I’m back as promised with the reveal of my new perennial bed by the Potting Shed, planted over Memorial Day weekend. It was a labor of love, with my hubby laboring to dig 40+ holes!
We added pea gravel paths and flagstones here to define the mulched areas and create an island bed to plant.
Plants auditioned for their spots prior to planting. The perennial bed gets morning sun with the bottom half of the bed shaded by the trees after 1:00 in the afternoon. The top part of the bed is in sun until about 2:30.
Everything we planted was chosen for its heat tolerance and drought resistance once established, with the exception of Endless Summer Hydrangea, which will need regular watering to keep it blooming.
We had severe drought conditions last summer and the driest spring on record this year. Temperatures are in the 90s this week, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mother Nature sends some much-needed showers our way.
The sundial came from my mother-in-law’s garden when she sold her house a couple of years ago. It’s been waiting for a special spot to be planted and is heavy. Our neighbor’s small tractor which moved the stones for our dry creek bed was also handy to move the sundial 100 yards from the back of our yard to the new bed.
Popcorn Drift® Rose starts out yellow and fades to creamy white, reminiscent of buttery popcorn. It’s comparable to the family of Knock Out Roses in disease resistance and low-maintenance, but smaller in size so ideal for small gardens or containers.
Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea is a compact variety of oakleaf hydrangea, ideal for small spaces. The leaves are sturdy and able to withstand strong winds and sun and but will also tolerate dry soil once established. Blossoms start out white and gradually turn pink then to deepening to a rose shade. Fall foliage transitions to a scarlet-burgundy shade.
I haven’t had a lot of success with oakleaf hydrangea. We had a landscaper plant three shrubs about eight years ago and only one shrub of the three still lives. Last spring we planted three more in a different area and my gardener’s recipe was successful with only one shrub, but hope springs eternal and I’m keeping my fingers crossed ;)
I chose some plants for foliage~ Lamb’s Ear which I love for the soft, silvery and fuzzy texture. I already have some planted around the Potting Shed. It’s hardy, low maintenance and can take the summer heat. Pink-purple flowers spikes appear mid summer that the bees love during the growing season. Heuchera (Coralbells), ‘Watermelon’ is part of the Carnival series, which is heat tolerant. Foliage starts out peachy pink in color, fading to a bronze green. In the shadiest part of the bed, a variety of Hosta or Plantain Lily, will tolerate dry shade and full morning sun. Astilbe ‘Rock and Roll’ is heat tolerant and produces feathery white plumes.
Penstemon ‘Red Riding Hood’ has coral-red flowers from late spring through summer. It attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and is drought resistant.
Belleza™ Dark Pink Gaura has an upright, compact habit with wispy dark pink flowers on sturdy stems. It’s also drought and heat tolerant attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
I have a larger variety of white guara that we planted last year, growing here. The dainty blooms and stems move and sway in the breeze and when the bees land on it.
Some other blooming perennials planted in addition to penstemon, are Echinacea ‘PowWow White’ and ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ Coneflower (which I neglected to photograph), Rudbeckia Goldsturm (Black Eyed Susan) and Bee Balm. All are drought tolerant once established and attract butterflies, bees and hummers. Bee Balm can be invasive but you can keep it contained by dividing it in the spring or fall or just pulling it up in clumps.
Allium ‘Millenium’ Ornamental Onion has globes of rose-pink flowers which attract bees and butterflies, is drought tolerant and rabbit and deer resistant. We don’t have deer munching on our flowers and shrubs fortunately, but do have our share of bunnies.
Li’l Bang™ Starlight Coreopsis has creamy flowers with a yellow center. A fun fact: the petals turn a rosy pink in cooler weather but I don’t expect to see that anytime soon with our summer heat!
It’s also drought tolerant once established and attracts butterflies and bees.
I planted an urn in the bed with a combination of pink germanium, purple petunia, a heat tolerant variety of white lobeila, silvery licorice plant, and my new favorite plant, Verbena ‘Lollipop’.
Lollipop verbena is low maintenance, makes a good cut flower and attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
I added an assortment of foliage textures and colors. . . feathery, silvery, and burgundy and lime green. . .
Silver Anouk Spanish Lavender is disease resistant and durable, standing up to our summer heat and drought. Dill with its feathery foliage was planted as a host for Swallowtail caterpillars. Weigela ‘Midnight Wine’ has dark purple foliage and pink blooms in the spring. It’s a compact/dwarf variety that will tolerate drier soil. Creeping Jenny is a low-growing groundcover with rounded, golden yellow leaves. I also have it planted in containers to soften and spill over the edge.
Veronica First Lady Speedwell has petite white spiky blooms, attracting bees and butterflies and is deer resistant.
We have plans to plant some shrubs and trees in the fall.
More photos and updates as she grows! Keep your fingers crossed and do a rain dance for me ;)