The island garden at the front of my house was built in May 1999. The trees were planted in early summer and the perennials in place by mid summer. The Chrysanthemums were planted in September 1999 and the Dahlias which are currently in storage for winter bloomed profusely both seasons.
The picture to the left is how the idea began. The focal point is a big fieldstone with a variety of trees, perennials etc to follow. The picture to the right illustrates the difference and was taken in October 2000.
In July of this year (2000) I purchased a dwarf variety of a tree that is one of my all time favourites. It is a Magnolia liliiflora. This pretty variety attains a height of approximately ten feet with fragrant, upright vase-shaped, purplish pink flowers. Although I did not have an area prepared I quickly perused the gardens and located an ideal spot for a new bed.
The picture to the left displays the tree in its new setting. The picture to the right was taken in September. In just three short months the bed portrays a garden brimming with plants and colour. The Celosia is an Amazon variety and is the focal point of the garden in autumn. The plants filling out the bed are a variety of perennials. A relative gave me a few small clumps of geraniums that have been thriving in their garden for over twenty-five years. The geraniums are a splendid shade of cerise in spring and early summer and I had no idea they would spread so rapidly. After the flowering period I will divide and use the cuttings for friends, relatives and other gardening beds.
Also next year I will allow more space for the tree to branch out and move the Celosia to a new home. This particular variety seeds itself down in the fall so you have several new plants each year. A lady who lives a block away was kind enough to give me seeds last fall and the plants did so well this year. The Celosia you are currently viewing was planted in July (2000). The fence is six feet high and the Celosia is about a foot higher. I attribute the height to the soil mixture I used. For each plant a mix of one part peat, one part compost, one part topsoil and a big handful of Bonemeal is generously used to produce healthy plants. The woman who gave me the seeds has numerous plants in her yard and they are approximately five feet tall. Soil is the foundation for your plant and the basis for plants, structures and relationships depends upon the foundation.