Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Filling the gaps
You’ve all heard me bemoaning the shade and tree roots that make it very difficult to get any kind of color into my front yard. Even aggressive ground covers have a hard time colonizing some of this densely canopied space.
Nonetheless, I’ve been reluctant to bring more containers into the area, as I’m not sure about the mixed aesthetic message that a ground cover, shrub, and perennial planting combined with containers would give. Until now. In desperation, I decided to bring a couple large containers into the mix. They held tulips in the spring and are now planted with colocasia, “fusion” impatiens and hedera hybrids. It seems to be working out OK so far, but I would hate them to be the thin edge of a wedge of artificial elements in the front.
Many on the street have the same problem, and are solving it with pavement, gravel, containers and —invariably, when all else fails—hosta. These solutions are all very well, but I would like to have other plants than hosta. That’s where the containers come in. They are free of tree roots, and they have a bit of height. This seems to help the plants capture a bit of dappled light. If it works out, I may eventually replace them with some heavier iron vessels. The traditional appearance of these Victorian urns will better reconcile them to front yard use.