Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

I'm joining in for Wednesday Vignette again this week, hosted by Flutter & Hum. I've written a lot about how badly the driveway island needs to be redone, tweaked, and generally overhauled, so I thought it would be nice to show that it isn't all bad. This is mostly to remind myself, since comments left by readers are always much more generous than my opinion of my own work. 

I do love the colors, silver, blue-green, gold/orange, and burgundy. It's wonderful when the plants that carry those colors all cooperate and grow well in one area, looking full without smothering each other. So this is sort of a "what went right" shot of the driveway island. The barberries are leafed-out and providing those spots of burgundy that contrast with the silver and gold and echo the maple in the center. The bearded iris and crocosmia provide big leaves that contrast with the finer textures of the sedge and heathers.


Oddly, the two barberries in this photo are the only two that still have the attractive, compact look that actually fits the space intended for them. The others all went bonkers after a few years and grew 3-4 feet tall and wide and got straggly and ugly. The two that stayed compact aren't even the original plants. They're branches that rooted. Meanwhile, the original plants are thin and barely alive.

I've decided the barberries are definitely going. Maybe I'll replace them with something evergreen like Euphorbia 'Blackbird' or 'Ruby Glow'. Sedum 'Dragon's Blood', heucheras, and bergenias were part of the original planting in this bed, but they were dispatched by the deer. I will definitely be reintroducing a burgundy-colored sedum of some sort, and I'm debating about the bergenia, heucheras, and other plants with larger leaves. Even the 1-inch wide leaves of Sedum 'Dragon's Blood' would be a welcome contrast to the fine-textured heathers in winter. Larger leaves will help bring some of the spring and summer lushness in this photo into winter. Maybe I can start to get closer to having the sort of look pictured above all year long.

10 comments:

  1. Very pretty! The burgundy does give the bed a lift so I hope you find replacements for the barberries that meet your specs.

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    1. Thanks, Kris! There will definitely still be burgundy in this bed. I need it to echo the maple in the center of the bed. With the obstacle of the deer soon to be removed, I'll have a better choice of plants and I think I'll be able to produce an even better, more cohesive look.

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  2. Love it! There is something about those Carex 'Frosty Curls' that makes me want to bury my face in them - they are so cool! I too have a red barberry in my front yard, and it seems to have stopped growing at about 3-4' . This makes me very happy, because it was right where I wanted it - for once! :)

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    1. Actually, I dug out my original design for this bed (it was my high school senior project) and the sedge is Carex comans 'Amazon Mist', not 'Frosty Curls'. I had forgotten. Of course they're all seedlings of the original plant, so I can only call it Carex comans, now. I wish my barberries had stopped growing at around 2 feet. That would have been the right size for where I put them.

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  3. That's lovely Evan. Hope you get suitable replacements soon :)

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    1. Thanks guys. I hope so, too! I'm chomping at the bit waiting for that fence to go up so I can start planting!

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  4. I like the idea of focusing on what's going right and then enlarging on that. I'm doing that dance with my barberries too. The B. jamesiana has never looked quite like the one I fell for at Dancing Oaks. Oh, well...it's still a beauty.

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    1. I spend so much time being a critic, mostly of myself, it's a good idea to stop and consider the good once in a while. I love barberries and plan on adding a lot of the evergreen species to other places in the garden. These 'Crimson Pygmy' just got too big for their space and tend to flop over onto the surrounding plants and smother them. B. jamesiana is a good one. I love the flowers.

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    2. It's the berries that got to me. They were a pearlescent, very pale yellow. Mine barely go through a yellow stage before turning red.

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  5. We are our own worst critics! This looks lovely to me!

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