March is a great month for planting. We’re currently adding a variety of shrubs and perennials to these gardens. Some fill holes left by stormy weather last year and others begin new beds. We’re always excited to reduce the amount of lawn here!
Because spiraea are so easy and lovely, we added an arching variety, Spiraea nipponica ‘Snowmound,’ along the stream. The one-gallon youngster should flourish in years to come to resemble this specimen from Crocus Nursery in the UK:
I’ve always been an admirer of flowering quince, Chaenomeles speciosa, yet have never grown one. In particular I’ve oohed and aahed over unusual varieties. Thanks to Joy Creek Nursery, I was able to purchase two young ‘Toyo Nishiki’ plants by mail, and they have a new home along the stream. Last year we lost a couple of trees in this area due to high winds and have been taking our time selecting lower-growing alternatives in the windswept location. The quince bushes will grow to be 8′ x 8′ and fill this area beautifully with red, white and pink blossoms within clusters in late winter. What a pleasure it will be to bring cuttings indoors, especially since this variety is thornless. First photo shows our babies prior to planting and second is from a site called The Lovely Plants:
Lupine Hill, shown in May 2014, is in danger of being overrun by weeds, so I’m out there frequently with trowel in hand.
We’re expanding the planted area’s borders in an effort to again reduce lawn, adding more lupine and eventually some type of edging that should help tremendously with weed spread from the adjacent lawn. This large area is bordered by beautiful lilacs on one side, and features lupine, irises, lady’s mantle, perennial cornflower, and overabundant yarrow. Interspersed ground covers include ajuga and wild strawberries. Lupine Hill is definitely a work in progress!
Another baby shrub from Joy Creek, clove currant or Ribes odoratum will have a new home below the main deck along the black fence. Its early yellow flowers and heady fragrance will be welcome early spring features each year. A photo of our infant and one from awaytogarden.com:
Lastly, we’ve wanted to add Pieris japonica here at Coppertop, since the fragrant evergreen shrubs do well in the northwest. At a local garden center we located four generous plants just coming into bloom. Thanks to Hubby, out will go a stretch of lawn along one fence and in will go the four pieris. They complement the nearby flowering plum tree. Our plan is to add to a newly-mulched bed with low plants in front and bulbs in the fall.
A bonus for all the plantings is the rain we’ve received, allowing the new additions to establish themselves and make themselves right at home at Coppertop.