Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday wonders - X

X is for Xeriscape.

Aridity isn't a problem in our neighborhood and so we don't often need to create a garden that will thrive without water. Nor is hot sun usually an issue. But one part of our garden space was a challenge.Between our garage and sidewalk we have a very narrow strip of ground which we struggled to make look better.

We decided that we had to do some research to put in appropriate plants for this space which became blistering hot on sunny summer days with it's southwest exposure. The strip of earth also didn't get a lot of the rainwater since it was under the garage overhang.

We came up with a groundcover that has year-round interest: geranium macro-rhizome. It has lovely big soft leaves that have a powerful scent when touched. Spring brings pretty pale pink flowers that stand high over the leaves. In the fall, the edges of the leaves turn various shades of red with the green. It remains green all winter and manages the dry heat well in summer. Perfect.

Its runners roots loosely and it's easy to create 'holes' to allow other plants to grow.

We also have bright chrome-yellow yarrow which dazzles from early summer through the fall.

Globe thistles have grown tall and are now on their second growth. Here's a baby bloom:

The milkweed ( see photo above right of this post) dies down just as the hollyhocks begin to bloom. They are now arcing gracefully over the geranium and giving us delicate color along this wall.

The letter X was the hardest in this challenge - so far.


Anonymous said...

I admire the number of blogs that you post in a week. With your colours on Monday and Tuesday, will you be starting a new challenge for Sunday when the current series ends? I am not sure that I could keep to the format but maybe that is what I need to keep focused. My favorite is P for pooped. I felt for you that day.

Joanna said...

I wondered what you might come up with for X. This is perfect! I have those geraniums in my garden too. Someone told me they're called Cranesbill Geraniums but I think it's the same plant. Mine do well in dry and wet environments.

What lovely photos you have in this post. I love the globe thistle. Aren't the old fashioned flowers just the best? Thanks for your comment on my flower post this morning. Have a peaceful Sunday.

Stephanie V said...

ff - I'm tempted just to start over at A again. Most weeks it's hard to focus down to one thing.

Joanna - you're right: these are also called Cranesbill. They are true geraniums and there are many around. We have about 6 different varieties in the garden. This one has much larger leaves than most (about 3 in.. Not all are as effective at covering the ground. Macro-rhizome nearly gallops along.

Mimi said...

That Geranium sounds like a fantastic plant, and I love the picture of the milkweed.
Geranium oil, in aromatherapy, is good as an anti-viral, so keep rubbing the leaves and releasing the oil this winter, and avoid swineflu!
I was wondering too whether you'll go back to A and start over again; I've really enjoyed this series.


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