Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Little Side Project

Yes, I've got a little something on the side. ;-)

It's the path between the house and fence as you enter through the garden gate. On the left is the fence (that we put in two years ago) so all plantings on that side will be in northfacing shade. The right side is the house with a man door from the garage and a very ugly white cement block chimney that narrows the path for a few feet. Last year, when we had the landscapers come in to tear up sidewalks, remove gravel and bring in topsoil and sod, we cleared the cement paving stone sidewalk out of there, took out the monoculture of lily of the valley (a plant that needs room to grow, not a tight space like this) that competed with the neighbour's goutweed that was going rogue across borders. We put in topsoil, compost, bark mulch and a half dozen Woolly Thyme. After that, we moved on to begin planning how we would address some of the other spaces.

[photos taken before giant snow fall of May 4]

This year I am adding additional plantings to this area to give it a welcoming woodland feel to suit its dappled light location. I have realized that the shady parts aren't as shady as I originally thought and the sunny, not quite as sunny. The woolly thyme we planted last year made it through the winter with no dieback and looks very happy. To add to the thyme, I needed to go shopping. Yes! My first of the year actual shopping adventure at a garden centre. Tres fun! First, I picked up another half dozen Woolly Thyme to add along the centre of the path. It really does hold up well to foot - and wheelbarrow - traffic.

Then I got a few little groundcovers rated for moderate foot traffic for off to the sides.

And some adorable little sweeties for closer to the fence and house

And, finally, some Aquilegia "Biedermeirer' for height.

It was the 50th birthday celebration at the garden centre so part of the goodie bag for everyone was a 'Tumbler' tomato plant. My little son is going to love this!

And, finally, for another project area I got this Clematis macropetala 'Lagoon'. It is hardy with a double flowered blue bell-shaped flower. However, now I am thinking of putting on the white brick south facing chimney. Does anyone have any experience with this clematis? I appreciate any info you may have.

Now, just as soon as the 'Great snowstorm' of May melts away, I will get to dig in and plant!


Northern Shade said...

The groundcovers should fit in well between the side path. Every time I see Emerald Cushion Blue at the greenhouse, I am attracted to it, but I haven't thought of the right place yet. The colour is great. Those Aquilegia have such lovely blooms. I hope to see the plants on the rebound tomorrow, as the snow melts.

Laurrie said...

Groundcovers are such workhorses, we tend to overlook them... they're just there covering the dirt. But they are so lovely on their own, and your creepers are a nice base for a pulled-together garden. Isn't it fun buying and planting a new space?

Kiki said...

Yay..wonderful groundcovers..I love them all..I have wooly thyme too..fabulous many lovelies!! Enjoy!!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

What a lovely selection of ground covers, I especially like the double white campanula. Now if only the snow would melt so you could get planting! :)

Christine B. said...

I haven't grown the variety of Clematis you describe, but I do have 8 or 10 other macropetala varieties. All are wonderful but may need a judicious pruning in the spring after the first year or two of growth. At least for me they get a bit wild and woolly in the growth department. Just wacked my C. macropetala 'Markham's Pink' back last week. It was strangely satisfying.

Good luck with the thyme: love the stuff. Most thymes I've tried are hardy for me but the golden thyme can be touchy here and I usually lose a plant or two each year. Drat!

Christine in Alaska

sweet bay said...

Plant shopping is the best kind. Very lovely pictures of the Columbine. I love them, they're so beautiful and tough.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Northern Shade: The Emerald Cushion is indeed lovely. I was pleased to see the selection of groundcovers this year. I think the “Jeepers Creepers” folks have found a real niche. So far, they are all holding up very well after the snow. I have the columbines, clematis and the tomato in the garage window overnight and throw a towel over the rest. As soon as this snow melts I am going to get the groundcovers planted. Surely this is the last storm?? :)

Laurrie: There seem to be more and more charming groundcovers available each year. It’s nice when they can echo colours you have in the garden and pull it all together in a subtle way.

Kiki: Thanks! Isn’t woolly thyme the greatest? I just love the scent it releases when you walk on it and when it rains.

Rebecca: Aren’t those campanulas sweet? I haven’t ever actually seen one in bloom yet but if they are as nice as the others (clips, peachleaf etc) that I’ve had in my first garden, then they will be a welcome addition.

Christine: Thanks for the tip on the pruning! (and yes, it can be satisfying!) lol. I saw a golden thyme and loved the look of it, but as it was a zone 5 I passed as I want this area to be very low maintenance.

Sweet bay: We had ‘volunteer’ columbine in our last garden, compliments of the birds, I think. They self-seeded nicely and didn’t object to being scooped up and moved. If these are as easy to please as those were, then I will be thrilled. I just love the colours of them.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Looks like you had a great time shopping! All good choices. I planted a similar clematis today that I purchased from Select Seeds, mine is not double, I can't remember the name, I will check the stake tomorrow.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I just want one of each of what you have there. I haven't got that clematis [yet]. Giggle.

Sounds like a lovely addition to the garden.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Ms S !
I love seeing those stepping stones and that is my next year project too : )
I have Wooley thyme and it is wonderful ! .. I have a lot of thyme .. not on my hands though ? .. haha
We had our second hard frost in two days after a very cold weekend .. I lost my Wizard coleus darn it ! so that will have to be replaced .. how is that war against the goutweed going ? They shouldn't be allowed to sell that stuff in garden centers eh ? LOL
Great pictures of your new garden babies .. I look for the Jeepers too : )

Stone Art said...

Thyme is lovely in a stone pathway, such beautiful colours and aromas

Anonymous said...

Ah the perfect post for my next project, filling in pathways with non-aggressive groundcover! I think I'll pick up the same plants.

Of Spring and Summer said...

Oh, how fun with a shopping trip to the garden centre!! Looks like you came home with a whole lot of tresures! I find climbers and ground cover plants very welcome in any garden.
Good luck with all you new plants!!
Have a nice weekend.

The Garden Ms. S said...

IGW: I am really pleased to find this hardy clematis that is blue and can tolerate some shade. I can't wait to see how it does!

MDB: Jen, can we trade gardens? I want your forget me nots, at least for one spring! :)

Joy: I am thinking of approaching my neighbours to talk to them about the goutweed. Now that it knows there is great garden soil on the other side of the fence it is determined to join the party. I think maybe I will offer my neighbours something less invasive to put in there. As non-gardeners I don't think they have any idea of the "horrors' of goutweed! :)

Stone art: There is a local garden centre with a woolly thyme pathway and it is heaven. I can't wait until mine fills in!

AAG: I will post again later in the summer and let you know how they are doing. Right now, they look so sweet!

OS&S: It's amazing how groundcovers and vines can make a garden look more mature. They are kinda like art in a house. :-)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

The thyme is by far my favourite! It smells wonderful everytime you walk near it, brushing it with your foot or stepping on it and it does double duty in the kitchen! Its an antibiotic and antiseptic. We eat lots of it and I use it to make herbal soap. Its wonderful stuff!

I think a climatis will look great on that chimney!

What a nice project! I'd like to see it finished.

Diane Schuller said...

Gosh, those photographs are lovely.
I adore many of these plants including clematis. I'm not familiar with the Lagoon, specifically, but I have one of the same type and it blooms beautifully -- even up here in the north.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Sheryl, I am really looking forward to the thyme growing in more. I love, love the scent! ;)

Diane, Thank you! Glad to hear your clematis is doing so well. I have high hopes for this one as I was looking for something outside the usual 'Jackmanni' or 'Nelly Moser' that everyone has. Plus, it's blue! :)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

That looks like a fun project. I like your choices for plants there. I think it was creeping thyme that went farther than I wanted it to a few years ago. It was easy to control, once I decided to, though.

I'm not familiar with that clematis, but it sure is pretty.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hi Sue! I now have these all planted and am very pleased with the result. I can't wait to see the clematis bloom! :)