Friday, December 20, 2013

Evergreen Groundcovers

I may have already lost interest in this winter. Part of that could very well be my list of winter projects is nagging at me. The weathers and other necessities have prevented me from getting to that list as a much as I'd like. I have hopes it will be a mild, light snow winter coming up. After the holidays I will be having a nice chunk of extra time. I don't want to be buried in snow and burdened with cold.

I want to be out in the garden. There are a whole bunch of things I'd like to get done before June 21st, 2014. You see, Bulbarella and I agreed to have the wild cultivated gardens high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top on next year's Haywood County Master Gardener tour. I've done garden tours before with less progress, but I feel compelled this time to make an extra effort. I want the wild to be more enticing to the uninitiated.

I really need to chill.

A major component of my planting scheme from day one has been for winter interest. Six months of down time for a garden is too much. I want to be drawn into the garden all year long. Evergreens are a must for winter interest in a completely deciduous forest.

It is one thing to stand on the front porch and look down on the garden. Being in the garden gives a completely different perspective to my winter interest efforts. I want to be out in the garden when I have extra time, even if it is in the middle of winter.

Three one gallon pots of Cotoneaster dammeri 'Streib's Findling' have now covered the bulk of one slope, a steep 20 foot long by 10 foot deep piece of ground. I sped up the progress by spreading self rooted stem cuttings further afield.

The Creeping Raspberry, Rubus calycinoides, (Rubus hayata-koidzumii) had a very good growth spurt this year after being relocated from where it had originally been planted. This evergreen to semi-evergreen groundcover is one slope down from the cotoneaster, divided by the path that will be getting the new dry stack stone wall.

It is my aim to have the everyellowgreen Yucca filamentosa growing in a carpet of the Creeping Raspberry. It is my aim to turn the slope below the cozy cabin into a modernist piece of art mainly for the winter months using plants as my paint colors.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' is another evergreen groundcover that has been started on the slope below the cabin. Texture will play an important part in the painting.

Evergreen groundcover shrubs are being put to use in my scheme too. Taxus cuspidata 'Monloo' is alleged to spread eight to ten feet wide. In a decade maybe. We shall see.

Winter interest isn't all about flat groundcovers. 3-D color in the winter garden is also welcome. A whole bunch of rescued variegated Cornus alba of an unknown cultivar, my best guess is 'Elegantissima', came home from work with me one day. They have settled in well in their first year.

The big 3-D of winter interest is going to take a while. My baby trees and shrubberies have yet to leap. At some point (when?) their size will form walls and rooms, blocking complete views from above. You will be forced to enter the garden if you want to see it all. That is my aim.

I really want a garden that will pull me in, pull me outside in the middle of winter. That's when a working gardener has the most extra time.


Lola said...

Love it. I brought some sedum home from N.C. & it looks like your Angelina. It has small yellow blooms in Fall, spreads very good.

Christopher C. NC said...

Cold be the same sedum Lola. It blooms late summer here. In Florida it may wait a bit for it to cool off a touch or for the days to shorten to the right length.