Thursday, May 31, 2012

SMALL PLANTS FOR THE SUNKEN GARDEN

Small plants that have a mounding neat form are few and far between. I am constantly on the hunt for such plants to put in the sunken garden.


The chocolate daisy, Berlandiera lyrata, has been blooming for months. I have seen this plant at the WFC growing to a height of 4' whereas this one tends to stay low, although it does sprawl a little. Cut back it will regrow and bloom again.


But my absolute favorites are the skullcaps; the common pink form seen here and the purple, Scutellaria wrightii. Both seed themselves in the cracks with regularity. The purple ones tend to vary quite a bit in their color from deep purple to ones with white throats.


Lantana is not exactly a small plant any more than the wine cup. Both have been cut back hard after they became unruly. Neither seem to mind this brutal treatment and always recover to put on another great display.


The little Dahlberg daisy is another well mannered plant. It has airy foliage above which bloom tiny yellow flowers.


The native Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum,  is sharing a spot with several newly growing blue-eyed grass and a Zexmenia.


Damianita has a place here too and is blooming for the second time this year.


Here's the Zexmenia, cut back down to the ground 2 weeks ago and coming back to delight with those tiny yellow flowers. The A. desmettiana is spending the summer in the ground.


Narrow leaf zinnias, Zinnia linearis, is an absolute must to have. It will bloom on through the fall and seeds saved for next year are the bonus.


TheThere is always room for a grass or two and ruby crystal grass, Melinus nerviglumis. It will bloom again later in the year.
If you have any ideas for plants that would do well living between the pavers I would love to hear from you.


29 comments:

  1. So pretty Jenny! I love your choices!

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  2. I like Dianthus 'Bath's Pinks' (Cheddar Pinks), Jenny. It performed well for me in full sun even during the hellish summer of 2011. It even seeds in the decomposed granite of the driveway. And of course, it loves our alkaline soils, ayk, and looks good in every season. Deadheading all those prolific spent blooms is the only chore I have with it.

    Your sunken garden is lovely. Glad to know I can cut the Zexmenia to the ground. I was just wondering about how aggressive to get with the trimming on that.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Sandy. I have often wondered whether I could start pinks for seed here. I will look out for this plant.

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  3. Such plants are the life of my garden...am getting ready to try out the Ruby Crystal seed Daphne passed along to me from you, I think! Dahlberg Daisy, Damianita all like every gap they can get.

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    1. I hope your ruby crystals grow for you. They do tend to seed very easily in the gravel. Good luck.

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  4. I really must get some pink and purple skullcap. Your post made me realize my Dahlberg Daisy didn't reseed this year. My Damianita is blooming again too -- do you ever prune yours back? Mine has a big hole in the center but it's so woody I'm not sure.

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    1. I have cut them back when they get too woody. David C says he cuts his right down but I wonder if they aren't a different variety.

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  5. I love all of those in the garden paths,too, and along borders, too. Do you have the yellow skullcap? I have it in the back path and wish I had more. I also like calylophus and santolinas.

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    1. No I don't have yellow skullcap. I wonder where I could find it. I did buy a white one last year but it has a more loose habit than the pink one. I did recently plant a santolina. Yours int he front bed were spectacular. Thanks for the ideas.

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  6. Gray creeping germander, four nerve daisy, sedum reflexum, Katie's Ruellia, scabiosa, Azure Skies Heliotrope. Just a few thoughts. Looks like you've about got it covered :-) I'm glad to know, too, I can cut the zexmenia back so hard -- such a great plant!! I have the zexmenia and azure skies heliotrope intertwining in my garden and it is a lovely combination :-)

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    1. Azure skies heliotrope and creeping germander sound like winners Toni. Thanks for the ideas.

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  7. What a fantastic place your garden must be! Wonderful garden views ... such great plants.

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    1. Thanks Sandra, we enjoy every minute out there.

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  8. For another grass, I have several Blue Fescue. Not really sure how large they'll get here. But, they add another gray/blue to the garden.
    I really like the purple scullcap. If I remember right, you've said before it's 'well behaved', and stays in that mound shape. Is it available locally?
    Your garden is, as usual, lovely.

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    1. Blue fescue is a nice grass. I have a couple and started some more from seed this year. Festuca ovina glauca. Is this the one you mean?

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  9. Pshaw! I use your ideas of plants for my hell strip - I doubt it would work so well the other way around. :) It seems to me that the artemisia in the sun doesn't get nearly as tall and floppy as it does in the shade...plus the greg's mistflower can be kept at a relatively short state...

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    1. I have the mist flower but it is really unruly. I pulled it out by the handsfull and still it comes back. Pretty though and the Monarchs do love it.

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  10. I have always enjoyed your placement of these beautiful blooms. Their pops of color as they peek from beside a rock or a stepping stone are always so pretty and almost unexpected. I am particularly drawn to the Dahlberg daisy...so bright and beautiful!

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    1. Rocks are the mainstay of this garden. he plants are just the icing on the cake. Dahlberg daisy is wonderful. I hope it keeps on re seeding.

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  11. Jenny, I bet you have this one, but I love four nerve daisy (Compositae Hymenoxys scaposa) for places like this. They are so drought tolerant--and just plain cute!

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  12. Yes, I do have this plant but more of this in the front garden than in the back. En masse it is so lovely and as you say need little water.

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  13. That is a fabulous garden. I love the look of the stones and plants emerging from between them. Must be brutally hot in summer!

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  14. I love your sunken garden and your blog. I'm getting ideas for my own landscaping here which is so helpful.

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  15. jenny, It looks delightful in your garden~You've inspired me to add a gravel garden someplace~as soon as I figure out where! gail

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  16. It won't give you showy flowers, but I've been appreciating how tough marjoram can be. I've cut mine back aggressively time and time again, it just keeps coming back for more. Also, I'm loving the mini-strappy foliage of garlic chives. Another tough plant through heat and cold, with occasional typical-for-alliums blooms.

    Your spaces are always so inspiring.

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  17. Bardzo mi się podoba Twój oryginalny ogród ...
    jest po prostu fantastyczny ...pozdrawiam

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  18. Beautiful garden Jenny!

    I love daisies and you have placed them very nicely. Thank you for the tips!

    Regards
    Garden Chair

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  19. what beautiful photos! your garden looks heavenly. i hope you don't mind i used one of them on my blog (http://throughthewindwinding.blogspot.com/2015/06/flowers-by-chapel-by-sea.html), giving you full credit and linking both to your post and blog, because one of your photos captures a poem i wrote perfectly. Please let me know if you'd like me to take it down; I mean nothing but great praises and i don't want to offend! thank you so much, and cheers.

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