Monday, 8 November 2010

a third big project other two projects on my list weren't big enough, yes I'm aiming for a third.  This is the east side bed, an ugly little strip next to the water heater and clothes line.  All it's got going for it are some little hebe, one of which is 3/4 dead.  I want to grow a small spreading tree and some lush, foresty perennials.  I started by digging out some of the pebbles to see if I could widen the bed.  Unfortunately that's not going to happen anytime soon.  I wanted to move the step-stones closer to the house, but it appears that each one is on a thick bed of concrete.  So the pebbles are going back on.

Despite that annoying setback, after about a week of consideration I decided to start by pulling out the dead hebe and replacing it with a tree.  I really wanted another Japanese maple, but I've seen how badly they get burned in a hot summer.  So I decided on a crepe myrtle, variety "Sioux" (yes, my sister, your favourite plant!).  It's just little now, but should grow a few metres high and wide, but I should be able to keep the size under control.  The flowers are pink and the leaves turn bright orange in autumn.  It started out like this...
...but I wanted to trim back some of the lower branches.  I'd rather it be a tall, narrow tree than a multi-stemmed shrub.
Not sure if I should cut off that other low branch or not. east bed looks like this now - not very different yet!  It'll get there someday.  I'm picturing at least one more tall narrow shrub or something between the crepe myrtle and the corner (that's the bird bath corner).  Eventually I'd like it to be underplanted with foresty things like hellebore, clivia, anemone, brunnera "jack frost" or some more tall salvias.  I also want to get some dense groundcovers like native violets and ajuga purpurea under there so the blackbirds stop kicking the mulch onto the pebbles.

First steps!