October 14, 2011

GBBD~From Baltic Avenue to Park Place

Have you ever given any thought to the similarity between your garden and Monopoly?

Never, you say?   Well, me either.   Until this week.

There are many varieties of property within my garden and some of them are desirable and some, unfortunately are not.  There are the really valuable Boardwalk-Park Avenue kind of beds.  Then there are the occasional mid-range Pacific Avenue-New York Avenue caliber properties.  And more often than not, there are the Baltic Avenue parcels.  You know the kind.  Shallow soil, poor drainage, too wet, too dry, rocky, weedy, over grown...




What does this have to do with Garden Blogger's Bloom Day?  Hang with me for a second...

My Baltic Avenue was really a Park Place in disguise.  It was hard to see the potential there because it was overgrown with shrubs and suffered from poor drainage.   This area in the front of the house gets morning sun and is the wettest part of my garden.  Why did it take me so long to realize that my best real estate was underutilized?




Early this spring the shrubs were removed and I built a small dry creek bed to encourage better drainage.  A small flagstone patio was also installed in front of the swing.  By the time the work was complete, the temperatures were steadily climbing into the 90's and planting perennials seemed a bad choice as they would just limp through the summer.


Instead, I loaded up on annuals and they are the stars of this October GBBD.  An added perk of delayed planting was time to consider what I really want this new bed to look like.  Here you see a cosmos being gently cradled in the leaf of a purple sweet potato vine.


A Japanese maple now stands where the Japanese holly was in the "before" photograph above.  Underneath two varieties of sweet potato vine mingle with silver ponyfoot (my new favorite ground cover).


The same view just pulled back a bit.  You can see the narrow leaf zinnia in the foreground with a few cosmos tucked in behind them, to the right is Thai basil, sweet potato vine spilling from the pot and the silver ponyfoot and Japanese maple to the left.


The Thai basil is used frequently in recipes but mostly I enjoy the richly hued stems and delicate blossoms.   The pollinators do too.


The area is bisected by a sidewalk leading to the front door.  This is the right side of the bed.  This area used to be consumed by Yaupon hollies.  I love the color that greets guests as they walk up to the house.  It is so much more welcoming and cheerful.


The narrow leaf zinnias have bloomed all summer and are now getting their second wind as a result of our recent showers and cooler temps.


The impatiens are having a revival too.  Honestly, the whole city is experiencing a jubilant revival.  The rain last weekend was so refreshing.


And not to be forgotten, the globe mallow is really beginning to put on a show in the back garden.  


The coneflowers have long since gone to seed but their understated, simple beauty can't be denied. 

Be sure to stop by and visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  She hosts this meme giving gardeners an opportunity to see what is blooming around the world on the 15th of every month.

Happy GBBD!



37 comments:

  1. I followed along. That part of the garden really did have Park Place in disguise. The Japanese Maple image really is a pretty vignette.

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  2. Love the late season coneflowers. Lot of flowers have a terrific afterlife that people don't take the time to appreciate. Glad you did!

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  3. What awesomeness with the bee approaching the Thai basel. Great pics. Happy bloom day garden blogger. Matti

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  4. Cat, is the silver ponyfoot related to Dichondra 'Silver Falls'? I grow Silver Falls as an annual here in Wisconsin and have always kept it in planters. I never thought about growing it as a ground cover, so now you have given me a new idea. Love how you compared your garden to a Monopoly game, I'd say all of your garden is Park Place!

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  5. aloha,

    i love your plant combinations with the maples and dark ipomea and chartreuse plantings...beautiful

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  6. Cat I had never thought of a garden as Monopoly property but I have to say I loved this...the transformation is amazing so far and I know you will be keeping us amazed as you continue with the design and plants. I also love purple basil. It is the only one I let flower because of how the blossoms look against the foliage...wonderful post!!

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  7. Really love the way you do your garden and pics, Cat... and the cosmos being craddled by the sweet potato leaf... nice...

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  8. Your pictures are so beautiful. Congrats on the stunning new real estate remodeling :)

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  9. What a great transformation Cat, I love the combination of richly coloured foliage and cheerful annuals. That last shot is beautiful, and proves that so many plants deserve to be left to stand through the winter to add interest - and bird food.

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  10. Love your photos - so artistic - the cone flower phot for me was the best!! Thank you for sharing. I wish I could grow Japanese Maples in my garden - I think it would be too hot!

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  11. I don't plant annuals and it is obviously a bad habit. The colour combination of the orange and pink zinnias against the lime sweet potato is Wow eye catching. Glad to hear the gardens are perking up.

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  12. Looks like I am not the only that let the basil flowers.

    Love the cone flower shot the most.

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  13. You are so right--it just takes a free moment to focus to realize the potential of any bed. I love the name ponyfoot.

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  14. I love all the color. The potato vines are so bright and brilliant and I am with you- the silvery ponyfoot is my new favorite ground cover. Sorry to hear the bunnies got your ice plant and the cuphea! Looks like they are leaving everything alone in the front though and it looks fantastic. Thanks on the compliment on the arrangement- I have to admit I was happy with the way it turned out.

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  15. What a transformation! A very beautiful entry way to your home and garden. If I can find it here, I will have to try that Thai Basil. Just beautiful!

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  16. Yes, I'm sure the basil is aromatic at this thyme of the year.

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  17. What an unique post! Beautiful photos as usual :) Happy GBBD!

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  18. What an imaginative post! My prime real estate is on the east side of the house. I can plant anything there and it grows. Your flower and plant combinations are just perfect. I really like the sweet potato vines. My purple one actually had a flower on it but it dropped before Bloom Day!

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  19. Monopoly and gardens - never thought of that one!

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  20. I like the way you use the sweet potato vine as a ground cover...very nice. And the comparison with Monopoly is a good one. If I looked, I am sure I could find some 'properties' within my garden. Happy GBBD!

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  21. Lovely post! Your colors are wonderful. Happy Bloom Day.

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  22. Cat, (btw what a great nickname), thanks for stopping by the cool and crisp post. I added more photos to the post from this morning you might like.

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  23. The new planting is beautiful but I think no rabbits or deer there! That coneflower is stunning. I must look closely at mine but I don't think they are quite so artistic.

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  24. Fabulous! I agree - all the color is much more inviting. And how wonderful to find a Park Place under Baltic Avenue! I suspect there are a lot of Park Places we don't utilize. Have fun deciding your permanent plantings. Happy GBBD!

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  25. My favourites are your foliage plants and the different colours and shapes of the leaves - I could find plenty of monopoly types in my garden too.

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  26. What a great idea--thanks for the inspiration! I definitely have many different types of property in my garden, too. Amazing photos, as always, Cat!

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  27. Beautiful colors and textures there on Park Place. What a wonderful comparison.

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  28. Love how you've used so many annuals in that bed Cat. There's just a ton of colour there and it's very eye catching. I'm starting to love annuals here as they just seem to produce so much colour and the pollinators really like them.

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  29. Beautiful! I love all your annual combos; I like to use them, too, in places where I want time to decide what perennials to put in. But yours look so good, you might want to plant them every year! Happy for you and all the Austin gardeners finally getting some much-needed rain.

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  30. Hi Cat, Your Park Place flowerbed is a huge improvement on Baltic Avenue. I like the mix of foliage colors, especially that dark eggplant colored Sweet Potato vine.

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  31. What a transformation...a HUGE improvement! I think you are so smart to give it time to decide what you really want to put there...I wish I had done the same at times :-) I love the mixing of the two Sweet Potatoes, no matter how often I see them, I still think they are just amazingly great plants...so versatile and beautiful.

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  32. What a fun post! The place looks awesome! Are you going to leave some room for annuals again next year?

    Your photos are excellent, too. I love the one with the bird eaten seed heads of the coneflowers.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my GBBD post. I hope those marigolds seed themselves. I need to remember to collect some seeds as well.

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  33. The impatiens pot has some really nice color - pretty impressive that you have any of 'em still alive over our summer. Happy GBBD!

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  34. Inspiring post and great photos.
    I too wondered if ponyfoot is the same as dichondra, as I had been looking at it in the nursery just the other day. I googled, seems they are the same? I'd never heard the name ponyfoot before.

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  35. Oh, yes, sorry. Meant to reply sooner. The ponyfoot is the same as dichondra!

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  36. What a beautiful change and how welcoming with all that annual color! Out of curiosity, and not that it lasts that long, but what will you do in that space in winter? Put in a couple of evergreen-planted pots, maybe? Or go with winter annuals?

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  37. Hi Pam, I'm still trying to decide what perennials I want to plant there. I may take advantage of winter to put in a few small shrubs...boxwood, maybe. Or, I may just wait it out with some pansies...I'm not really sure yet! I don't know that I want to plant a lot right now with the drought forecast.

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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