Imagination Needed Here!
Sometimes there are just too many choices. You know the scenario: there is an opportunity to buy a new plant (or three) but you are dizzy with all the possibilities and can't seem to settle on a final decision. Well that's me right now – so I'm inviting you to share your ideas.
To add plants to surround– and fill this new planter that I purchased at Chuckanut Bay Gallery and Sculpture Garden recently. It is 27" square and 12" deep.
Plants must be:
- Deer resistant
- Rabbit and vole resistant (yes – I'm dreaming….)
- Tolerant of summer dry-winter wet conditions
- Tolerant of full sun and fertile, amended clay soil
- Preferably evergreen or at least have winter interest
- Hardy in zone 6b
and should not;
- Visually block the sculptural planter.
- Rely on flowers – foliage is more important
My color scheme
- Sunset colors (oranges, reds, golds, with burgundy, purple and blue for accents).
- A little silver and white here and there also.
The bigger picture
The planter is a secondary focal point to the archway and cabin yet still holds a prominent place. The square motif plays off the cabin windows and a grey cube planter opposite (not shown)
Orange hair sedge (Carex testacea) – actually I can't get past this idea which is why I'd love you to help me see other possibilities!
I have also considered but dismissed:
Pheasant tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana); not reliably hardy
Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora): unlikely to cope with this much sun without irrigation
Goldfinger libertia (Libertia ixioides 'Goldfinger'); not hardy for me
Variegated yucca e.g. Color Guard; wouldn't like my soil (amended clay)
I can't think of any golden grasses that would cope with the sun, deer would eat succulents…… what am I missing?
Leave me a comment below – or email if you prefer! I'm excited to hear from you.
Orange sun rose- Helianthemum nummularium ‘Henfield Brilliant’ might work? Euphorbia is also drought tolerant and low maintenance . Planning is so much of the fun in gardening!
Love those ideas! I tried an orange Helianthemum in another border but the soil was too clay-ey: I might be able to make it work here. Mmmm
How about Oregano 'Hopley's Purple' and Allium 'Millenium' with the orange carex and a 'Helen Von Stein' Lambs Ears? Maybe a little Cerinthe major too?
I was hoping you'd chime in!! Love your usual total lack of restraint 🙂 Although that is at first glance way more varieties than I want to include in this small space (I know size is relative, but this is a BIG border as you know first hand and this is only s secondary focal point), you've made me consider the idea of a mono-planting at the base (Stachys would be more rabbit resistant than Carex) and a mixed planting that includes at least one of those in the planter itself. I love the idea of an ornamental oregano dripping down the edges – they would go a few days without water – and rabbits couldn't get to the Allium up there (they wouldn't stand a chance in the ground). Great feedback – thank you!
Maybe too big but in the cool art container it would be contained – Stipa gigantea. Or Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ or Yucca filamentosa ‘Bright Edge’ or Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’
Delicious ideas! I feat that Stipa would be too large and the Hakonechloa would dry out but the Yucca would be gorgeous for sure. Thanks for your thoughts Lori.
I would like to see some type of weeping conifer…not too large…maybe a golden color with a grey/brown trunk– an asymmetrical shape draping over the left side, but not covering the square in the middle of the container, adding a really cool fairly large rock or rocks in the container, mounding up the soil a bit, and then using some black mondo grass and sun friendly moss to fill in…a faux bonsai look…For the ground, grasses that complement the fantastic conifer you find.
That would be STUNNING Mary!!
What a great post Karen. And you sure have knowledgeable readers! Very fun to read, especially since I have a new garden bed to plant and similar conditions. Can’t wait to see what you decide!
I've had lots of ideas emailed to me also Jennifer! I think it will partly come down to availability. I did start looking for a suitable conifer as per Mary's suggestion but didn't find one yet. However I'm also drawn to a simplified version of Christina's design ideas – yet yesterday discovered that both the lambs ears and the Carex were out of stock at my wholesaler! I did get some Allium 'Millenium' to play with but may use those in my front garden as I'm not sure they would be showy enough when viewed at a distance in this area. I also want to determine if rabbits leave them alone – we'll see! Such fun brainstorming with you all.
Thanks for sharing your thought process! I learn so much from you.
You are a great student!
NICE IDEAS ABOVE! ACTUALLY I THINK THE PIECE IS A LOVELY STATEMENT ON ITS OWN.
I think it's important to always love the container even when it's empty don't you? I think of all containers as pieces of art
Ha, I was going to suggest Carex testacea – Orange Sedge! But that would pair beautifully with variegated yucca next to the container.
Great minds! Yes I have seen those two in combination with Verbena 'Homestead Purple' and they looked stunning.
I thought of one more that I saw in a magazine. Lemon-lime heavenly bamboo (Nandina Domestica, lemon lime. Full sun.
I love that shrub – but sadly Duvall deer do too and eat it down to the stalks overnight….