So... Our two front landscape beds are complete--we've planted for shade and for part sun. It will be interesting to see what thrives and survives. So far, the three varieties of Hosta that were already on-site have been divided and re-grouped into several clusters, by texture and color between the two beds, and we've added two additional hybrids to the left bed--Blue Mouse Ears and Paul's Glory. Already all varieties of the Hosta have taken root and are perky.
bright green are Paul's Glory
We've had great success at Home Depot this year--two different locations. I have gone to a couple of local nurseries and the two we visited in Michigan last weekend, but Home Depot has been reasonably priced with good quality.
So, this is what we've been up to:
In the deep corner where the front of the house meets the side of the garage, we've planted three varieties of fern--Victoria Lady, Cinnamon, and Ghost Lady. We split the two varieties of Brunnera that we've had for two years, and added a third--Looking Glass. We also planted some Lungwort--Raspberry Splash--which looks a bit like Hosta but adds another combination of color and texture. And, we planted a variegated version of a plant that was familiar--Polemonium, Jacob's Ladder.Two reasons I was happy to plant this one: we had a healthy cluster at our former home and my maiden name is Jacobs.
Foxglove on left
Three varieties of Caladium
Tonight we added a Foxglove, Camelot Cream, to the front of the left bed, and planted a second and third variety of the annual, Caladium, in the center near the big rock. And, we found a gorgeous green and purple-leaved violet--Heartthrob--which we've located along the garage wall. Next year I'll add another variety or two of violets if these thrive.
I'd found a fantastic annual, Black and Blue Salvia, at Key Blooms in Portage, MI last weekend which we feature just in front of our porch post in the right bed, and then planted a healthy hunk of the more common Salvia Nemorosa near the front. I stumbled across some particularly healthy blue Forget-Me-Nots at Home Depot which we planted amongst and between the pink ones we've had for two years that are spreading nicely.
I thought I needed one more plant for the right bed, forgetting that we'd filled the spot with a healthy hunk of Salvia Nemorosa. So, the Stonecrop (another plant we had at our former home bordering one of our flagstone-lined flower beds) was placed between two deer-food Hosta at the extreme right side of the right bed . It looks like the deer have maybe moved onto greener pastures as the Hosta is beginning to leaf-out again.
A couple days ago we planted six white New Zealand Impatiens amongst the perennials in the front of the right bed, which I'm hoping will mound up. I've never had that kind of luck with Impatiens planted in flower beds, but I've seen huge almost-bushes at other peoples houses.
I love Peonies, and the right bed had three existing bushes--a single red, a double pink, and a white. I found a deep purple-red double bloom last night at Home Depot--Felix Supreme.
I think that's it for this year. The wire window boxes are still in the garage. Maybe the handyman will work here next week and we'll ask him to drill the fasteners into the brick facade. If that gets done, I'll probably stick with Impatiens this year, keeping it simple.
Our grass is looking better, but we're still dealing with some damage the landscape crew did with a grass cutter almost three years ago. We need to follow-up with the Association Landscape Committee. I doubt they're planning to aerate and over-seed, so we'll probably bite the bullet and get the Mexicans who removed the Lilac bushes and spread the topsoil to come back and take care of it. They really do nice work.
This renovation has cost us something around $600, an amazingly low price that includes about $250 of paid labor and a few yards of topsoil. We'll see how our perennials do this year and deal with whatever next Spring. Not dreading any of it!