Renovating The Perennial Border, Part 1

Perhaps you recall that last summer I spent a month in Costa Rica. During that time, Kirk took care of the garden by himself. He did a great job keeping up with the vegetables, but there wasn't any time left for just one person (with a day job) to keep up the perennial border.

So this year it needed a lot of work. All the weeds that weren't pulled last year went to seed, so I had my work cut out for me in that department. There were also some plants that didn't make it through the winter and others that were in serious need of dividing. 

The best part of summer vacation is having the time to get lost in an outdoor task, and that's just what I did this past weekend. Or maybe week. It's nice to forget what day it is, too.

Anyway, here's the result of the perennial border overhaul. This section will take us from the garden gate along the driveway to the corner of the bed. 

Immediately outside the garden gate at the top of the driveway is a clematis vine that is finally starting to climb. Beneath the tree peony nearby are two hostas, a sedum ground cover, and miniature red petunias.

Farther down you can see the new rose trellises, which the canes have begun to climb (though the roses are past their prime blooming season now). Between the trellises are some Japanese daisies, there's also a peony, a very large mound of geraniums, some Jacob's ladder, more red petunias, and a ground cover veronica. This section has filled in really nicely.

In the center of this side of the border is a giant mass of Siberian irises. These really spread, so I had to chop them back away from our tiny (but blooming!) hydrangea. There are also white coneflowers and a pair of snow-in-summer mounds. The small one is new, but they fill in fast.

On the other side of the Siberian iris stand is another peony, but it's hidden in this view by more white coneflower. I also put a few white snapdragons in behind the snow-in-summer to fill in the gap there. Farther to the left is our other hydrangea, and behind that are some delphinium. These are slightly purplish, but when the sun is bright, they look white.

On the corner is the other set of rose trellises (you can see a few last blooms against the house). In front of that is the azalea and more Siberian iris. I chopped out a space between them for a specimen planting of sedum "Autumn Joy." In the front is more groundcover sedum ("Tricolor"), which looks really nice when it starts to spill over the stone wall. In front of the azalea is also another Japanese daisy (they are tiny).

This is the full view from the corner back up to the top of the driveway. There's not a lot in boom at this moment, but if I had planted the snapdragons sooner, they'd be blooming now. 

This photo also highlights the sad condition of our driveway, which is in serious need of repaving. It's all broken near the wall, so it's all very weedy and post-apocaplytic. Hopefully we'll be able to save our pennies to have it redone for next summer.


  1. What a lovely perennial border. I think the fact that they evolve over time make them more fun to work with. I'm always moving things around in the garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much! I do love this section because it has filled in so well in most spots. I'm learning to love change, at least in the garden!


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