Year 3 ::: The Grasses Bed

This post has been under construction for a good three years now...
Thanks to Fiskars for providing the pruning tools used in this job.

Starting in 2014:


Otherwise known as "chicken hunting land", this is the grasses bed.

Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
BEFORE

You might remember this particular bed from a post I did last fall -- READ IT HERE.
Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
BEFORE
These photos are from the spring after we moved in. Believe it or not, this bed was much much worse when we first bought the house. 
There are eight mature ornamental grass clumps that had grown wildly out of control along with a host of tough weeds, including weedy trees.

Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
BEFORE

2015-2016

We had the grasses trimmed (a yearly chore) and the entire bed sprayed to kill absolutely everything. Typically, I try to use organic methods and manual removal to control weeds, but this bed was simply too much to handle. Once sprayed, the bed was mulched and a few small plants went in.
Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
Fall 2016
Below is the bed from the other side where you can see the baby bits of green. In the corner are sedum cuttings that I rooted myself and then barely visible is some carex (a short, small grass) and soapwort (a native plant that will hang over the edge a bit). You might also see the bits of English Ivy along the edges and in between stones. I want to keep the ivy to soften the edges of the stone and as a treat for the sheep (they adore ivy). English ivy is used throughout the property and while it can be invasive, it really suits all the rock walls we have.

Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
Fall 2016, ivy, sedum starts and grasses visible
Below is the view coming up the driveway: 

My plan is to use deep reddish sedum, hydrangea blooms that fade to a dusky red
 and Russian sage or catmint to complement the mature red bushes to the right of the driveway.
Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
Colors in the grasses bed will complement reds on the right of the driveway.
Stonecrest Manor Grasses Bed Revival with Sedum Catmint Ornamental Grasses and Hydrangea
Stone wall to be softened with sedums and catmint.
Eventually, I would also like to focus on this bed in springtime. At the moment, it will be a bunch of greens and show off once fall comes. 
A host of daffodils might be in the works for next year all along the edges of the wall.


March 2017


HELLO SPRINGTIME!


The daffodils have arrived! 

I was able to split big clumps of daffodils to fill in all along between the rock wall and grasses right as the daffodils were getting ready to bud. A week later and they have all perked up and some have started blooming. Daffodils are one of those tough-as-nails plants that can be transplanted almost any time of year (save the dead of winter). Don't let people warn you that they can ONLY be moved in the fall (when you have forgotten where they ARE!). I move them in early spring because I can SEE all the clumps and many will go ahead and bloom for me.  Case in point:


The grasses got a haircut:


These pruners are also in the new Fiskars line of pruning tools. They squeeze in an almost twisting motion instead of straight, making them easier for long periods and for those with arthritis.  Eight giant clumps of grass though and I had a blister :/ I didn't want to wait for the chainsaw though, so hand pruning it was!


It isn't the prettiest with a few still saggy daffodil clumps and shaved grasses, BUT this bed is coming along. 

Here is my "final" plan:


The bushes on either side of the grasses are large Annabelle hydrangeas (you can see where they are below by the yellow flags
and the last addition planned for this summer is lavender and maybe catmint along the edges and little filler clumps of bunny tail grasses by seed.

It is coming along!


Moral of the story...gardening takes YEARS and there are still days (or seasons) when it is still ugly.

Worth it?  I say YES!

UPDATE - Spring/Summer 2017

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Comments

Christi said…
It is looking lovely! I am that immediate gratification girl; that is the hardest part of gard Ning for me!
Amy Renea said…
Thanks Christi -- a work in progress! I like instant gratification too!! I think that is why I bounce back and forth between decorating inside (instant!) and working outside (forevvvvvvvver!) :)

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