A Glimpse of the Border

the garden border: dianthus, miniature rose, narcissus, heuchera

At long last I can introduce at least a few little vignettes from the garden.  There's not much to show yet, but plants are filling in and plumping up, and for the first time they are combining to create the dance that is a growing garden.


Creating even a very small garden border has been excruciatingly slow.  The fact that any bulbs were planted at all last autumn is largely due to my sister's encouragement and kind help with the digging, because my fatigue levels were too high to do it all myself. As for my hopes of filling the rest of the border this spring, those have been dashed by everyone's nemesis: the necessary Covid-19 lockdown has prevented me stocking up on new plants.  As it is, my list of plants to complete the border focuses on late-bloomers and good foliage.


So it's just a little patch of garden that I am showing you, but it's nice to be able to post it.

dianthus Frosty Fire, heuchera Carnival

Seen in the pictures here are Dianthus x "Frosty Fire" just coming into bloom, Heuchera x "Carnival" also with its first flowering stalks, and a noID miniature rose with small buds.  Behind are Iris germanica "Mme Chereau" and Narcissus poeticus recurvus.  Just visible at far left in the top photo is the dark new foliage of Gaura lindheimeri "Gaudi Pink". 


The elongated leaves in the foreground are the maturing foliage of Iris reticulata "Harmony" which, as with any other bulb, must be left to its own devices long enough to store nutrients for next year--but which is doing it in a highly visible way.  I need something to blend in and help conceal the lanky leaves.


Not visible in these photos are Narcissus "Silver Smiles" in full flower and Echinacea purpurea "PowWow Wild Berry", which is waiting for summer.  There are also several other irises, plus the early-blooming Helleborus x "Ivory Prince", and the summertime Hemerocallis "Stella de Oro".  In other words, the total number of plants in this little border can still be summed up in a single list (I'm leaving only a few things out), and that is the whole garden!  (Not counting the weeds, which I hope my viewers are discreetly ignoring!)


It's a narrow space, so no plants are overly large; and to make matters more difficult, the back six inches or so is concrete foundation jutting out into the border and only lightly covered with about three inches of soil.  I've not decided what to do to deal with the entire back section; there simply isn't room for much root run.  I've thought perhaps thyme would spread successfully above the concrete reef and provide a neat ground cover at any rate.  As it is, I've had to plant everything else well forward toward the walkway.  Suggestions welcome!


Well, that is all for my brief garden tour, but I thought it would be fun to finally show how the plants are beginning to fit together.  As anyone who has followed my blog for awhile can guess, I am more of a plantsman that a garden designer; but I do love to see the garden fill in and become something that is more than the sum of the parts.  I think the plants are happier that way too!

narcissus poeticus recurvus, miniature rose

Weather Diary: Partly cloudy; High:  72 F(22 C)/Low: 43 F (6 C); Humidity: 31%-100%

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Comments: 7
  • #1

    Kris P (Monday, 27 April 2020 14:36)

    With all you've had to contend with in the past year, Amy, I think you've made good progress in making the space your own. I'm glad you've got a miniature rose in there - it wouldn't be right without that! I can't see a miniature rose without thinking of how well you did in growing those in your former garden.

  • #2

    Jane (Monday, 27 April 2020 17:18)

    It’s good to see your progress, Amy, with a cheery collection of plants. I like your burgundy Heuchera which is just the sort of thing I need to find to accompany my ‘Caramel’ Heuchera. I have planted a creeping thyme in my garden and it’s a terrific low ground cover and green all year round. Its drawback is that it tends to rampage a bit and is sure to grow beautifully in the direction that I don’t want it to grow, shunning the bare patch I wish it to cover!

  • #3

    Amy@small sunny garden (Monday, 27 April 2020 17:36)

    Kris - I'm still surprised at how well the miniature roses grow out in the garden. I couldn't well do without them now! ;-)

  • #4

    Amy@small sunny garden (Monday, 27 April 2020 17:41)

    Jane - The dark-leaved Gaura with a caramel Heuchera sounds fabulous! As for the thyme, I can imagine it doing just the same in this situation--after all, why grow over concrete when it could be spreading all through the rest of the border?! What I need is something that grows about two feet high, six inches wide, and has an exceedingly shallow root system... and is not a weed, lol!

  • #5

    Cathy (Tuesday, 28 April 2020 07:44)

    It is lovely to finally see your garden bed Amy. I love Gaura lindheimerii and am growing some from seed this year. They usually manage to overwinter here unless we get a really long cold spell. I had a similar problem with concrete edging to a flower bed in my old garden and just planted Thyme, which works very well. There are so many different types too, some with golden leaves, some silvery. � I do hope that your energy levels improve soon. But in the meantime you have something for every season to enjoy. �

  • #6

    Amy@small sunny garden (Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:24)

    Cathy - I had not thought of using the silver- or golden-leaved thyme, but that would work so well to keep things bright. Thanks for the suggestion!
    I have been lucky with the Gaura this time. It's adapted to the cold here, being a prairie native (though with a southern range), but I know it does not like wet feet. And my soil here is the heaviest clay I've gardened in yet. I've already worked a lot of amendments in, but at the moment I still consider it sheer good luck that nothing has collapsed from root rot! XXX

  • #7

    gardenmate@gmail (Tuesday, 01 September 2020 04:14)

    Love the varieties of the plants. Would love to have my own garden soon.