Monday, April 13, 2009

Making a List for the Bank

Have been working in the garden a bit today in advance of the promised rain tonight, and thought it would be a good idea if I made a list right now of what I want to order this fall to put in the little cracks and spaces in the new rock steps. They are still pretty muddy and not a thing of beauty yet -- the railing needs to be painted, the steps and driveway need to be cleaned up and the clover needs to grow. I planted clover at the sides so that I would have something to hold the soil (well, clay) in place for the summer and I will turn it in in the fall for its nitrogen and add some compost. What I think I want to put there:

Squills -- a mix of deep and light blue
The tiny Dutchman's Breeches that are all over the facing bank -- they have naturalized from a single corm ten years ago, and I will move a few clumps across.
Also, return the big clump of snowdrops that had to be moved.
Try: a few baby hellebores, to see if they like the sharp drainage there as much as they do on the other side.
Maybe some mazus reptans for the summer because the others are ephemerals and will fade away early. Plus a couple of clumps of something low and flowery for the summer. There is enough sun now that the persimmon tree is gone; the oaks' shade doesn't get to the steps until about two o'clock.
Veronica Waterperry Blue -- creeping veronica with mauve/blue flowers -- spreads to about a foot. There are a couple of good spots to tuck it into.

To digress some from the steps -- most of the bank is shady, except that the steps get some morning sun, but the daffodils, aconites, crocus and snowdrops are all happy there so I don't want to interfere with them but just redo the area of the steps. I think though that I will concentrate on using bulbs and early spring stuff there because they are all happy now. The big pink azalea is going to get a moderate pruning after it blooms too. When (if ever) the ivy is gone, I need to replant the pachysandra which has been much discouraged by that horrible stuff. It's WAR on that stuff, WAR I TELL YOU!


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Rosella, I love your stone steps! I would love some myself! I like all of your choices to put in the surrounding area and cracks and crevices. I like things like hens and chicks, too. Also, there is something new that I've seen at the garden center called 'steppables'...I think those would be great for those places.

Rosella said...

Hens & chicks! What a great idea, Jan! Yes -- I've seen the Steppables line at the garden center, and they too would be great there. First though I have to beat back the tide of the ivy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rosella~~ I'm SO behind on my blog reading, but I'm here now. :)

Your steps are totally and I mean TOTALLY cool. It must have been quite back breaking work but oh the results.

I agree with Jan. Hens and Chicks and also Sedums would look superb with the rocks and most look delightful all year.

Ivy sure is a bane and a pain. My neighbors, bless their hearts like growing it up the fence and although I love the year round green, it grows so fast and way too often I'm spending my precious gardening hours clipping it back so it won't swallow my house. LOL. But life could be worse. Keep us posted on your progress of this awesome project.

Rosella said...

Thanks, Grace! I confess that this time we hired someone to re-do the steps -- I built them myself the first time, but for some reason I don't feel as strong as I did thirty years ago!

And I am soooo behind on blog-reading! Spent today painting the shed, and tomorrow will be planting, but Sunday I hope to catch up!