Several years ago a strong wind storm uprooted a large elm tree at the east end of David and Marilee Breedlove’s large yard. The trees on either side survived the storm. Rather than plant a replacement tree, Marilee decided to create a flower garden there. The results are spectacular. In addition her neighbors to the east are pleased to have this splash of color near their driveway.
The garden is edged in irregularly shaped flagstones that are placed at ground level around the outside of the planting bed and also form a walkway to provide access through the center of the bed. It was not an easy task to get them placed so that they form a level walkway.
The west edge of the bed is planted with Lamb’s Ear that features fuzzy silver leaves. In the spring blooms appear but don’t last very long and are removed after being spent. It is a perennial and for best results should be planted in full sun in soil that hasn’t been amended with fertilizer. The east side of the flower bed, not seen in the picture, features a border of Rose Moss also known at Portulaca.
A large variety of Day Lilies and Asiatic lilies fill the north portion of the bed where Marilee is standing in the picture. These lilies provide a beautiful accent to that portion of the bed and will grow in larger clumps over the years.
A large planting of Russian Sage is in the right section of the picture. This perennial plant provides interest almost year around. Its silvery leaves brighten the garden before the purple flowers begin to appear. During the fall and winter its silvery appearance is attractive. (The garden writer, Steve Owens, points out that this plant originates from a single stem and cannot be divided. You need to get your start from a garden center. He also recommends that the plant be cut back to 6 – 12 inches in the fall or early spring when new leaves emerge to encourage full bushy growth the next growing season.)
Flowers not shown in the photograph include lavender, daisies, coreopsis, black eyed Susans, and other perennials. This garden is a great example of how the loss of a tree eventually led to a very attractive addition to a beautiful yard.
A side note: When David and Marilee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year, they marked the occasion by having Daniel Ratcliff re-landscape their front yard plus install a fountain and additional landscaping beside their patio on the south side of their home. They will be able to enjoy their yard year around with these important additions.