I am in a bit of rush to get this all done before the end of September so that the plants have some time to develop a good root system before the winter. 

The previous owner had a jumble of overgrown plants including holly, periwinkle ground cover, and plenty of evergreen shrubs which weren't too interesting to look at year-round.

I'm going to start fresh with a Fatsia japonica to ground the space as an evergreen with large tropical-looking leaves.  I already have two of these in different areas on the property and I like the idea of repetition to create a more streamlined atmosphere.   

Then I'm thinking of putting in another Japanese favorite, Imperata cylindrica "bloodgrass".  I already confessed my love for this grass in this post.

I love the size and elegant feel of Zantedeschia...

I was given an Acer palmatum "Emperor" as a housewarming gift a few years back, and I'd like to move it from its temporary spot to a better focal point...

A Western Sword Fern, which is thriving in this area already...

I love the massive blooms of Hydrangea aborescens, and the fact that it generally blooms all the way from June to September...

There are hundreds and hundreds of daylily cultivars, but I am drawn to the deep purple of "Serena Dark Horse"...

These daylilies are early bloomers, so for a late-bloomer I'd also like to scatter a few dahlias throughout...

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' has great year-round interest, with the pink flower heads forming in July, slowly turning to red in August and then a deep rusty color in the fall.

And of course a few hostas as some groundcover, maybe some Nandina to provide more year-round structure, some tulips for early spring color, and a variety of summer annuals to fill in any bare spots. 

You may have noticed that many of these plants have different exposure requirements.  This specific area varies between full sun and part shade, so it is the ideal place for planting species with different sun preferences.  For example, some existing dahlias (full-sun lovers) thrive just as much as the sword fern (moist shade lover).  It is directly under this massive Douglas Fir so some areas receive much more shade then others, which I will have to take under consideration when deciding on placement. 

So in summary, here is my plant list thus far:

Acer palmatum 'Emperor'
Fatsia japonica
Hydrangea aborescens
Imperata cylindrica
Polystichum munitum
Daylily Hemerocallis 'Serena Dark Horse'
Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy'
Dahlia 'Black Cat' or 'Black Satin' or 'Campos Hush'

I am trying to stay away from the pastel shades of yellow and pink, and instead focusing on white, green, and deep burgundy for this space.  These colors look particularly striking with the new house color. 

Any other plant ideas?  Constructive criticism for the species I've chosen so far?  Anyone else notice the SwarmJam fine print for the Marigold Nursery deal?  Ya, expires in less than 2 weeks.  Gotta get moving...

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