Sunday, July 8, 2012


Square on my back terraces filled with annuals

Another view of my annual filled square

Another view of annual filled aquare

Yet another view

Another view

Agrostemma from Annie's Annuals

Another annual daisy in the square

Schizanthus grahamii from Annie's Annuals
     I have a square planting bed where the south terrace meets the west terrace in my back garden.  It is about 12 ft. by 12 ft. and I have never had a really satisfactory planting scheme going there.  I tried various small trees in the center of it, including various acacias, but they eventually succumbed to the cold.  Until last year it was filled with Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme'. but I finally got tired of that.  It was a pain to clean it up every year and weeds were starting to infest the bed.  So last year, the entire bed was dug up and I planted a Musa basjoo in the center of it.  I thought it would look great when it got big.  I will have a future post on hardy bananas, but suffice it to say they are still one of my favorite plants, even after growing them for so long.
     Last year I planted the yellow leafed sweet potato vine around the base of the banana, and after those filled in and covered the ground, it did look good, but, of course, those do not survive the winter here, so this year I was back to square one on what to plant around the banana.  I opted for a variety of annuals from Annie's Annuals and I decided to go for a cottage garden look.  In the past I have always planted in blocks of plants and colors, but I am now getting away from that style and going more for a wild natural look.
     So I ordered a variety of things from Annie's, including Schizanthus grahamii, which is in the last picture posted above, and Agrostemma githago 'Milas' which is the third from last picture above. Other plants I got were Viscaria oculata 'Pink', a clarkia which I do not remember the name of,  Anagallis monellii, Ursinia anthemoides 'Solar Flare', Anchusa capensis 'Blue Angel',  and Nemophilia menziessii 'Baby Blue 'Eyes'.  The Nemophilia has been a particularly good plant with a very long bloom period. I also really like the Ursinia which has orange daisy type flowers.  Orange flowers always make a planting scheme pop.
     My criteria in ordering things was to get a good mix of blue, hot pink (not pastel pink), and orangey-yellowy flowers.  You notice that I ruled out white flowers.  As I have said previously, I do not care for white flowers.   Thus blue, hot pink, and orange/yellow are the big three and they should be in fairly equal parts.  I also wanted things that were not too tall since this was not that large a bed and the banana was supposed to tower over the middle.
     Since I had never grown any of these plants before, I just had to guess about how well they would fill in when I placed them.  As I have had gaps, I have ordered more things from Annie's and have also gotten various annuals from Bainbridge Gardens, my local retail nursery.  Just recently I filled in with some South African daisies and a few other things.  I also popped in a tomato plant that a neighbor had given me.  I like this style of planting because of the fact that things can be popped in when necesaary, unlike in a more established perennial bed. 
     All in all I am liking this bed more and more as the summer goes on, and it has given me the idea to try more annuals in the other parts of my garden.

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