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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