Savannah Garden Diary

December 28, 2007

Cleaning up the Patio

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Killer afternoon making the patio more respectable. Don’t know that my tendonitis-ridden ankle will ever recover. The toughest bit was dividing the Phyllostachys nigra (black bamboo).

Here is one in a pot looking beautiful soon after the patio was built. But I drowned this one with irrigation when we were in California. Although they like plenty of water, they also need drainage! That left one pot. I was inclined to kill it off and put something really easy like skyrocket junipers in the pots. But when I hacked the survivor to the ground in November, it bravely put up lots of new growth, so I decided it deserved to live. They’re horribly expensive, so I had to divide it to fill the other pot. This took half an hour with the (blunt) axe.

I went to Ace this morning for paint for the blue bench in front, but got distracted by Hester & Zipperer. So instead of just weeding, hacking the vines, and getting leaves and crud off the patio, I also had annuals to plant.

Also a Daphne odora over which to dither. I think it needs dry, dense shade, and I can’t decide where to put it. The one out front is not a doer, perhaps because it gets too much sun. That’s the second one that’s let me down here, and I can’t think why. The one at Walthour Road was spectacular, stuck under a live oak and never watered.

Flats of violas and snapdragons, but I also wanted something that might survive on the patio. The beds near the house have got awfully dry and shady, what with all the vines, and the usual annuals don’t do well there. I’m trying Nemesia fruticans ‘Compact Innocence’ and Diaschia x ‘Flying Colors Orange.’ I was going to add some Lamium maculatum, which I keep meaning to try, but I think it likes loads of water, which it ain’t going to get in a flower bed, so I put that in a couple of planters over by the shed.

Prunus mume ‘Peggy Clarke’ is blooming in back. Or at least it has a few flowers fully open. I guess it gets more sun than the one in front. I find this a slightly vicious pink, so the two I bought from Woodlanders this year are ‘Bonita’ instead. My absolute favorite, I think is ‘Rosemary Clarke,’ which is nearly white, but I have managed to kill both of mine. I really can’t imagine why, since they are said to dislike wet feet, which nobody gets in my garden outside of the bog.

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