- Not weedy-looking,
- Season-long interest,
- Emphasis on Perennials or self-seeding Annuals.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="The corner garden in it's current state. It looks much fuller than it will in just a couple of weeks, when the Daffodil and Tulip stems die back. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in the foreground."][/caption]
We did purchase some annuals that do not self-seed, but for the most part we chose plants that adhered to these criteria.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="African Daisy - Osteospermum hybrid 'Orange Symphony' before planting in corner garden."][/caption]
African Daisies were the annuals of choice for this year. First we spotted the 'Orange Symphony' variety with its purple centers. We bought four of these plants, but two of them quickly died, before we were able to put them in the ground. Thankfully, Home Depot has a 1 year warranty on all of their plants. We took back the two dead plants and replaced them with two of the purple variety 'Soprano Light Purple.' These bright, annual flowers are grown by Proven Winners, that has produced creamy yellow, white, purple and orange flowers, all with purple centers. You can see the color varieties grown by Proven Winners here.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="African Daisy - Osteospermum 'Soprano Light Purple' planted in the corner garden. The green clover shaped leaves in the top left corner and the purple clover shaped leaves in the top center are both Oxalis. Tulip, Daffodil, Daylily and Violet foliage are also in this picture."][/caption]
A couple of days after planting the purple African Daisies (Osteospermums), we found some more plants to add to our corner garden, including a wonderful little silvery shrub from the genus Elaeagnus (possibly Elaeagnus pungens). I planted the Elaeagnus in the corner and moved the Oxalis to the foreground of the bush to provide good contrast with the silver foliage. The purple Oxalis has actually started blooming since I moved them. Their blooms are light pink, but look white in the picture below, due to some extra reflection. Notice that the purple African Daisies are also much lighter looking in this picture.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Silver shrub is an Elaeagnus (pungens?). The white blooms in front of the Elaeagnus are from the purple Oxalis lying in front of it."][/caption]
I really like the silvery leaves of this little shrub. It turns out that it is from the same genus as the Russian Olive Trees that I admired last May in Boulder, Colorado. I wrote a little bit about them on my Desert Island Challenge post. This shrub will provide great contrast to the purple foliage of the Oxalis planted in front of it and the cranberry red Barberry bush planted on the opposite side of the corner garden.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Rose glow Barberry bush (Berberis thunbergii v. atropurpurea), planted 2 years ago"][/caption]
The Barberry bush is not new. We planted it two years ago and it is one of my favorite outdoor plantings. The foliage is just stunning, with such a vivid color. It immediately draws your attention when you look at the garden, even with other plants in bloom. I highly recommend this bush.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Another new addition - Euphorbia longifolia 'Excalibur'"][/caption]
I have just recently become aware of a group of Euphorbias that can be planted as perennial shrubs in temperate climates. Most people know of a couple of species of Euphorbias - The Poinsettia (E. pulcherrima) and The Crown of Thorns (E. milii) - but would be surprised to find that this plant is from the same genus. I am preparing a much more long-winded post on Euphorbias that I will probably have ready in the next 2 weeks. The tag of this Euphorbia says "Abundant flower heads emerge red and turn a brilliant yellow, highlighting the mounded blue-green foliage. A superb accent plant for the mixed border or rock garden." So far we're just enjoying the blue-green foliage, which is a nice addition to our garden.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Pink creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) in the foreground with contrasting foliage colors in background."][/caption]
We planted several pots of creeping Phlox in our corner garden a couple of years ago, but for some reason they had trouble getting established. It was probably due to a hot dry spell when we didn't stay on top of watering. Only one of our Phlox survived from year's past - a pink one. My wife's favorite Phlox are the blueish purple color. So this year we bought three really healthy purple Phlox plants and mixed them into our corner garden. We will stay on top of watering these, and hopefully have more Phlox every year.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Newly planted Purple creeping Phlox (P. subulata) with Oxalis in bloom (small pink blooms) and small Rudbeckia plants."][/caption]
Over a month ago I raved about some Rudbeckias called R. hirta 'Moreno.' Well, I ordered three of these plants. They aren't much to look at right now (see the little rosette just to the right of the Phlox above?), but hopefully they will mature nicely this year and then bloom next year. If I take extra special care with them for two seasons, I hope that they will start to self-seed and I will have many more in the future. I also ordered some seeds of the 'Cherry Brand' Rudbeckias, which are solid red. I am going to start these seeds in the next week.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="White Cyclamen planted in more open space on the right side of the garden."][/caption]
Cyclamen are one of my favorite plants. I couldn't resist getting a couple of these plants to add to the corner garden. With amazing silver foliage and really unique blooms that look upside down, this just seems like the perfect plant. Notice the difference in variegation of the leaves on the two plants I purchased.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="White Cyclamen planted in front of green Oxalis."][/caption]
I just realized there are Oxalis in 8 of the 11 pictures in this post! We were given two varieties of Oxalis by a coworker of my wife a couple of years ago. One is a green leaf variety with bright pink blooms. The other is a purple leaf variety with a light pink bloom. They have multiplied each year and are doing really well in our garden. We will probably have to thin them out soon, assuming they continue to multiply at the same rate.
Another new perennial that we planted is a Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana). This plant has long, strappy leaves that are deep green and produces pink-purple blooms that resemble a Petunia. We planted this plant on the nearly-empty top tier of the corner garden.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie's Pink') planted on top tier of corner garden. Green Oxalis in the foreground."][/caption]
I also transplanted some of our Irises to the top tier. I'm not sure why we have neglected to plant more back there, but now it is getting hard to get back there to do any planting, since our flowerbed is filling out.
What do you think of the new additions?