Perennial Border Redux
As the flowers and plants of the perennial border grew in this spring and summer, it became clear that a few things weren't working out the way I had planned. One of the biggest issues was that these echinacea look great, but are doing so well that they are much taller than the wormwood and decorative grass behind them:
So I dug out both silvery wormwood plants and moved them. One has a new home here, right at the part of the bed that curves around to the driveway:
This nicely fills in a hole left by digging up the incredibly invasive gooseneck loosestrife that was there previously. At the nursery they suggested that this more "cultivated" variety of loosestrife wouldn't take over the bed, but that turned out to be completely wrong. It formed a very dense mat of roots, but hopefully we got enough of it out that we can control any shoots that try to come up between the nice plants. In the spot where the other gooseneck loosestrife was I bought a nice big bee balm plant:
This should fill in the hole pretty quickly, and that shot of red in all the white should look good next summer. For some rhythm throughout the border, I added another bee balm plant here, in front of the roses near the corner of the house:
In front of the bee balm is the white decorative grass that was previously hidden by the echinacea. The bee balm takes the place of a small white hydrangea that I put in last summer. Poor thing! It was never happy in this spot, which is very sunny and hot. So I dug it up and moved it to the driveway side of the bed, where it will get at least some afternoon shade:
It's pretty sad looking right now, but I hope that it likes its new home. There is another hydrangea on this side of the house that does well, so once it gets over the transplant shock, it should (hopefully) be ok.
I filled in the holes left by the wormwood and grass with Siberian irises from the spot where I put the hydrangea. I really like the way they looked with the echinacea, and now there's even more of that combination:
Finally, I ended up digging up the gaura near the front door. Although it looked great last year, it really got kind of scrappy and leggy this year, and overgrew its spot. Also, it came back in a pinker shade than it was last year, so I pulled it out. I replaced it with some hardy baby's breath and lamb's ear. Behind them is the other wormwood plant as well. It was looking pretty droopy by late afternoon in this hot spot, but silvery plants like lamb's ear and wormwood should do well in hot, dry conditions once they get a good start.
These are still in pots in the photo, but I did manage to get it all planted and watered in. We'll have to wait until next year to see if it all really turns out the way I have planned, but for the most part the perennial border is looking excellent!