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Make New Beds but Keep the Old…

Chinese foxglove is peeking from beneath my 'Tameukeyama' maple. A giant leopard plant and purple gazing ball accent the front entrance.

As I have previously remarked, I am totally enamored of my new front yard bed.  I wrote a blog post about Phase I of that implementation a couple of days ago and more details will soon follow.

This week, however, the 3 year old foundation planting has been catching my eye.

Back in the day, when this was a rental house, I devised a landscape plan for the front yard.

My plant list came from an eclectic collection that had accumulated over a period of years.  The plants were in a holding pattern in my little nursery.  They needed to go in the ground and nursery space was sorely needed.

So I set about to design what I have since described as the hinkiest rental house landscape ever.

I allowed myself to do this with the thought that we would probably move back in here one day.

And so we have!!!

Up close and personal with Chinese foxglove.

My  ‘Tameukeyama’ Japanese maple is the star of the planting.  It is strategically placed in front of the “picture window” so that I can admire it from both sides.

My husband Richard (a.k.a. The Timekeeper) tells me that I bought this plant as a 3 gallon nursery plant in 2006.  By the time it was planted in the ground here, it had been stepped up to a 7 gallon pot and was almost 3 feet tall.

‘Tamekeyama’ is a threadleaf Japanese maple.  These maples have leaves with very narrow thread-like lobes.   Foliage is reddish as it emerges after winter and intense orange red before winter leaf drop.

A carpet of Chinese foxglove  (Rehmannia elata) grows beneath the maple.  At bloom time, this perennial produces hot pink flowers on 2′ stems.  The foxglove-like blooms are lovely peeking through the maple foliage.  I started with about 3 Chinese foxglove plants and these have formed a thick stand.  I would be afraid that this plant might become a bit invasive in a better growing situation.

The view from my front walk with Hinkley's columbine and a purple gazing ball perched atop Richard's Grandmother's bird bath pedestal.

I walk past this lovely vista several times a day.

A couple of weeks ago the star of the planting was a lush stand of Louisiana phlox.  Those blooms are mostly gone now but as a consolation, the giant leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’) is coming out of dormancy.

During our move, the giant leopard plant fell on hard times.

I was distracted and did not water during a drought.  Then it was stepped on by someone helping us move.  I am happy to report that it seems to be in recovery mode and back to its old state of robustness.

And that’s not all – a volunteer Hinkley’s columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana) is blooming next to the sidewalk.

Since the columbine seeded itself, it is much too close to the walk but… I’m not complaining.

 

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