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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Update on the garden formerly known as hedge

We are now exactly two years post-yew hedge, the demise of which was documented in an earlier post. This week last year, I wrote of what had happened in the first post-hedge year. I am pleased to report that the hedge is now barely a memory and that the new plants have filled in--too much, necessitating thinning of several of the more enthusiastic members of this plant community. (I am not good at waiting for gardens to mature and invariably plant too many things too close together.)
 Despite the enthusiasm of the volunteer rudbeckia, we still have a hole in front of the physocarpus in which nothing has yet succeeded (thanks in large part to the neighborhood deer, who seem to find it their favorite snacking spot),

 though I suspect that this clump of (not-very) obedient plant will expand to fill the void
if the echinacea and wild ageratum don't get there first. (My money is on the physostegia, which seems to be colonizing all available driveway-bed space and is providing color for the new savannah garden, having been thinned from the backyard meadow bed to start with.)

 The bed on the side of the driveway adjoining the neighbor's yard has proven exceedingly coreopsis-friendly, this "Red Shift" currently overrunning the orange thyme and lavender planted next to the street. One of these two very happy clumps is going to find a new home in the savannah garden, where it will have lots of room to spread and intermingle with little bluestem, a favorite grass. Halving the amount of yellow daisy in this space will allow the dwarf aster and caryopteris (both about to bloom) to be more visible, and the yellow-purple-blue combination is a highlight of late summer.
Facing the street, we see the plants hidden by the coreopsis. While my original plan for this part of the bed called for native plants only, the Shasta daisies donated by an acquaintance leaving the area have proven a butterfly-friendly addition, as is the buddleia that volunteered and is now a place-holder in a semi-shady area while we wait for the spicebush and ferns we planted to fill in. I hope I have the discipline to take it out when the time comes as it has attracted swallowtails and fritillaries in droves this year.

The real delight of this driveway garden, though, is watching the goldfinches picking seeds off the echinacea. While the fast food of the sunflower seed feeder is just the other side of the rhododendron, there are always finches who prefer their seed in its natural state. 

Maybe someday I'll get a picture catching one of them in the act.

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