Bed 4

When we moved in to this house 25 years ago, I made a lot of perennial beds but had no hardscape structures or mature trees. Over the years we have renovated sections of the garden and of course the plants have matured and grown. I am pleased that each bed seems to have taken on its own personality lately. I have "names" for each bed so I know where I am planting what but even those have changed. Originally they were Beds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 whereas now they are nicknamed the Front, the Elaine bed, the Gnome bed, Bed 4, The Oak tree bed and the Vortex bed. (!!)
Bed 4 is halfway down the southwest side of the yard beside the pool pump. It's the only one that has retained its original name. Certain plants such as the spruce tree and the shrub rose have exploded in size. Many of the perennials are the originals, others are new. But there is great camaraderie among them so I thought I would show these successful combinations to you.

I have attempted to keep the gentle curved shape by edging sharply in the spring. I actually need to carve it out wider under the spruce because it's so hard to mow the grass under there. The main large plants are (from right to left) a spruce tree that was brought as a sapling from Northern Ontario, a shrub rose that's gone berserk this year in size, a graceful weeping Norway Spruce that still retains its elegant shape, a very ordinary do-nothing Rose of Sharon ( but it was a gift so I keep it) and a common lilac shrub, that bloomed its head off this spring!

The lilac in bloom

A close-up of the Weeping Norway Spruce

In the spring came a lovely group of bright red Darwin tulips. The stone fish wasn't yet being smothered by the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' so it's still deeper in. I had already planted 3 of the succulents: Sedum and Sempervivum.

When the tulips and muscari faded, in came the Siberian Iris and small yellow Allium moly.

As the Hosta emerged ( 3 clumps of Blue Wedgewood and a transplanted chunk of 'Great Expectations') and the Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' filled out, I moved the Fish to a more prominent position. I also bought several more drought tolerant plants. They are now starting to bloom.

This is a new one that caught my eye: Sempervivum x hybrid 'Commander Hay'. It was big, interesting and cheap. I bought 3 in total. Extremely drought tolerant once established. They are easy to propagate - just remove the small baby rosettes and replant in a new location.

I thought this neon yellow sedum would fit nicely with a bed that is mostly green, stone blue and fall hues. This is Sedum rupestre (reflexum) 'Angelina'. It has a long, lanky habit.

Once I became totally enamoured with these succulents, I just ran right out and bought another one! Above is Sempervivum arachnoideum - Spider Web Hens and Chicks. Before it started to bloom, the rosettes seemed to be covered in spiderwebs.

Here are a few more shots of how well they blend together.

The daylilies are ready to bloom and the huge shrub rose will start to develop hips.

Helianthus are starting to bloom and in August the Red and Gold Fall Helenium will emerge (new this year).

Bed 4 has turned into a great 4 seasons show that has unusual plants that somehow co-exist well and even show each other off really brilliantly.

Please check my food blog - the latest recipe posted is Spinach Cavatappi Gratin.