June 12, 2014

Thinking Outside the Drive-Way

There's nothing like a long, pleasant spring and a bunch of garden tours to motivate and inspire.  These tours always cause me to come home and look at my garden with fresh eyes.  After gardening in the same spot for fifteen years, I can easily become narrow-viewed to the potential for new ideas.

While touring with my friend Pam, I mentioned not having much space left to garden and she simply replied, "oh, there's always more space."   Such a matter-of-fact statement that she probably doesn't even recall saying caused me to scrutinize any available spaces. 

So I came home and started ripping out grass in a skinny little strip at the drive-way's edge.  The soil is beautiful after years of decomposing leaf litter.  It gets morning sun and is shaded by the house during the heat of the day.  In other words, this is prime gardening real estate!

Then I went in and shopped the house.  This old iron piece was perfect for vertical gardening.  It probably comes as no surprise that I happened to have a few plants on hand.  Gulf Coast penstemon, a red passion flower vine, red salvia coccinea and fall aster (not shown) were among my choices.  The name of the plant to the left rear escapes me...anyone know?  **Edit: Many thanks to Steph at Rambling Wren for her id which led me in the right direction; the plant is called Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon'**

The passion vine is tender here in zone 8 so I will either grow it as an annual or if it's just too happy and I love it, I'll take a cutting this fall.

So far it's happy and I love it ♥

The best part of this new found little bed is that it sits right outside the laundry room window.  The transformed view is so much more inviting than the plain, worn fence ever was!


  1. The red passion flower vine looks perfect on your trellis!

    Is the plant you are referring to on the left a Firebush or painter's palette plant?

    1. Steph, thank you! Your suggestion pointed me in the right direction...Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' - or knotweed...Thank you!! I knew it was dragon something but couldn't remember and thought it had something to do with bearded dragon...anyway, again, many thanks! Cat

  2. I think with a view like that I'd often be found standing in front of my washer/dryer and gazing out the window (not actually doing laundry, mind you, just laundry-adjacent). So lovely. Hope your blooms weathered all the wind and rain last night with no worries (and how much fun to talk about weather that isn't only always about heat or drought!).

  3. It is beautiful Cat and what a bonus to have that good soil in which your new plants can grow. Plus, perfect sun and shade requirements for just about everything you want to grow in Texas. We all need more of that.

  4. Looks good.
    Love that red passion flower.

  5. When you start thinking about removing a few inches from the driveway to make room for more plants, *that's* when you know it's time for help. :)

  6. I love it! I agree with Pam that there's always more room. It just means less grass. :o) Love the red against the iron. :o)

  7. How nice to have that decorative iron piece available! I really like everything you've done in that spot. Thanks for the challenge to try some new decorative pieces and plants in a new way. :)

  8. Love the iron trellis. It shows off the green and the red bloom very well.

  9. Oh, how beautiful. That iron piece fits fantastic! Would love to have it! So wunderful!
    Have a happy time!
    All the best from Austria

  10. I love that you didn't go shopping, but repurposed the old iron piece that you already had and used it for your vine. It looks terrific Cat.

  11. Love the red- they are all so pretty but the red is beautiful!!! Looks great!

  12. Wonderful Cat and inspiring...I agree with Pam there is always room...beautiful iron fence and blooms.

  13. What a gorgeous trellis! I'd love to see that while doing laundry.

  14. Your new planting is completely charming, but what I really love about this post is how you 'shopped the house.' Isn't it great to have a supply of odd peculiar and sometimes broken stuff to turn to in times of garden need? (Not to mention extra plants on hand.) That iron piece was perfect. I have a pair of metal terriers facing each other on a little curved thing-- off an old free-standing hotel lobby type ashtray. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and someday they will become essential.


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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