Monday, June 6, 2011

New Beds

Over the course of the past week, I laid out two new flower beds in my family's Michigan garden. One is in the front yard along the left side of the walk up to the main entrance to the house. It connects to smaller beds that my mom had created in the last two years and planted predominantly with lavender and asters (Aster novae-angliae), two of her favorite plants. In keeping with these plants and the plantings along the whole front of the house, the color scheme for this border will be a mix of shades of blue and purple with pale pinks, yellows, whites, and creams. So far, I have planted blue-flowered false indigo (Baptisia australis), an oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) with cream-colored flowers streaked with light orange, a pale pink Asiatic lily (Lilium sp.), and a yellow-flowered ice plant (Delosperma nubigenum). Unfortunately, the deer promptly ate all the buds on the lily but I also sowed double pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) and nasturtiums (Tropaelum majus) in between, so we will see how the bed develops in the coming weeks.

The new border in the front yard

The other new bed is a much larger border that snakes its way in an elongated S-curve through much of the back yard, following the contours of some terraced beds around the terrace. It is intended to be the "Red Border" and I hope to plant it with a mix of antique roses and perennials in shades of red, reddish pinks and purples, and reddish oranges. I am not sure if I will be able to get the roses in this years since we are well past the planting time for bare-root roses and I have yet to find a place in southeast Michigan that sells antique roses - let alone a good variety of them - in containers. However, I have planted a trumpet creeper (Campsis x tagliabuana 'Madame Galen') and a number of perennials, including a red-flowered species beardstongue or bugler (Penstemon barbatus), a red-flowered daylily (Hemerocallis sp.), red valerian (Centranthus ruber), red hot poker plant (Kniphofia uvaria) and coral bells (Heuchera sp.). I have also planted some wild red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), and I have sowed some Zinnias, pinks, sweet william (Dianthus barbatus) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) either to fill in spaces between the growing perennials this season or as biennials for next year. 

The new red border

There is one more new bed I want to lay out at the edge of the terrace. Hopefully I will get around to that in the next couple of days.


  1. Lots going on in the garden there. I came from Blotanical, got interested in previous posts and by the time I came back to the original post I clicked on, you have this new one. What a joy it must be when you come home and garden.

  2. Nice set of new plantings, and looking forward to the progress! :)

  3. Lucky parents to have a daughter like you come and plant such well-thought out and imaginative borders. I love that one that snakes back into the woods. It does look like a place deers would like, though.

  4. NellJean - Thanks for stopping by!

    Mark and Gaz - Thanks!

    Barbara - I am a son actually. Sorry for the confusion! I had never thought about this but I guess the English language keeps my writing rather gender-neutral... :)

  5. Great gardens you are creating...I love the red garden that snakes will look gorgeous as it flowers...

  6. Yesterday and today have been unbelievably hot and humid. Most unusual for the shore of Lake Michigan. Since it is way to hot to work in the Gardens at Waters East, it is a good time to catch up on your Blog and other Blogs I am following. I am sure your family was happy to have you spend some time with them (especially with all the work you did in the gardens!). I don't know if today was as hot there as here, but no doubt you will feel the heat shortly! Jack


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