Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Filling In

Lysimachia clethroides, Gooseneck Loosestrife is one of the plants the resident gardeners disagree on. One of several. In this case one likes the flowers of the Loosestrife enough to tolerate that fact that it spreads like crazy and out competes most everything else.

It is pretty when it blooms, much like the Goldenrod which also spreads like crazy and out competes most everything else. The roles of like/dislike are reversed in the resident gardeners in the case of Goldenrod. Are the flowers worth the vigorous spread? So it goes down the list. One likes Joe Pye even when it is a pale white. The other doesn't. One likes Tradescantia, Spiderwort even with such small flowers. The other doesn't. They both sneakily kill off the others favored plant, yet there is never a shortage of any of them.

They both like the Hydrangea aborescens 'Annabelle', a cultivar of the native H. arborescens. It has nice flowers and doesn't spread like crazy. It suckers enough to take divisions which is nice.

Crawford is growing up. This is his run ahead on the path, drop and roll maneuver. Maybe he will get a belly rub. Or maybe he just likes to roll in the dirt.

The remaining half of the front bed where the new well went is lush with daylilies. A Mugo Pine and Juniperus x pfitzeriana 'Monsan' will claim more space in this bed over time. That is part of my strategy, to have floral filler while the shrubs grow.

The other half of this bed was planted else where and some sent off to Hot Springs for a friend's new garden. Who knows when the well man will be back. The dug plants couldn't stay out of the ground forever. I might just redo this bed a bit more once the well work is done. I may need another 'Monsan'.

We have turned the corner on the block wall and the back fill for covering a sewer line has commenced. I have to fill in the hole so I can then dig a trench for the sewer line.

There will be a narrow planting pocket between the two walls that can be used to deflect more attention away from the block. One day all my walls will have a nice finished top like wall #3.

Quite a contrast, but it's not so bad. Maybe even interesting.

A good portion of the new walls will be hidden beneath the stairs that will come down to the basement patio from above. They will turn off of a deck extension that will be built to cross the block wall and come down right next to the posts supporting the existing stoop. Then I'll have to decide how to paint them. More red?

Walls, walls, walls and I even managed to get the last four screws on to the front porch metal roof. Now how long did that take?

Cichorium intybus grows six feet tall in in a couple of months and starts blooming like crazy, while the poor Musa basjoo at its feet struggles to grow six inches in our high mountain cool. Hey it survived a minus 4 degree winter. I think it just needs those 95 degree days to really get going. We might have about a week in the summer that even considers getting close to that.

Soon it will be time to divide the Miscanthus again and the roadside bed will be getting closer to its final look.


Lola said...

It's all coming along nicely, Christopher. Soon you can enjoy the coolness of the under patio. Love the way the walls are looking.
Sure glad there is enough left to enjoy after the killing off.

Anonymous said...

You are the first person I know to deliberately grow chicory. I always wondered why someone didn't since the blue is incredible.
I like the contrast of the upper, almost modern/industrial, wall with the lower rock one. The right kind of planting in between (but what?) will enhance it even further! I can't even imagine all the backbreaking work those walls have taken!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Of course Crawford wants a belly rub. He is maturing into a handsome cat. I love the reflection of the bubble ball by the hydrangea. Perfect setting for such a ball. And the work goes on around the Cozy Cabin, walls and trenches. You should have a full time masseur. I am of the "like 'em" group of the Gooseneck Loosestrife. They grow and bloom where other plants struggle such as dry shade. I just yank them out when they overstep thier bounds. They do well cut for bouquets too and give that goofey fun look to what would look rather staid bouquet.

Anonymous said...

Christopher - I love your posts. Very fun to follow. I've gathered from past posts that you have a landscaping business or maybe do that kind of work? Do you have a web page for that? Can you email me some info? My address is

~~Rhonda said...

I, too, love gooseneck loosestrife. Here it is in our garden.

And it lasts weeks in a bouquet.

Years ago, when we lived in central Illinois, we had a non-gardening neighbor who hailed from New York. They came back from a trip east proudly bearing a chicory plant. I'm afraid they were a bit crest-fallen after they asked if I'd ever seen one before...just a block from our house, it grew in thick and wild abandon on a street corner where construction had been going on. And, of course, it grew along any country road. :) Being city folks, I don't think they traveled many side roads, though...

What a beautiful blue chicory is! I have always had a plan in the back of my mind to plant it in my stand of Queen Anne's Lace. They are so pretty together.

I saw a white one along the road once. Wonder how often they bloom white? ~~~ OK, so I stopped and googled 'white chicory'. "...a rare form of the common blue variety." I should have dug THAT one up! ;-) ~~Rhonda

Siria said...

Hello Christopher! I love this post. More so, I love your walls! The photograph showing both new walls in contrast is fabulous. Wall #3 is definitely my favorite, but I love the contrast in all 4 walls. It's amazing to me that all that rock came from your property.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola I was glad they left me half of that front bed.

Bev, I'll have to wait until the stairs are built to see what it looks like to decide what to plant between the walls. It will be interesting to see how long lived a perennial this chicory is.

Lisa I'll have to try Loosestrife as a cut flower. Strangely in the shade here something eats the Loosestrife to a skeletal frame and it looks awful. In the sun it is untouched.

Hi Suzanne. Glad you enjoy this view of mountain top gardening.

Hi Rhonda, the Chicory, Queen Ann's Lace combo is all along I-40 in Tennessee. I just thought why should I have to go for a drive, even though is is a very short one, to enjoy Chicory when I can grow it here. We already have plenty of the Queen Ann's Lace.

Siria, rock wall #3 has more flattish stones that came out of the septic drain field. That made the nice cap stones much easier to accomplish. As I backfill behind the block wall, I have already started setting stones aside for rock wall #4 that will line the path on the opposite side of the cabin.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

There is something to be said for gardening alone - no sneak attacks on plants. I admire Goosenecked Loosestrife wherever I see it. I'm thinking I could have saved myself a lot of working digging out chunks of concrete if I had just planted it in that area instead.
I like your idea to use Daylilies to fill space while the shrubs grow. It's a great solution to the problem of giving baby shrubs adequate spacing while avoided the empty look.
I love your walls, and even the prefab block looks better for being set off by the stone wall.

Frances said...

Hi Christopher, I agree with MMD, the block wall gets a real boost from the native rock one below. We have found the space between two wall to be very easy to fill, the cool moistness benefits most any of the plants we have tried. The block could be completely covered if you so desired. Love the daylily bed and Crawford is such a sweeties. Give him a belly scratch from me. The loosestrife is too scary to be grown here. We have L. ciliata, with a reddish leaf and yellow flower that is nearly uncontrollable. Want some? :-)

EAL said...

Everything is looking fabulous. I would be in favor of the gooseneck, but I would try to contain it in some way. It is a great plant and I think the blooms last pretty much all summer here.

What would any of us do without Annabelle?