Sunday, March 30, 2014

No Cost Landscaping

Hello from the little town of Parsley!

So far, Parsley has survived rain, cold temperatures, and prowling critters. Today I want to share some of the placement and planting stories.

Barn and Farm House

Entire placement depended upon the proximity of the barn to the stone path. I have had the barn for a long time - my husband buying it on a trip and bringing it home. His intent was that we would have it in our yard for future grandchildren. The barn and animals are cast iron - very heavy; I have no idea how he carried them around on his business trip. Barn nor animals will ever tumble over in a windstorm like the resin houses can. My plan is to have the animals near the path for our three-year-old grandson to move around in the little pasture. They will not be too heavy for him either!

Barn and Houses

The rest of the placement involves a staggering of five various cottages and tiny homes that work well with whatever perspective the viewer may have from my home or different garden paths. Each abode is on a flat rock that protects the building from the damp earth and that I can easily level - but as you can see, I have not accomplished that perfect balance so far.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'
My plan always is to use first what I already have. To accomplish this step, I can never call this garden a miniature garden because that name goes officially with gardens that have miniature plants. Also Parsley is not a fairy garden because there are no fairy statuettes.

What I do have are small perennial groundcovers that are deer resistant and provide slope erosion control.

The first is Sedum rupestre Angelina, growing to 4 inches tall that has bright golden foliage that turns orange in fall.

Ajuga reptans
Second is ajuga. With spring, the ajuga is beginning to show great foliage of chocolate-purple to reddish bronze. While Angelina enjoys sunnier spots, ajuga will go to part or full shade. Ajuga will also like being near the rocks and moist, porous timbers. Later this spring, ajuga will have spikes of blue flowers. Height will be under six inches. It, too, is deer resistant and low maintenance.

Vinca minor

Third, I have transplanted vinca minor, an amazing groundcover that grows very quickly (invasive for some gardeners), has very shiny green foliage, and produces blue flowers. Even this small version seems a little too big for Parsley, so I will use it as a background to frame the town view.

Another groundcover I use to frame the view is creeping phlox. This slow-growing perennial likes full sun and allows other plants like spring bulbs to grow throughout its spreading beauty. Here is the blue creeping phlox in my front yard. I have plenty to choose for planting - remembering creeping phlox likes a moist first start.

Phlox subulata

Bishop's Weed: Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum'
Bishop's Weed will also be a vigorous framing plant in the shade where it has plenty room to spread.

Another rampant evergreen groundcover     is Creeping Jenny. This creeper does not mind damp soil, foot traffic, or other groundcovers. Invasive, this plant can be divided in spring or autumn and likes full  sun for its best color.

I planted only a few of each of these vigorous spreaders. Having these plants always insures that there is something to share or transplant.

Creeping Jenny: Lysimachia nummularia

To date, my Little Town landscaping has costs me nothing because I transplanted what I already had in my garden. My final post in this initial series will be about seeding and purchasing a few plants on my wishlist. See you then!