A Couple Experiements

When we moved here in 2000, the front landscaping was already planted. The previous owner put in what I think are yew shrubs, interspersed with dwarf Alberta spruce trees. Not what I would choose, but there they were and there they stay!

The front bed meanders and in one large half circle, I have a wonderful hydrangea bush with blossoms that start off green and turn pink, then white as summer progresses. The leaves turn burgundy in fall.

Around the hydrangea, I used to have five Stella Doro daylilies. What a mess! I cleaned up the spent leaves and blossoms, divided them, and finally, when they stopped producing flowers, I yanked them out. And I used mulch to fill in the large bare space. Big mistake.

Gardening with dogs, remember? Juno and Loki love to run through that bare space, kicking the mulch out of the garden bed. Then they started scratching their backs on the yew bushes. Now, the yews have lost needles and I wonder if they’ll survive much longer.

Meanwhile, what to do with the bare spot?

It’s a difficult area. The front bed sits in the shadow of the house until about 11am, and then, due to the western exposure, gets blistering sun for the rest of the day. After wandering around one of our local, large nurseries for about an hour, I decided on mixed sedum groundcover.

Experiment-1-IMG_1992

So here’s the experiment part. The ground where I’ve planted is acidic. Will the sedum survive? And will they survive the dogs using that area as a short cut from the yard to the front door?

I also planted, right along the edge, three pink tickseed plants – Coreopsis rosea ‘Heaven’s Gate’ for the aficionados.

Experiment-3-IMG_1998

I love the colors, which will match my “pink” garden theme in the front yard. When I went out this morning, after planting yesterday, they looked a bit peaked to me, but perked up after a watering.

And for the final experiment – hardy kiwi! They arrived today with instructions to pot them until the plants get stronger. Hardy kiwi are vines, and I have a nice long fence for them to grow along.

Experiment-4-IMG_1997

I wonder what “stronger” means.

Gardening – it’s all one big experiment for me!

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6 thoughts on “A Couple Experiements

  1. I have old day lilies that come back year after year and when I divide and move they bloom even more profusely. I don’t much care for them but they are some of the hardest workers and hardiest perennials that I have. I got some Stellas to add some yellow into the bed and interest at the lower height…they have not done well at all. I’ll be interested to read how your kiwi plants do. It’s much too cold for them here-good thing Gurnee’s had a guarantee!
    I think gardening is an experiment for every person who does it…and an act of faith!

    • I’ll be curious to see how those kiwis do here in Zone supposed to be 6 but we had a Zone 4 or 5 winter. And I agree – gardening/farming – so many variables. So much to know!!

  2. Loki & Juno. Have you considered electronic fences to keep them out of your beds? Would Jim’s tender heart allow? Or you could try planting Rue. Dogs, cats, witches and warlocks are repelled by the pungent aroma of this beautiful perennial herb.

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