Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Try and Try Again

This little vignette has turned a hum-drum area into something that gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure. When we planted this Firebush, Hamelia patens, hedge, we left an "alcove" near the garage for something special. We see this small planting bed every time we leave the house and when we drive back in, when we take out the trash and when we feed the dog - I'll bet I pass it at least 5 or 6 times each day. The last few years, I've tried a number of different plants here - a large potted Crown of Thorn, Euphorbia splendens var. milii , potted vines climbing an iron trellis, a white potted Bougainvillea, a trailing Lantana, Lantana montevidensis, draping down the pillar, and even a chimenea - What possessed me to think we would ever pull our lawn chairs onto the driveway for a bonfire? - I found I didn't drag a hose over here to water a potted plant regularly enough basis to keep the plants healthy - and that led to my non-living focal point. One year I built the small raised annual bed with one row of blocks. That didn't make much of a statement, so the next spring, a second row was added - and that was exactly what was needed. This area has been planted for year-round interest. The firebush is just coming into it's own and will bloom until our first cold snap in October or November. In front of the firebush are red Kalanchoes, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, which will bloom from December through late spring. The small raised bed hold Caladiums right now but soon they will be melting in our heat and will have to be replaced with something more heat tolerant. It's such a small area that it easy to replant and inexpensive too. This is what I love about gardening - the everchanging (and hopefully, improving) of the garden. Some people can put a plan on paper and have it come out lovely - but for me, it's try and try again. The creation of a lovely vignette or a pleasing plant combination is a process. The joy I receive from this little bed comes as much from the process of its creation as from the end result.


Anonymous said...

That looks really nice. How smart of you to curve out the firebush line and leave room for a focal point, even though you didn't know what it would be for a while.

Anonymous said...

This area looks like it has just the right focal point. Have you ever tried the more sun tolerant caladiums? I have found that they can stand up to even our hot sun. I only suggest them because then you would not have to replant that area so often. They would last until frost.

Always Growing

Mary Beth said...

Pam - What I love about plants is that (unlike a fence or wall) they can be moved - but I was pleased that the little alcove looked like I had imagined it might. Glad you like it.

Jan - I haven't even heard of sun tolerant caladiums . . . I'll look into that! Thanks!