Tuesday View: The Front Border 5.9.17

As usual the Tuesday view has become a Wednesday view and although I’m sure there are a bunch of excuses I could work in, I don’t think anyone is really bothered enough to complain.  So lets get right in to it!  The view has gone green now that the daffodils have faded but there are still the new tulips showing off towards the middle.

street border

Lush grass and growing perennials.  It’s been a decent spring now that the thunderstorms, snow, hail and tornadoes of April have eased off.  We didn’t even get a late frost…. yet.

This is the time of year when most of the garden takes a little spring breather, though it’s really more a winding up as the stems and shoots of summer’s flowers expand and grow and get ready to put out the next wave of color.  I already overdid the tulips last post so let’s look at a few foliage highlights  a’la Christina’s monthly focus on foliage… because you know I’m sure to miss it later in the month when GB Foliage Day comes up!

variegated iris pallida aureo-variegata

My second favorite iris, the yellow variegated Iris pallida ‘aureo-variegata’.  To do well here this one needs dividing and replanting every three or four years.  This one is far past four years and nearly swamped by fennel seedlings and a weedy sedum.

Yellows are my favorite foliage effect and sometimes it takes a lot for me to hold back.  In the back of my mind I realize a garden can only hold so many yellow “accents” before it looks like some ’80’s neon flashback but they’re sooooo tempting.  This spring I’ve only added two new yellows, a variegated comfrey and a yellow spiderwort, and the restraint this took has me almost at the breaking point.  The struggle is real.

sedum angelina

Bright yellow with orange tips on the healthier shoots.  I think it’s time to spread more of sedum ‘Angelina’ around the edges of the bed, and fortunately it’s as easy as pulling a handful, throwing it into a shallow hole and scraping a little dirt on top.

Here’s a more permanent bit of foliage as well.  After two years of growth my newest little conifers from Conifer Kingdom are finally beginning to look like something.  They’re destined to be trees but to look at them you’d never guess it.  There are still a few more springs before I have to worry about the poorly chosen spots I put them in, but it will come.  My kids were never supposed to grow up either and here they are staying after school, taking tests, having drama, and acting all smart when I just wish they’d still need to hold my hand crossing the parking lot.

Picea glauca 'Pendula'

Picea glauca ‘Pendula’.  Still needs a little staking before it commits to growing up and not flopping.

My little blue spruce is a thing which an overly protective parent will be able to hover over for years.  Optimistically I’d say it’s nearly tripled in size in the last two years… to be honest it still hasn’t broken the 6 inch barrier so it has a way yet to go.  I put it right at the edge for now since an overly lush pansy would probably swamp it at this point.

picea pungens walnut glen

Picea pungens ‘Walnut Glen’.  A blue spruce which stays on the dwarf side and develops (you guessed it) a yellow tint on top of the blue needles. 

So I have the twenty year plan down but nothing for this summer.  Typical lazy planning, but this spring the annuals from seed and overwintered coleus cutting compulsion just hasn’t kicked in and I’ve got nothing else in the works.  Figures this would also be the year there’s a whole new strip of bed to fill and this unfilled bed would be the focus of  Cathy’s weekly Tuesday view.  Things could get ugly but I have faith.  Like manna from heaven I spotted tiny patches of rudbeckia seedlings in one spot and a shimmer of Verbena bonariensis seedlings in another.  Purple and yellow are a start and of course I do like my yellows 🙂

14 comments on “Tuesday View: The Front Border 5.9.17

  1. Things look like they’re coming along. I also have faith that the plants for that bed will show up.

    • bittster says:

      🙂 Last week I took a look at the wasteland formerly referred to as the tropical garden and found billions of verbena seedlings. Maybe 2017 is their year.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    I have complete faith in you, Frank!

  3. I never was crazy about yellow but somehow I have been adding more and more yellow foliaged plants. Variegated comfrey will fill a bed while the conifers grow up.

    • bittster says:

      I can’t imagine having too much of the variegated comfrey, hopefully those do not become my famous last words….
      Yellow foliage has been an obsession for a while now. I dabbled in purple back when I was young and experimenting but now my true colors are finally showing (pun intended).

  4. Christina says:

    All things in moderation Frank; but after a white winter I think you’re entitled to any colour you like – yellow, red, orange!! Hope you find more seedlings to fill the gaps and anyway a little retail therepy never does too much harm, does it?

    • bittster says:

      I’ve been allowing myself much more leeway in regards to retail therapy this year. As long as I keep up with the planting and don’t let pots die on the driveway I’m allowed to treat myself here and there 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    I don’t see why you should hold back on the yellow Frank. Or have I missed some essential golden gardening rule about colour?! (I actually managed to stick to a colour plan for my summer pots this year, with yellow playing a role).
    In any case, I am sure that as the weather warms up a trip to the garden centre will soon remedy any gaps in the bed! It looks very tidy at the moment!

    • bittster says:

      I though yellow was thought of as too bright for the more refined tastes. Last I heard ‘jewel tones’ were in and yellow should be left for theme parks and gas station plantings 😉
      I need to think about the summer pots as well. Last year seemed more of a mess than usual so I’m planning to at least start off with a color plan and stick to that for the first few weeks of summer. Unless I give in to the petunia seedlings. They look so eager to grow, I’m sure they shouldn’t be pulled…

  6. Wow, you managed to show off things here that I didn’t see on Sunday! I probably have coleus cuttings I can share! Also, I think yellow is a great color in a garden! Everything goes with it, and it is great for pulling together other colors that don’t necessarily play well together.

    • bittster says:

      I guess the near steady rain threw off the garden tour a little… I didn’t even get a chance to try and sneak a few snowdrops into your box!
      There’s always next time.

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Somehow, those bare spots will be overflowing with foliage later in the season. (We know you too well.) Exciting new foliage.

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