Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mixed Border (Cascadia Garden)

 Agapanthus africanus August 2008

Kniphofia thompsonii thompsonii June 2009

Eryngium amethystinum August 2008

The mixed border is 5 feet wide x 38 feet long. It began in 1993 with plants that had blue (gray) foliage, or blue or yellow flowers. Eventually I felt that lacked depth. Purple & orange flowers added richness. The mixed border runs along house for half its length, then past the deck, across a path, & along the south edge of the vegetable garden. It borders a brick walk (also 5 feet wide) leading to the front porch & door. The paving pattern is a series of squares within squares. The bricks are set in a bed of sand flanked by railroad ties. A mixed border is a long, narrow bed planted with both shrubs & perennials.

Early in January Euphorbia rigida blooms yellow against blue foliage. The effect is repeated by Euphorbia myrsinites & Narcissus some weeks later.  In June Hypericum 'Hidcote' shows bright yellow flowers against the thick & fluffy blue blossoms of Ceanothus, with dark purple Geranium phaeum behind. In summer blue Agapanthus, orange Crocosmia, yellow Hemerocallis & yellow + orange = bicolor Kniphofia bloom together. All are tempered & enriched by the ever-blue foliage of Eucalyptus moorei, Hebe, Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’. A blot of red Lobelia tupa gives a modern art effect in late summer. In the small section fronting the vegetable garden, decorative vegetables grow (Chinese Lanterns, Leeks, Rhubard, Sea Kale) along with Narcissus & Tulipa.

Blue & Yellow Mixed Border Plant List

Ceanothus ‘Victoria’ (California Lilac)
Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ (St John’s Wort)
Juniperus squamata ‘Loden’

Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’ (Lily of the Nile)
Crambe maritima (Sea Kale)
Digitalis trojana (Trojan Foxglove)
Geranium phaeum (Mourning Widow)
Lobelia tupa (Tupa)
Narcissus (Daffodil)
Rheum x cultorum (Rhubarb)

Euphorbia myrsinites (Myrtle Spurge)
Pratia pedunculata (Blue Star Creeper)

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