Small Flowerbed


Well, let me start off by saying that this was something of a spur-of-the moment project.  I have been considering for some time making a little flower bed out of a small patch of lawn between my sidewalk and south fence.  But I wasn’t really sure, and hadn’t made any definite plans.  However, I was at Lowes today picking up some things, and after wandering into the garden section, I decided to buy some plants.

I came home and started digging out the tough clay and rock.  I did make a pass with the rototiller yesterday in this spot, but not a very deep one, so it didn’t help me much.

Since this is my yard, of course I ran into some oddity buried in the ground.  In this case, it appears to be a metal fence post used with barbed-wire fences.  I dug a hole down about two feet, and still couldn’t pull it out.  So I gave up and left it.  Why is this thing here?  I also dug out a few other metal pieces.  Living in an older house is a constant puzzle about what has happened in the past.  Tearing into your walls or digging up your yard provides an opportunity for armchair archaeology.

I dug out the poor soil a few inches down.  It really should have been deeper, but I was tired of digging.  Then I stopped to lay out the plants in their pots, to get a general idea of where I wanted to place them.  I also put in a couple pieces of cedar fence boards, in a dubious attempt to separate the flowerbed from all the weeds growing under the fence.

Next I brought in some topsoil and compost, over a layer of newspapers as I’ve done before.  Then I sprinkled on some “plant food” fertilizer that I picked up at Lowes.  Their selection was pretty meager, and they certainly didn’t have any of the healthy organic-sounding stuff that Portland Nursery would have, so I just had to go with what was available.  I raked that in and watered it down a bit.

After that, it was finally time for planting.  Now that I was done with all the backbreaking work, the sun was going down and it was nice and cool.

Once everything was in place, I put some cedar mulch around the plants.  By then I didn’t have much daylight to work with, so I don’t have a clear photo of that.  I’ll also have to take some individual pictures of the different plants, but for now I will try to describe what they are, using the photo above on the right as a guide.

The low bright green groundcover is Scotch Moss (sagina subulata ‘aurea'), and unfortunately it didn’t work so well with the mulch, since it is so low to the ground.  Also, I didn’t know how close together I needed to plant it.  Might have been a bad choice there, but, it was pretty cheap.

The sort of bluegreen leafy thing is Helene Von Stein Lamb’s Ear (stachys byzantina), and the leaves have a soft, furry texture, hence the name.

The dark green spreading plant next to that is Bowles Variety Myrtle (vinca minor), and should have fairly large blue flowers (you can see one tiny bloom for now).

Behind that is a Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flower (scabiosa caucasia).

Next is an African Daisy (osteospermum).  There was no info tag for this plant, so I don’t know the specific specie or cultivar.

Near that is a Blue Star Juniper (juniperus squamata).  This may eventually get as large as three feet by four feet, but it’s slow-growing.

Then there are two Grace Ward Lithodoras (lithodora diffusa), with tiny, but intensely blue, flowers.

And last, but not least, a Sea Breeze Seaside Daisy (erigeron glaucus).


Today we had a record high temperature in the 90’s, and my new flowers really took a beating.  Particularly, the two Lithodoras have wilted over, and I don’t think they’re going to make it.