Monday, August 22, 2011

Raised Bed Renovation

After getting tired at looking at the scruffy, dry and brown remains of the mass of annual poppies in the center raised bed, I spent a significant amount of sweat and energy on transforming the bed this weekend. The poppies were pulled (thank goodness for a semi-rural property, where I literally toss plant matter into the adjacent bushes).
Center raised bed in July 2011, with poppies in place:

Perennials from around the yard were moved into the empty space. Several lilies were moved from their overcrowded and poorly visible locations to more prominent and sunny spots around the raised bed. Several small spireas and large siberian iris divisions were also added to create a nicely symmetrical and hopefully successful perennial bed. I will be adding tulip or daffodil bulbs in September, and maybe direct seeding with cosmos in spring.
Newly renovated bed, planted with divided and moved perennials:

Morden Mum -- a new plant in my center raised bed and part of the plan for more late summer color:

Clematis manschurica, a fragrant, low-climbing white clematis I started from seed:

Martha Washington geranium (Pelargonium) plant, grown from cuttings:

The above geranium produces such lovely flowers, but the Martha Washingtons seem a little less hardy than the common pelargoniums. My plants have been afflicted by some caterpillars that have been munching holes in the leaves and leaving droppings/eggs all over the place. I wonder if I would do better just growing these as houseplants, or in a greenhouse (if I had one).

Gentiana dahurica, a late-summer blooming gentian which has seeded itself to make a large patch of these lovely blue flowers that grow moderately tall but lean over lazily to sprawl around the flower bed:

Hardy geranium, "Rozanne":

In the other raised bed, I have been adding a top layer of peat and removing some volunteer plants, creating the appearance that the gardener is actually doing something around here...

Oriental hybrid lily, "Acapulco" - like all the Oriental lilies, it has a beautiful scent and I breathed deeply while taking the photo:

The alpine bed -- looking green, but that is including several weeds at the moment, as I am frustrated at the poplar shoots and other rapacious weeds:

I have even contemplated installing a large, spreading juniper (like Andorra) and letting it cover the whole thing. I do like the foreground Mugo Pine, though.

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