June 8, 2012

The Red and White Garden

OVERVIEW: Red and white garden, straight ahead, left.
Orange and yellow garden on the near left by a new path cut-through.
Green shrubbery (osmanthus fragrans and hollies) on the right.  June 2012
The "red" in my "red and white garden" is delivered through monarda 'Jacob Cline' along with a mass planting of bright red salvia greggii, crocosmia 'Lucifer'. The red salvia blooms first, followed by the monarda, then the crocosmia.

The white daisies are planted uphill and for now, provide most of the "white" in this garden. Note: A yellow-blooming St. John's Wort shrub (left of the bench) provides the axis between the "red and white garden" and the "orange and yellow garden." The yellow centers of the daisies tie in with the yellow blooms of the shrub.

Up the hill: White shasta daisies sown from seeds provide
contrast to the red monarda 'Jacob Cline'. June 2012

View from lower path: The blade foliage of crocosmia 'Lucifer' is surrounded by
monarda 'Jacob Cline. June 2012
Monarda is a favorite hummingbird feeder! June 2012.
Salvia greggii 'Navajo Bright Red' in lower left corner
bloomed again on June 11. Post updated to add photo.

Not yet in bloom is a recently-planted persicaria polymorpha that will provide white blooms in future years. I'm very excited about the giant fleeceflower and hope the white blooms will be in synch with the monarda. I've coveted this plant, having seen it used in several vignettes on Nan Ondra's Hayefield blog. I tried this perennial in 2010, but it couldn't get established in our drought with 90 days over 90 degrees. This year, we've had plenty of rain and cool temperatures and the fleeceflower has quadrupled in size since being planted in early May.


A eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' and asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet' are also in the mix for foliage and additional white blooms. The 'Chocolate' should mature between four and five feet in a few years, making more of an impact with the red monarda.

Gaillardia, nigella and perennial hardy ageratum 'Wayside' (eupatorium coelestinum name has likely changed) have been allowed to free-range as ground-cover at the feet of the monarda and I pull out these to adjust the vignette.

A few of my Japanese iris had to be divided last fall, so I stuck those in as well. The divided sections haven't bloomed this year, so I don't know if I was lucky enough to transplant white 'Mt. Fuji' or if I moved purple! Time will tell and I'll adjust accordingly as I've now marked my white bloomers in the deer resistant meadow garden!

Deer will occasionally nip the iris blooms during the birthing season. This typically happens when a doe wants to stay close to her fawn and rather than going out to forage with the herd, the mother forages in my garden. The damage is usually minimal and I must admit that after seeing the fawns up close, sometimes sleeping in my garden during the day, I tend to forgive the damage.

Even though this is a section of the deer resistant garden, I've created color vignettes here that set it apart from what I call my "deer resistant meadow garden" that is located after a left turn at the big willow.


Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' was recently added
(primarily for the foliage), but will bloom white.
Gaillardia (in bloom), nigella (seed pod top left),
eupatorium colestrium 'Wayside' (will bloom blue),
 are allowed to self-sow. June 2012.
Step back and imagine eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' taller
and blooming white with the monarda 'Jacob Cline'. June 2012
Green/white striped Miscanthus 'Cosmopolitan'
needs another year to make a good show. June 2012

A green/white variegated miscanthus 'Cosmopolitan' and spring-blooming white itea 'Little Henry' are other white plants. The itea has finished blooming and the miscanthus, a division of my larger original, should be more noticeable when it grows up next year.

An osmanthus fragrans, another white-blooming shrub is on the right side of the bench. I keep this one pruned to a lower height than the "wall" of osmanthus on the right side of path. When the osmanthus blooms, usually three times a year, the fragrance is glorious!

Red and white—I like the contrast and look forward to the future to see if this design still pleases when all the players add their roles in the color scheme.


Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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