The Head Gardener & Her Handiwork

Resting not upon her laurels, but her hoe, the Head Gardener agreed to be photographed with her latest creation. With the able assistance of FloraBob, the HG picked up and unloaded two yards of soil today. Time and energy ran out before she could go back for a third but all signs point to her doing so next week.

Here's another shot of the bed: about six inches of soil were added to the expanded areas of the existing beds to the left and right of the new area, as well as under the oak tree. Those rocks and bricks along the curb are just there to hold the soil in until a permanent edging is decided upon. Any suggestions?

Now comes the REALLY hard part: choosing what to plant in all those empty spaces! The Head Gardener is contemplating her options and pondering them carefully. The one thing she knows for sure is that she wants more Hinckley's Columbines. Since we're sticking with hot colors out here, the Head Gardener is thinking about more Anisacanthus, Salvia miniatas, Asclepias and Dicliptera. There are plenty of Copper Canyon Daisy plants that could be moved to fill in as needed. But will they take up too much room? Hmmmm. If she can find more of the native Ranunculus she bought at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sale a while back, that would rock her world. So would more moss rock to edge the curve under the oak. Time for me to get off the computer and put the HG to work again!


EAL said…
Well, I like the stones as edging--maybe not exactly those, but stones look good there. Or no edging. There is that trench strategy I have seen.

Looks great. You have really accomplished a lot!
Cindy, MCOK said…
Stones may be my best bet but I think I'll play around with sizes & shapes to see what I like. I just remembered that I'll need to be careful about what I plant along that curb since the cul-de-sac floods from one of our torrential rains at least 4 times a year. It hasn't happened for months but I have no doubt it will do so again!
Carol Michel said…
And here I sit in the middle of winter, wishing I could be out digging. It looks good!
Kathy said…
Yes, all your hard work shows!
For the edging you might want to put down some flat rocks, so when people park at the curb & get out of the passenger side, they step on them instead of your plants. That or something wicked spiked metal. It's looking good so far. I can just imagine the yellow Columbines with that red & gold Asclepias - wowzle.
Anonymous said…
Looks good. I'm about two months behind ordering dirt to fill in my dead front lawn...but you are inspiring me to get off my duff.

I don't know what I'd plant instead of the grass though. The front is very shady, so the things I'd like to plant (roses, small flowering trees/bushes/perennials, fruit trees, or a veggie garden are all doomed).
Cindy, MCOK said…
Carol, I won't be digging today. It's chilly and windy here!

Thanks, Kathy! I'm eager to start planting.

MMD, I'm going to check out the rock selection at my soil yard and see what strikes my fancy. As for the plantings, I know lots of people don't like red and yellow together. I think including plants with both colors in the blooms makes the plantings work, though.

MSS, columbines would work in your front bed, as would some of the other plants I'm considering. Dicliptera, Anisacanthus and Salvia miniata all bloom in shade. Pigeonberry, too. And have you seen the small bulbs now known as Freesia laxa, formerly Lapeirousia laxa (I prefer the old name)? They naturalize and have charming little pinkish/red flowers.
Texas Tammy said…
Yours is the first blog I've ever responded to! I'm new to blogging.
I enjoyed your amaryllis posting and photos and left a comment there.
Katie said…
I do like the stones as well. That looks like a lot of work! Good call with the Craigslist offer. Digging sod is not so fun.
Anonymous said…
Hi Cindy, aka HG, I like the stones too, maybe add some larger ones for that dry creekbed look. Also might I suggest some grasses, stipa would look good and give some diversity and movement, they can take some shade too. You are a strong woman, BTW! :-)

Cindy, MCOK said…
Tammy, welcome to blogging! We're glad to have you join the ranks of gardeners who love to share stories of their gardens. I look forward to seeing you again.

Katie, it WAS a lot of work and the HG definitely felt it for the next few days. All better now!

Frances, I like the way you think ... Stipa is one of my favorite grasses (your Muhly is another).

I think y'all have convinced me to do more stones along there. I'm playing with a couple of ideas in my head.
Gail said…

You have really made fantastic progress. I am so glad you mentioned Hinkley's Columbine..I think it is wonderful. Our native columbine is red and yellow. I had red and yellow lobelia and The was quite striking. Neither mind a bit of water either. Can't wait to see it when you finish.

Cindy, MCOK said…
Gail, I have the red and yellow Columbine, too (A. canadensis). It's not as vigorous a plant or a reseeder as the Hinckley's, though. I'm still cogitating over what to do with the new space ... if the weather cooperates, I'll get out there tomorrow and see what I can come up with for it!
Robin Ripley said…
Hi Cindy,

I can just see it now. It really helps to have seen your wonderful garden.

I agree with Liz--stones look great there. I also like the dry streambed look that you have on the other side of the front. You could do something similar here too.

See you in Chicago?

Robin Wedewer