Friday, July 20, 2012

Filling in the Blanks

Day 169
The Daily DuBrule

I just recently cut down a GIGANTIC bleeding heart in my main perennial border. Nature abhores a vacuum; immediately, a neighboring cat decided to move in! Meet "Gray Shirt", not his real name, but our name for the friendly feline who is one of the many visitors to our yard. He posed for me to help me demonstrate just how large of a gap this early spring perennial left. 

Yesterday I visited a client who had a small shade garden under a large dogwood. She commented that it looked bad and something was wrong. Well, there were five old fashioned bleeding hearts turning yellow and going dormant, many of them right in the front sections of the bed. Of course it looked bad. I suggested that all but one of them be moved to another area of the yard, behind a hillside of daylilies, so they could bloom and go dormant and not be noticed as the daylilies would take up the slack. That is exactly what we are going to do.

Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'
Large gaps in the garden at this time of year can be so frustrating and so challenging. My solution in my own gardens is to plant tender perennial Salvias. These plants grow big FAST. They bulk up quickly, bloom from now until late October, attract hummingbirds, and are not bothered by heat, humidity, and drought. Some of my favorites include 'Indigo Spires', 'Wendy's Wish', 'Van Houttei', and 'Black and Blue'. I discovered these durable plants over 20 years ago and have been using them to fill in the blanks ever since.

Salvia 'Van Houttei' in my courtyard

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