This will probably be my last End of Month View before our first frost, which usually arrives sometime in April. So it's a good time to mark the end of the active growing season and assess the progress in the areas I've been focusing on. I'm going to show a direct comparison by pairing an image from early last Spring with a current one of the same area.
I am happy with the progress here, although it hasn't been as floriferous as I planned. Maybe next season. There has been a further bit of progress just today. I pushed the dirty gravel to the sides to see how the pots would look without it, and I think it's an improvement. The gravel looks good when it's clean, but cleaning it is a huge job, and it just never seems to get done. I don't mind the bare concrete look and it will certainly be less work to keep it looking neat. I'll live with it for a while anyway and then decide. I might colour the concrete or just age it a bit.
One pot I've been really thrilled with is the Lemongrass one. The shape of the grass and the shape of the pot look great together. I'll have to cut the Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) right back once the frosts start, and dry the leaves for winter teas, but the pot should still look good, I think, until growth starts again in Spring.
Okay, quite a bit of difference here! I've been delighted with almost everything in this bed. The Celosia seedlings never amounted to much, but the other plants have covered them anyway, and almost all the ground is blanketed by colour. There are a few combinations I especially like.
|Calibranchoa 'Coral Chimes' with Sedum purpurea|
|Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' with Sedum 'Gold Mound'|
|Sedum 'Gold Mound' with Calibranchoa 'Coral Chimes'|
The bed itself is fitting in well to the front garden as a whole and I consider it a successful experiment.
Speaking of experiments... I don't have a comparison photo for this area, as it was only established in January, but all the plants are growing well, although the feature plants aren't large enough to look like a group yet. You can just see them in the front of the photograph above, although only the rose is obvious.
Here they are separately.
|Abelia grandiflora 'Confetti'|
|Stachys lanata 'Big Ears'|
|Rosa 'Purple Rain'|
|Teucrium fruticans 'Silver 'n' Sapphires'|
I haven't done anything about hiding the steps yet, but the garden has taken matters into its own hands (leaves?) and grown a screen of Salvia guaranitica which is covering a good portion of them.
Pretty as it is, this plant is a complete thug and I thought it had all been dug out of the front garden. But no, it had just migrated. Admittedly, it is doing a good job here right now, but I know it won't stay contained and anyway, it will die right down in Winter, leaving the steps bare again. So it's going to be replaced by that evergreen Ceanothus that I had planned for this spot, and which I have now obtained.
However, unplanned or not, the intense blue provided by the Salvia gives a real lift to the whole front garden at the moment, and I want to repeat this look next Summer and Autumn. So I'll be looking for a better behaved blue Salvia and adding a few groups of it next Spring. Hopefully, I'll find one as gorgeous as the guaranitica.