|View of the long bed in my new garden|
|One of the Rhodocoma capensis plants in my new garden|
As I explained in a previous post, there is almost no shade in my new garden, and I am trying not to plant too many trees or shrubs. This, however, leaves the problem of what to do for winter interest in the garden. One of my solutions for this problem has been to plant lots of my go to restio, Rhodocoma capensis. This restio, in my opinion, is the best one for our climate here on the Olympic Peninsula. As I explained in a previous blog entry on the subject of restios, this one performed very well for over 10 years in my old garden, never suffering any winter damage. So, one of my first plantings in the new garden consisted of 5 plants of Rhodocoma capensis, planted at intervals in the long bed which is on the south side of my house. The pictures you see above are of these plants. This is now their third year in the garden, so you see they are doing very well.
Since them, I have planted more of these, all around the garden. From a design standpoint, I think it helps a garden to look like one cohesive whole if there is repetition of key plants. These plants are good for this purpose because they are evergreen, and hence provide year round interest. Furthermore, while they can get tall (6 feet or more), they have an airy, transparent look which makes them seem less oppressive than, say, various columnar shrubs and conifers which are often used for a similar purpose in a garden. Indeed, at one point I contemplated using columnar conifers as exclamation points in this border, but I have now come around to the realization that these restios will serve that same purpose while being a little more graceful.
I have also concluded that it is important not to plant any shrubs adjacent to the restios, because I want to be able to see the restios rising up out of the surrounding foliage. Planting anything too tall and opaque around them would destroy the view of them that I want to see. After all, their graceful shape and texture is one of the things I like about them.