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The Rose Bed gets a make-over and then another

In March this year I had a small corner bed re-done. I pulled out a tree that was causing a few problems and replanted the bed. At the time I was reasonably happy with the decision, less than happy with the “re-do”. As time went on I was not really happy with it and kept making changes. Here’s how it went (All the photos can be clicked on to see the larger, uncropped versions).

4 March 2011:
We went from this …


22 March 2011:
… to this. See? It’s just ok – nothing great. But I now had three standard roses (Iceberg) and a bird bath, some Gaura and Heliotropium, all so small you needed a magnifying glass to see anything. (The plants in the front are Tulbaghia, left from the original planting and those are Star Jasmine creepers on the trellises).


28 May 2011:
Time went by, I added Alyssum which was intended to form a ground cover during this interim growth phase and then a peach pip mulch. Looked nice enough, but being winter, things were progressing very slowly.


24 September 2011:
Uh oh! Whats happening here? The creeper on the trellises is Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). I was warned that once the tree was removed it might get too hot for Star Jasmine in this position. They like some shade. Oh dear, seems these are getting fried.

Jasmine gets fried

Yep, not looking good, these need transplanting to a shadier spot before they are ruined.


And so at the beginning of Spring (the recently pruned roses have just started their new growth), I removed the Star Jasmine creepers from the trellises and transplanted them to shadier places (lots of those in my garden!).

Bare trellisses

24 September 2011 cnt/.
I purchased four fair-sized Jasminum Polyathum creepers and started planting them. Here the first one is up …

Jasminum Polyanthum gets planted

27 October 2011:
All four were lovingly planted and secured to the trellises and a few weeks later they were looking kinda good already. See how much the roses have grown and are now starting to flower, the Jasmine has started to creep upwards on its own. But … I’m still not happy with this bed. Something is wrong.


Yup, it’s the Tulbaghia (the row of plants planted at the front of the bed in a curve). They just don’t do it for me here, for a few reasons. Firstly, grown in this position, this should-be-easy, indigenous plant, takes at least 45 minutes of my time every week to remove all the yellowed leaves and to keep it tidy (I don’t spend that much time on any other individual plant in my garden, and it still always looks messy).

It NEVER flowers here (it should get lovely little pink flowers, but it doesn’t). So after three years of battling with these plants, I decided it was time for a change. See the yellowing? This was after a clean up. And I had to do this every week on all twelve of them. Annoying!

TulbaghiaFinally, for my liking (or for my “eye”), there is too much dark green foliage in this bed. There is no hardly any variation in the colour of the foliage from the front of the bed right to the trellises – it’s all just the same shade of dark green, which, to my ageing eye (and when I view the bed from a distance especially), does not provide enough interest or contrast. So again I set to work and removed the Tulbaghia. Fortunately a friend wanted them, so out they came …

Tulbaghia get removed

25 November 2011:
I was at Ferndale Nurseries the day before the big “dig-up” and waiting for me all in a display area were ten nice sized Carex “Evergold” at a very good price so I bought all ten …

10 Carexes

Excited about these bargain plants that looked great, I started planting right away …

Get planting
… until all ten new Carex “Evergold” were happily ensconced in their new home … complete with doggie toy that nearly got planted! (Notice my roses? Lots of blooms)

All ten are planted

21 December 2011:
A few weeks later, things have settled, the creepers are creeping, the Carex’s are ‘mounding’ … and I’m kinda happy now. Unfortunately, for this next photo, I had picked all the roses a few days before the photograph (twelve roses for the vase in my “Twelve Days of Christmas” post), but you can see what I am going for …

Rose Bed redone

By next spring the trellises will be covered and small white blooms should be smothering the wall. As they stop flowering, so the white roses in front of the trellises will start to bloom. At least … that’s the dream. Lets see if it works out! And I must mention, I don’t miss the weekly 45 minute ritual of removing the yellowing leaves from the Tulbaghia. They smell strongly of garlic and used to make my hands reek of it for hours if I forgot to wear my favourite gardening gloves.

26 December 2011
One final addition … in the second last photo above you will see a “gap” on the left just behind the Carexes … I planted out my Mexican Feather Grass seedlings in this spot, next to the existing one, just in front of the Heliotropium.

26 December addition

26 December 2011:
What do you think?

Rose bed on 26 December 2011

I will observe it for a while. Perhaps I need to move a few things out of this bed (should I be controlling / cutting back the Heliotropium more?). I certainly like this bed a whole lot more than anything I had here before. But knowing me, this bed will likely get changed again … and again.

Here is the entire sequence as a slide show:

Happy Gardening

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Front bed makeover and patience!

Confession time – In this post, I told you about my big plans for re-doing the front bed, just to the side of my back entrance door. I got as far as ripping out the tree, moving the shade loving plants to the back shade garden and then … well I made lots of plans. And then I researched all sorts of plants, watched DVDs, read magazines, bought more books. And after all that I decided I was just not able to do it all by myself. I got Kathryn from Lavender & Thyme to come and help me with it and today was the day things got planted.

It doesn’t look like much at all at the moment. Little plants. I can’t even really see the vision of it yet in my mind, but I trust Kathryn and she understands what I want here, so now we wait and see. The bed has exactly eight months to settle down and grow, because I hope that by the time my Mom visits in November (from Germany) that this will look pretty and be flowering … it needs to flower specially for her! ♥

So here are the photos and a list of the plants used.

[one_half]Before (4 March 2011)Before: With the tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Today after planting (22 March 2011)After planting - 22 March 2011[/one_half_last]

The Plants Used:

The plants used are three Standard Roses – Iceberg; Heliotropium ‘Royal Marine’; Gaura lindheimerii – Pink; Gaura lindheimerii (white) – Angel Wings; Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’. She left a narrow row of the Tulbaghia violacea (because aphids hate them so they will hopefully help to keep the roses protected somewhat), we left the Star Jasmine on the trellises and two wild irises were left from before.

Plant Photographs:

[one_half]Iceberg Rose StandardIceberg Rose Standard[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Gaura lindheimerii – PinkGaura lindheimerii - Pink[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Gaura lindheimerii (white) – Angel WingsGaura lindheimerii (white) - Angel Wings[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Heliotropium ‘Royal Marine’Heliotropium 'Royal Marine'[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Update on 25 AprilUpdate on 25 April 2011 - one month later[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Progress – photo taken 28 May 201125 May 2011[/one_half]

Now I wait (patiently!) for everything to grow …

I found this lovely quote today which reminds me that I now need to be patient …

“You need patience to be a good gardener. If you don’t have patience, and you stick with gardening, it will teach you patience.” – Bill Turull Jr.

Happy gardening!

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Corner Bed make-over plan

Hi Barbie – When you were here on Tuesday I told you my ideas about the make-over for that corner bed next to the entrance. (The one I used to like and now really dislike). When the rest of my garden was a complete mess, this one had something nice about it (though when I look at it now I’m not really sure what it was I liked). I can’t find any photos of it before the tree was this big, it probably looked better then. Anyway, as we both agreed, the tree actually had to go. It made that whole area very dark, was not attractive and the area was infested with slugs and snails. Last year when the tree was smaller, at least the lilies and tulbaghia flowered and it looked quite nice(ish), but this year the deep shade and mess it was causing made everything so dark in there that nothing was happy anymore. The lilies never flowered, the Tulbaghia were falling over and not flowering, none of the annuals I planted in there grew … no amount of TLC was making any difference and to top it all, the tree made an incredible mess. Everywhere.

So … regretably, this tree finally had to go and on Thursday the deed was done – and I didn’t cry this time :).

Here are the pics of before and after. We’ve kept the Star Jasmine growing on the trellises, I added the bird bath which was intended for the back garden (not sure if it will stay here though), left the Tulbaghia (not sure about those either) and moved all the shade plants to the back where they filled in some gaps. Here are the “before” and “after” pics (click to enlarge).

[one_half]Before: Thursday with the treeBefore: With the tree[/one_half]

[one_half_last]After: Today without the treeAfter: Without the tree[/one_half_last]

I would love to make this a gorgeous, flowering garden and as it gets lots of sun now I think I may have many options. I’ll need to do lots of reasearch and planning before I can go shopping for plants though … I want to get this right as it will be my very first “garden design” project I do all by myself. The only thing I don’t want to change is the Star Jasmine creepers – I love those and now that they get plenty of light I think they will fill the walls beautifully.

For this weekend my plan is to add compost to the soil, clean up the area, get rid of dead leaves etc. and start planning … Any suggestions and advice will be MOST welcome!

Have a happy weekend and don’t work too hard.