Let’s carry on with this view taken last August of the gourd-covered fence around the Hugelbed. This fence was a temporary necessity to keep Willy-dog out of the Hugelbed so he couldn’t damage any more fruit trees or bushes. The gate is an old pallet and the gourds on the fence were an attractive experiment that went somewhat overboard! Believe it or not, there are two grapevines hidden beneath all those gourds!
Luckily, the grapes did very well in the shade of the gourds and when I removed the gourds at the start of winter, the grapes had grown to the top of the fence (looking for the sun??) and were very healthy. I just last week pruned the grapevines for the first time to begin their training.
This year I plan to plant Scarlet Runner Beans or Morning Glories with the grapes to give the narrow flower bed on the outside some shade. It’s too hot in this spot for even “full sun”- rated perennials here in their first year! Eventually, the grapes will provide all the shade needed.
As you can see, the crushed rock had yet to be applied to the soccer pitch but now it looks much better!
Now, let’s take a look at the side of the car park away out in the front of the place. In this image, you can see, at the top, some of the large pots that held my tomatoes on the old foundations last year. Coming forward is about 7 feet of not-so-great soil filled with the roots of the young trees that provide shade in the afternoons. I’ve begun a bed there with mostly Calendulas because they self-seed. Further out nearer the street there are a couple of ornamental Oreganos (if they survived the winter), a tall raspberry-red Michaelmas Daisy, Pussytoes, etc. At the back along the foundation are 3 Northern Sea Oat grasses (Chasmanthium “River Mist”, which, although very attractive, have made it nowhere near the 36 inches in height that was promised on the tag. Maybe this year . . . (the gardener’s mantra!)
There are also two shrub roses that I brought with me. One is an old French one with clusters of small, pink flowers, “Souvenir de . . . someone” and the other is a seedling from my former Rosa Glauca, which is now around two feet tall. It only flowers once a year, with small, single blooms, but its reddish-burgundy leaves are standouts all season!
Last Fall, I planted some early species tulips and daffodils, but they haven’t sprouted yet.
Here’s a picture of one of the Sea Oats grasses. Very pretty, but so short!!
On we go to the other side of the driveway, to my Xeric Garden, more or less. The house is on the left where the wild Sunflowers are. If you look hard you can see my Penjing-styled Pine tree in its former Chinese pot. Now it’s in a large, concrete-block planter accompanied with Crocuses and Camassias. Later on, I’ll plant annuals there for the summer.
Moving to the right, there are some small succulents until we get to the larger Sagebrush that shades the roots of my new Zelkova tree, then on past a young Lavender and over to an Artemisia that was given to me by a friend as a housewarming gift.
Beyond the Artemisia, in the narrow bit at the end of the bed, are some native Opuntia cacti and a few Sempervivums (Hens and Chicks).
On the fence behind are, on the left, more gourds, and on the right, climbing beans and squash.
The terrace walls are made from an old, broken-up sidewalk and the driveway is covered with the same crushed limestone as is the Soccer Pitch in the Main Garden.
Here’s the Pine tree in its new planter. I’m hoping it’ll look impressive this summer! Behind it, in the ground, is a tiny Wolf Willow about 4 inches high that I bought last Fall. The nursery told me that theirs grew last year from this size to almost 3 feet tall in one season, so I have great hopes! It’s grey-green leaves should provide a good foil for the pine’s solid green.