Focusing on the Front Sidewalk Garden

I suppose this summer I've concentrated my efforts in a couple areas, my vegetable garden and the front sidewalk garden. While we want bunches of fresh vegetables this year we also want our home to look nice for anyone who happens to come by. I'm pleased with the progress we've made on the front sidewalk garden. I've strayed somewhat from my original plan that I showed in my front sidewalk garden layout post but the basic elements are the same.

On the right side of the garden the foundation plantings haven't matured yet to a significant size but are making progress. The Nandina domestica that was planted prior to our owning the house is growing very well as are the yews I picked up for $2 each on the discount racks last summer. Among the other plants that are at home on the right side of the sidewalk are coreopsis, Mediterranean white heather, irises, some randomly planted mums, some verbena, a butterfly bush, 'Walker's Low' catmint, 'Autumn Joy' sedum, 'Stella d'Oro' daylilies, and even some randomly placed hollyhocks that I grew from seed. There isn't much of a plan on that side of the garden. I have a basic plan in my mind for the foundation planting which includes the five yews, two 'Emerald Gaiety' Euonymous fortunei plants, the butterfly bush and two nandinas. The second nandina is an offspring of the big one in the middle of the garden bed.

The left side of the bed is another story. I drew up a layout for and stuck to the general principal of the design. The Russian sage plants are the feature plants with their long flower stalks rising above everything else. I'll be posting later in the week about Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia). If you take a look back at the original layout you will notice that I wrote about wanting lavender as a border edging plant. I picked a variety called 'Lavender Lady' which is said to grow up to 12 inches tall and wide and flower in it's first season from seed. Instead of planting the 'Lavender Lady' I found 'Silver mound' artemisia which I think looks great next to the sidewalk. Spaced in between the four Russian sage plants I've planted six Salvia nemorosa plants that I made from cuttings this spring as well as some daylilies. The salvia is already blooming.

On the close end of the bed I planted a spirea that survived an aphid attack earlier in the year and some discount Salvia splendens. The spirea won't grow to a significant size this year which is why I put the annual salvia near it to add some color to that end of the garden. Behind them is another discount plant. My 'Oranges and Lemons' Gaillardia aristata looked pretty rough when I brought it home but you can see that it is doing fine now and is surviving only on irregular rainwater. I highly recommend it for its drought tolerance and for attracting butterflies, not to mention it looks good too! This perennial blanket flower attracts more butterflies per capita than any of my butterfly bushes do.

Here's a view from the other end of the sidewalk.

The 'Walker's Low' catmint is quietly nestled beneath the overhanging branches of the butterfly bush.

From the sidewalk view you can get a good glimpse of the 'Silver mound' through the Russian sage. In the front of that viewpoint above is a rosemary plant.

It's one of two that frame the entrance to our front porch. The two rosemary plants came from layered cuttings and are about 10 times larger than they were at the beginning spring. With herbs the more you cut the more you get, but that can be said of many plants!

The front sidewalk garden is progressing toward my goal. Once the foundation plantings grow a bit larger I'll have an evergreen backdrop that will help highlight the colors of our garden.

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