Potting Shed: New Perennial Bed

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I’m back as promised with the reveal of my new perennial bed by the Potting Shedplanted over Memorial Day weekend. It was a labor of love, with my hubby laboring to dig 40+ holes!

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We added pea gravel paths and flagstones here to define the mulched areas and create an island bed to plant.

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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.

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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.

New Perennial Bed Potting Shed

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ;)

Perennial Bed Plants

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.

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Penstemon ‘Red Riding Hood’ has coral-red flowers from late spring through summer. It attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and is drought resistant.

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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.

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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.

Perennials

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.

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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.

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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!

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It’s also drought tolerant once established and attracts butterflies and bees.

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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’.

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Lollipop verbena is low maintenance, makes a good cut flower and attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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I added an assortment of foliage textures and colors. . . feathery, silvery, and burgundy and lime green. . .

Perennials

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.

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Veronica First Lady Speedwell has petite white spiky blooms, attracting bees and butterflies and is deer resistant.

Veronica First Lady Speedwell

We have plans to plant some shrubs and trees in the fall.

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More photos and updates as she grows! Keep your fingers crossed and do a rain dance for me ;)

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  61 comments for “Potting Shed: New Perennial Bed

  1. June 15, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Your potting shed looks so proud and happy Mary! You certainly did your homework, and it looks fantastic already! Love the sundial from your MIL is such a great center statement piece for your blooming bed, so unique…my back hurts thinking about all the work you did. It has gotten too hot too fast this summer, I will try to send some rain your way, we’ve been having a lot of afternoon showers. I’ve not heard of the popcorn rose, how fun is that! I hope you are taking a much needed rest this week!
    Jenna

  2. Alyson
    June 15, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the names of your beautiful plants to help those of who aspire to have a lovely garden space! I continue to be inspired by all of your projects!

  3. June 15, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Gorgeous shed and gardens. I am a true gardener so really appreciate all that you planted.

  4. Mindy
    June 15, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Looks beautiful Mary! I need to bookmark this post when I decide to stop neglecting my yard.

  5. Jeanie
    June 15, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Love your new flower garden.

  6. Kathi Layfield
    June 15, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Absolutely beautiful! You and hubby did an amazing job.

  7. June 15, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Love, love, love all the variety of flowers and shrubs, love your sundial and all the hard scape. Can’t wait to see it in three years looking like it has been there forever. You and your husband are remarkable,and just plain fun, thank you.

  8. Doni
    June 15, 2016 at 8:14 am

    What a treat to start my day with your garden. It looks wonderful. Any tips on how you are going to keep the bunnies, deer and voles out? Those little darlings will love your new garden. Thanks for the view. :)

  9. June 15, 2016 at 8:26 am

    What a happy, welcoming perennial bed for your dear potting shed, Mary. Yes, it was a labor of love, but you’ll get the rewards of all that beauty. You’ve certainly done your homework on all the plants and I see so many that I’d love to plant. My youngest son planted an oak leaf hydrangea for me, for behind my waterfall, but the low growing one that you mentioned, would be pretty in some other areas. Thank you for sharing the photos of the plants and the information on them. The addition of you dear MIL’s sundial is a treasured piece and your urn looks so cute, especially with the bunny (the kind that won’t do harm!).

  10. Ellen Stillabower
    June 15, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Lots of variety!! Can’t wait to see it filled in, in a couple of years..I imagine…it should be beautiful!! ❤️🌻🌹🌺🌸🌼 thanks for sharing!!

  11. Linda
    June 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

    God sent rain during the night and my flowers are dancing and smiling. Everything is so lush that it looks like a rain forest. Hope for the same for you :-)

  12. June 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Oh that little oasis is going to be beautiful. And a great selection of plants–it’s almost a prairie selection we would do here in Illinois. Can’t wait to see it, as it matures, thanks for sharing, Sandi

  13. June 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

    What a treat to see your newborn garden. Hope gentle rains come to water it in and help it thrive.

  14. BamaCarol
    June 15, 2016 at 9:12 am

    How beautiful and peaceful looking! I need to plant some things above our rock retaining wall and you have given me some great ideas (for deer resistant plants as we have a family of 15 that regularly comes through our property). We have recently gotten some good rain after weeks of drought so hoping for you to get some too. Thank you for sharing this lovely spot with us. It made my morning!

  15. joan
    June 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Beautiful selection and designing of plants . Thanks so much for naming the plants !

  16. Sue
    June 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Thank you Mary! So beautiful and so informative. Are these plants available at close by nurseries, or do you send away for them? And do you have any recommendations if one must use catalogues? I live in the mountain west. You truly have created a work of art…

  17. Sandy Park
    June 15, 2016 at 9:43 am

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. You’re a lucky lady to have a husband that will dig all those holes for you.

  18. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
    June 15, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden. You did a great job designing and selecting your plants. I love gardening and loved seeing all your pretty pictures!

  19. Brenda
    June 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Beautiful! You’ve done a great job!

  20. June 15, 2016 at 9:50 am

    This looks terrific, Mary. The sundial is fantastic, and it looks like you’ve really thought through all the soil and light conditions with your choices. I planted gaura (pink) this year, and can’t wait to see it in coming years as it grows (I checked out your white in the post referenced). Now, pour yourself a cold drink and enjoy that view!

  21. Linda
    June 15, 2016 at 9:53 am

    The list of plants I want to look at and possibly try in my garden has grown. Thanks for doing all the homework and the lovely photos.

  22. June 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Mary, I’m impressed with this list. I think I’ll print this off and save it for my own garden center visits. Some of these are new to me and should work in our garden. Love the lambs ear, though sadly I’ve not tried it in my garden. I need to! A new to me plant that I tried in the urns this spring is Silver Star Helichrysum, a trailing annual with silvery foliage. Only hardy to 32. Your new garden is lovely. I know it will flourish and fill in beautifully in the next few weeks. Happy June!

  23. Paula
    June 15, 2016 at 10:23 am

    ~Mary~

    You and the hubby did a super job the garden looks so inviting !! I hope to find the Popcorn Drift Rose at our local garden centers. Love the sundial, lucky you :)
    Hope you get some rain !
    Paula
    IN

  24. Robyn
    June 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Mary, thank you for sharing the photos and all the good information. I love the garden and the walkway to the shed. You have done a beautiful job and I can’t wait to see it in a few weeks. Praying for rain here in Central NC also. My plants and water bill need a break! Enjoy the rest of your week!

  25. Sue
    June 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Looks so good Mary!! I love watching a new flower bed fill in and grow. Hopefully you will have great success. xoxo

  26. Brenda S
    June 15, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Love the sundial, what a unique piece! Love all your choices and thank you for giving the detail – I’m in NC also and having just moved to a new home (new to us) last fall, I am watching what comes up this spring and summer and will be adding some of your selections in our yard too.

  27. Sandi Allen
    June 15, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Love, Love, Love! How Beautiful!

  28. Cheryl
    June 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I miss my old condo that we sold four years ago and my little garden. I had hydrangeas and hostas and freesia. They would go dormant every winter and you knew spring was right around the corner when they started poking their heads out of the ground. Love the new garden. It’s going to be spectacular.

  29. Darlene
    June 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

    As usual Mary, you have outdone yourself. Your selections are gorgeous and since I live only about 70 miles from you, would grow well in our garden. We do not have the sun at our home though, lots of large shade trees. We do love our hydrangeas though. I will have to check out that popcorn rose – so very pretty.

  30. Debbie
    June 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Everything is so lovely. Prayers and rain dances on the way for both of us!

  31. June 15, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Mary, what a beautiful perennial bed with your MIL’s sundial in a prime spot. You did your homework and as everything grows and matures it will be breathtaking. I will be watching for updates during the summer and hopefully you and I will get rain for our gardens…97 degrees and no rain is hard on my plants!

  32. June 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    This new Perennial bed is a labor of love for flowers and nature!! I love the choices you picked. What would we do without beautiful flowers? I have been busy planting Boxwoods and Flowers. I have a lot of bunnies also which I adore but I have to plant flowers over and over because they eat them to the ground. Also, I have ALOT of Squirrels that dig up everthing I plant in ground and in urns. So I am always busy in my Garden! I will SOooo enjoy watching your Garden grow…love flowers!!! Thanks for giving the information on flowers. Now I pray we get rain…we have been in the 90’s and dry down east in NC.

  33. June 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Love it…I can’t wait to see it as it matures and fills up the bed. Hopefully you will get your much needed rain. I”m dancing it for you as I sit typing and wish I could send you some of ours….We’ve had two days of almost torrential downpours with intermittent showers…(not complaining, we have also been in a drought, believe it or not)

    I got several varieties of Hostas and Heuchera for my niece in Greensboro several years ago…I wonder how they’re doing…

  34. Linda E.
    June 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Absolutely breathtaking! :)

  35. June 15, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Your garden is incredible! We are starting completely over in our front yard, due to very little sun, and this will serve as fantastic inspiration! I wish we could send you some of our flooding rains from Texas, hoping you’ll get some soon! xo, Andrea

  36. Leslie Witt
    June 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Love it Mary! Thanks for sharing the in progress shots. Potting Shed posts are always my favorites!

  37. June 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Looks great Mary! Love-love-love the popcorn rose and your very cool sun dial:@)

  38. Rattlebridge Farm
    June 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Oh, how beautiful and charming, Mary! You will have so much fun in your magic garden. I love all of your choices. And the sundial is a bit of history. Your paths are so welcoming. I can just imagine walking up and seeing the shed Herself surrounded by color and beauty. She looks enchanted, prettier than ever. I hope you will get rain, and if not, I hope you’ll get cooler temps. We’re getting slammed by the heat. A little rain passed through yesterday, followed by a five minute rain this morning. I’ll still have to water, though. :-)

  39. Rattlebridge Farm
    June 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    P.S. Do you deadhead your Gaura? I had been calling them Pink Things, and I returned to Lowes and wrote down the name so I could research them. I planted some pinks last week, and every flower dropped off. Shock? I Googled deadheading but the advice was so vague. I’m watching them for buds.

    • June 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Michael Lee, Thanks for your sweet comment.♥ I don’t deadhead them, the blooms probably dropped from transplant shock. I read to trim the stalks back to half mid-summer to encourage a new flush of blooms and tidy up the stalks but I haven’t done that to my established white variety yet, maybe mid-July. I’m guessing it will bloom through November when we get typically get our first frost. :)

  40. Virginia
    June 15, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful garden but most of all the information regarding why you planted each which will be most helpful in the future. We still have much work ahead of us to restore the gardens surrounding our 1920’s house. It too came with a small shed in much need of repair, which is on the plans for this summer.

  41. Stephanie
    June 15, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Beautiful!!! I finally got to visit Lake Norman. Our friends moved to Mooresville last summer. Had a great wknd. What a beautiful area :)

  42. June 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Looking forward to seeing it as it grows and spreads.

  43. June 15, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Your perennial bed looks fabulous.So much work. Y’all worked hard and it shows.
    Thanks for all the details about each plant. I can’t wait to watch it grow. Your sundial is very special.
    We got a 1/2 inch of rain today and I think more is forecast tomorrow. Hope it’s coming your way.

  44. June 16, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Your garden is gorgeous. Love the perennials you chose. I had not heard of a couple of them so will be checking my local nurseries to see if those particular varieties are stocked!

  45. June 16, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Must have been a lot of work to get such a pretty garden going… Mine looks like a wild sanctuary…

  46. June 16, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Oh my goodness Mary…the garden is so very beautiful….love how you added the sundial from your mother in law and that adorable bunny tucked into the flowers….Can’t wait to see the progress and growth of the garden…So, so beautiful and yes, truly a labor of love!!…kudos to your hubby for digging 40+ holes!

  47. Sherri
    June 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Your labor of love garden is beautiful. I love watching plants mature, but also love the tidy look of a new bed. I would love to putter around in your sweet potting shed. Such a nice place to be.

  48. June 17, 2016 at 7:32 am

    How PRETTY!!! What a riot of colors & textures…just like the tablescapes you create, Mary. I can’t wait to see it once the plants are well established. I’ve never heard of the Popcorn Drift® Rose…very pretty!
    Be sure to include some milkweed if you can, so the Monarch Butterflies have a place to lay their eggs. There is a city wide movement afoot here to provide them with their favorite plants.

  49. June 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Wow Mary! Your perennial garden looks fantastic already with that treasured sundial as a centerpiece! I have not seen those popcorn drift roses but will look for them now that I’ve seen yours. And I love the white coneflower! So glad the bees have already found your beautiful blooms!

  50. Cyndi Raines
    June 18, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    What a great garden! Love it all Mary! Aren’t you so pleased with all your hard work! Big projects take a lot of time, money and energy, but so worth it when done. I love to just sit back and stare at the results! That always gives me the energy to press on. We will all love seeing it become a mature garden,

  51. Linda K.
    June 19, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Everything is so lovely and thoughtfully planned and planted. I love the little rabbit and the sundial. Can’t wait to see it in a year :-)

  52. Linda
    June 20, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Your flower bed is beautiful and I have admired your potting shed for a long time! I planted four of the Drift Roses this Spring in my new flower bed and they have been beautiful. I got two of the Popcorn, one Peach and one Pink. The Popcorn and the Peach have become my favorites. I really wanted the Pink, but they didn’t have any and I stumbled on one at the Ace Hardware. The Pink rose has a different looking bloom and is not quite as pretty, up close. It has bloomed since early March and looks beautiful at a distance. I just trimmed them all back to remove the dead flowers and gave them some “food”. The nursery said they would bloom again. If you ever see a Peach one, you should try it. It has a light pink/peachy color.

  53. June 23, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I could swoon for this! The shed is adorable and I LOVE your garden art. I hope it all establishes well and returns again for you next season! :)

  54. June 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    WOW, I just love your new perennial bed! The sundial is a real TREASURE!!! I love the potted urn too. Thanks so much for identifying each plant, it helped me alot. Going from full shade to full sun has been quite a learning experience. Hoping you get some rain and coller temps. We are inside right now waiting til after dinner to plant some flowers we got today:)

  55. June 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Oh Mary, I’m speechless, at all the beauty and at all the work!! Your hubby is the best!! I love the shot of the plants auditioning and they probably did a bit of dancing around before finding their perfect spot! I keep looking at the various plants and thinking of spots in my yard for them too. I hope the rain gods see all your watering cans scattered about and decide to fill them for you! Oh, I can’t wait to watch your garden grow! Linda

Thanks for your comments~ they make my day :)

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