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Margaret Meehan
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My Blog: http://www.mmmee.blogspot.ca/
My Blog: http://www.mmmee.blogspot.ca/

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Piebald humming bird:  

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This album shows the garden that is in front of the tall cedar hedge and looking at it from the street.  There are 3 rectangular beds with the middle one opening to the inside of the garden where the bench sits in its nook.  About 15 years ago I planted the cedar hedge with the trees 27 inches apart; that is, measuring from trunk to trunk.  The rectangular beds are apx 4 x 7 feet.  A small honeysuckle hedge runs in front of these beds.  There is a bed that is about 4 ft wide that runs along in front of the little hedge.  In front of this bed is about 5 feet of the grass strip that is now in bloom with the crocus field.  The crocus field is bordered with grape hyacinths.  The rectangular bed on the left has a lovely dark red hollyhock, a veronica, a peony, montebretia, sea mist (like baby's breath, very good for boquets) a lupine seedling.  The rectangular bed on the right has campanulas, peony, montebretia, magenta perennial geranium, montebretia.  This bed is infested with the bluebells that spread like crazy.  They are bulbs that are crowding out the other plants.  
In the strip across the whole 30 feet, starting at the left, there is now a lavender.  In this area I let the daisies seed and grow and would cut them back after bloom.  It was easy care.  But they too were crowding out all of the other plants.  Last year I began to dig them all out.  Now the lavender is growing more.  This same area had wooly thyme and there is some left on the outside of the bed.  The achillea and the verbena bonariensis (self seeding bi-annual) which is a fine butterfly plant, are beginning to fill in where the daisies were.  I moved the blue fescue grasses to the front of the bed with lupine seedlings  behind them.  Last year I had 20 lupine seedlings.  Now I see two of them growing in this part of the garden.  When I weed this area again I hope to find more of them.  The compost I added last year when I weeded must have been full of weed seeds because I have a big job ahead of me to get this bed cleaned up again.  
Then the bridal veil spirea bush is in apx the middle.  On the right side I have tickseed an iris, a lavender, a red currant bush, pussy toes, lychnis, dutch irises, lemon balm that I keep clipped back; and the purple plum tree at the edge of the bed.  Last year we had 35 lbs of plums that I blanched and froze.  We are enjoying these plums over chocolat berry cups with mango swirl frozen yogurt on top. 
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In this side of the front garden, looking past the Siberian Iris towards the bench we see a spirea shrub with a perennial blue geranium in front of it.  Just behind the iries is the black bamboo.  This bamboo is a graceful plant.  It does run, but not too badly, so several friends now have black bamboo in their gardens, too.  To the right of the Siberian Irises is a couple of heathers, so perennial bachelor buttons, a birds nest spruce and the ugly water meter.  I am required to cut these plants back so that the meter maid can find his way in to read the meter.  On the right side of the spruce and next to our driveway is the Magnolia under planted with some iberis, a wall flower, the rock roses and ladies mantle.  Behind the magnolia tree in the feet feet to the hedge and to the right of the bamboo I have some campanulas, some self seeding columbines, the pasque flowers, a small michaelmas daisy, some mallows that also self seed.  AND the trillium by its round rock.  The trillium is the star of this little area.  If we go back up to the top and stand on the entry way little deck we see the large pink tree peony, another globe cedar, a tall blue juniper, and the grass path.  The cement David stands along the stone path.  Across the stone path from the David in the bed that has the West Coast planter there are 2 roses and a Japanese Quince.  Just off the entry way deck by the front door is another 2 roses, an Oriental poppy in the tiny corner bed formed by the entry way and the boxwood hedge.  But I will have photos of them later.
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This album contains some of the special rocks in the little rockery, and some of the plants in the inner garden, as well as the sun dial circle.  These rocks do not keep their colors, as they all seem to go a plain grey or brown as they weather.  The volcanic rock was a special find along the roadside in an area where there was volcano ages ago.  
The sun dial sits on a piece of rock that was out of a rock drill, and I no longer recall where this drilling was being done. Around this plinth grows a wonderful little shrub that is in the rhododendron family.  It is evergreen and has lovely little flowers now (early spring).  The alpine daisy is doing well there also.    The valerine grows between the hedge and a star magnolia just behind the sun dial circle.  There are a few more plants along the hedge that are not pictured here... a gas plant, a hebe, some iris and more saxifraga.  The California lilac is across the stone path from the smoke bush that is in the inner garden.  The inner garden has the smoke bush under planted with the silver saxfraga, another hebe, the tradescantias, alliums, scabosias, a lavendar that is small and not doing well.  The cotula hispida did not survive for very many years, but I have a silver variety in the back that seems to take the soggy wet winters very well.  Perhaps the drainage in the sun dial circle is not suitable for it.
As I am trying to get this garden into even lower maintenance I am planting more plants like the heathers, that take very little care... clipping twice a year is about all they need. 
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Here a few of the Plants that grow in and around the little rockery that has the West Coast planter as its feature.  All this area is under the canopy of the liquid amber tree.  Mountain avens (Dryas Octopetala), scaboisia, iberis, a creeping campanula,  ajuga, Berengaria Cordifolia, Corsican Hellebore, maltese cross, and a new one, scleranthus biflorous.  There are some taller plants at the back of this area, towards the neighbors driveway, and then the cedar hedge with the little honeysuckle hedge on the outside.  The taller plants not pictured include montebretia, a jackamani clematis, a couple of lilies,  foxgloves and lupines if they grow, a yellow water iris that is a left over from when I had a half barrel tub garden, a small false bamboo.  more sedums and silver saxifraga at the front and a heather as you go along the stone path to the sun dial circle.  I have a spot for a pleione that has survived one year and I await its flower this spring.  On the other side of the Bergenia and West Coast planter, there is a cedar that I have attempted to clip into a windswept look, a lovely japanese anemone, a perennial pea (purple), another heather, two roses, then the boxwood hedge.  In front of the roses I have removed montebretias and put in a Japanese quince.. hoping it blooms this year too.  In front of that is the lovely little decorative oregano, then the rock path where it meets the grass path.
My garden is mature but as you know, there are always changes and new things to try.
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The cement vase is at the entry to the grass path.  It has arabis in it, with iberis and rock rose beneath it.  The magnolia tree is just behind it.  Across the grass path there is a wonderful big pink tree peony that backs unto the entry way, and has a tall juniper on one side and a low globe surrounding it.  There is an ugly area just after the rock roses.  It is a small stone path that leads to the water meter.  The area around the water meter needs to be kept clear so the meter maid can find it.  So, I am constantly clipping back the plants in this area so I don't have to pay a penalty again to the blind meter maid in our 'city of gardens'. The little ugly area has violets, ladies mantle, a big heather, an evergreen globe type spruce, michaelmas daisies, and perennial bachelor buttons surrounding it.  So, going past this and ignoring it, we come to the curve in the grass path and enter the stone path to the inner garden.  We go past the David with Siberian Iriss,  the little perennial geraniums, with golden oregano behind them and another tree peony (just started).  Next there is the 2 round stepping stones leading down to the thyme circle.  Go past that and we see the Inner garden with alliums, tradescantia, sea thrift, a hebe, a lavender and the smoke bush under planted with silver saxifraga... Going around the smoke bush we will come to the little sun dial circle.  Across the stone path from the Inner garden there is an extension of the little rockery.  I am in the process of growing new plants in this area as I removed a half barrel water feature.  I have montebretia, maltese cross, some corsican hellebore, sedums and saxifraga. And then there is large heather and the california lilac under planted with more sedums and saxifraga; across from the smoke bush.
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The crocus field is about 5 -  6 ft by about 25 - 30 ft long.  It is next to the street, where we have no sidewalk.  I bought a couple of bags of mixed crocuses, dug individual holes for each bulb, added bone meal and popped a bulb in the hole.  I cannot mow the grass here until the crocuses have hardened off.  Last Autumn, We occasionally get snow, but it does not last very long and the crocuses seem to survive it very nicely.
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As you enter the garden on the grass path past the cement vase you may continue on the grass path or take the field stone path.  As you follow the stone path, you pass the Gertrude Jekyle rose, a decorative oregano and the cement David and after about 12 feet you will come to the branch that leads into this area with the West Coast planter on one side and the low little rockery on the other side.  You can see the boxwood hedge just behind the hebe on the first photo.  There are some choice plants in front of the West Coast Planter.  I especially like the fern leaf peony and the Corsican hellebore combination.  In front of them is a Grace Ward Lithodaria, a globaria,and the wonderful mounding plant.  I have lost its name.  These rocks are set on clay soil with sand added.  This area is in the shade of the tree that towers above them.  Across the stones from the West Coast planter there is a little low rock wall.  Behind the rock wall the soil is better and the rock/alpine plants do not seem to do as well in it.  I have a pleione, some dutch iris, aubretia at the edge and behind them is a clematis, montebretia, maltese cross, and some larger plants.  If you were to continue on the stone path you would go past the corner with the aguga, the perennial snapdragon, an iberis,  some saxifraga, and few others.  Across from this area is what I call the inner garden that has sea thrift, alliums, tradescantia, the smoke bush under planted with more silver saxifragia.   Continuing along the stone path you will go past the smoke bush on one side and a heather on the other side and arrive at the sun dial circle.
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