Very, very verbena

Purty in pink.. My new "Lanai" Verbena

It’s taken me some time, but I’ve mostly filled in the very sad, dried-out beds near my front porch. (Nothing says “Welcome” like a dirt desert at the front door, right?)

Here’s a little “before” to jog your memories. (I am sure I could have won a Yard Crasher visit from that hot DYI guy Ahmed Hassan based on this picture, but I think you have to live in studio-friendly SoCal to get so lucky… damn!)

Well, I have good news to report, anyway. I’ve been putting in plants a few at a time for the past few weeks and think it’s finally looking… better! I’m utilizing what I’m calling the “building out” method. For me, this meant starting at the steps with taller plants, and planting progressively shorter out towards the “grass” where the beds end (and I use the term “grass” very, very loosely). And I am planting MUCH MORE densely this year than last, when my husband mocked me for measuring between the ill-fated begonias with a ruler as I planted. (When these little, uh, jerks failed, it was extra sad and funny to see the spaced-out little soggy stumps of failure and rot… it was so painfully obvious I’d left lots of space for them to flourish! Those spaces =ed dashed hope.) This year, I’m going for a, uh, lusher, non-dead look and I’m cramming more things in together. Figure plants elbowing each other for space will be an excellent problem to contend with.

So here are a few “after” shots. I give you Heuchera and Hosta in back, Sedum (various kinds), some wee purple Carita Raspberry Angelonia, some lilies (live but horrible-looking, eaten by bugs and none blooming), the new Verbena and some pretty little branchy orange blooms called Million Bells Crackling Fire — whoa! (Have to say the guy I bought them from was pretty fiery too, a local family-biz nursery owner who treated me to a giant rant on the evils of Home Depot — wow! Plant food for thought.)

Here’s the right side:

Here’s the left:

Front porch, left side

I think it’s a huge improvement! Still see some dirt, but it actually looks like a happy front walk now — someone lives here! someone cares !

This was an awesome day. I spent the morning playing Bob Marley on the stereo (yep, an actual record) and football in the living room with my baby, the afternoon sweaty, dirty and sun-burned in the yard… and now I am baking yellow cake with chocolate frosting* for three very handsome men.

Happy gardener, happy mom!

*This recipe uses a ton of eggs but it’s Marvin’s (my fabulous associate) and my favorite.


About plantkiller

Paysha Rhone is a wife, mother, former-journalist-turned-PR-maven and bad mamajama killing plants in the Victorian splendor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
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2 Responses to Very, very verbena

  1. Nic says:

    Looking good! Can totally relate to the ruler stage—it was one of our gardening approaches as well a couple kids and 4 garden iterations ago. Send cake!

  2. plantkiller says:

    Haha! I was so nerdy, reading all the little tags so carefully. I expected everything to get big! Very funny.

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