Sunday, April 21, 2013

Front Border Report

Verbascum bombyciferum in my front border

Rhodocoma capensis in my front border

Lobelia tupa clump in my front border

Eremurus in my front border

Colchicum foliage in my front border

Eryngium bougatii foliage in my front border
     I have previously blogged about some of the plants in my front border, and today I wanted to give you an update on what is going on there.  As I have previously reported, this is a very large area in front of our house.  It is bordered on one side by a grass strip and then the road.  On the other side is a lawn area. The whole thing is surrounded by a semicircular driveway.  That means that this border is completely out in the open; that it can be viewed from all sides; and that there is nothing to protect it from deer or the elements.  I should also add that I never water this part of my garden.  This area is probably larger than many people's entire garden.  Although I have tried many plants here, and had many die or be eaten by deer, over time it has evolved into one of my favorite parts of the garden.
     After many weeks of work,  I finally have this border weeded and looking presentable.  One thing that happened here over the winter is that there used to be 6 large Eucalyptus glaucescens growing in this border. They were badly damaged in the big November freeze of 2010 and one of them was killed outright then.  I left them up until this winter in the hopes that they would recover, and they did to some extent, but the tops were dead and were becoming hazardous.  So we had them cut down this winter before any large branches could fall on top of someone.  I should note that I have grown many Eucalytus over the years and now conclude that they should only be grown as pollarded trees here--that is, trees that are cut down to the ground each year and allowed to regenerate only as foliage shrubs.  If they are allowed to become full sized trees, which they will become in short order, they will eventually either fall over or die from the cold, or look so bad that they have to be removed.  If you don't already know it, it is expensive to remove full sized trees.
     So now that the Eucalyptus are gone, this front border has no trees, and I actually think it will be an improvement, in that all the plants I am growing here do best in full sun anyway.  The pictures above give you an idea of what some of these plants look like at this time of the year.  For example, I once planted 3 Verbascum bombyciferums in this border and they have self sown.  The grey leaved rosette in the first picture is one of those self sown seedlings.  I have several restios in this border and they make nice evergreen accents, as you can see from the second picture.  There is also a picture of an emerging Lobelia tupa.  This is a picture of what was once a single plant--you can see how large it has become in the more than 15 years it has been in place.  Ditto with a large clump of Eremurus.  There is also a shot of the foliage of several colchicums, to give you an idea of how much space the foliage of these plants take up in the spring.  Finally, there is a picture of Eryngium bougatii which has very handsome foliage, but not very large or impressive flowers, in my opinion. 

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