Last week we hired a yard service professional to dig up two large clumps of miscanthus in front of our house. Over the weekend, I did a lot of additional trimming and pruning. By Sunday evening, we had several yard waste piles waiting for Monday morning pickup.
Once again I was glad that we don’t have to stuff yard waste into bins, otherwise it would have taken us weeks to get rid of what we accumulated.
The downside of all this work is that the planting strip along the sidewalk looks pretty bleak:
It’s a far cry from what this spot looked like in the summer:
I could have waited another couple of months to cut back the perennials (I usually do it in January or February) but I wanted to see which spots needed filling in so I took care of this chore early.
After I was done chopping things to the ground, I proceeded to do some planting—for me, that’s always the fun part. In total, I managed to get about 25 plants in the ground, many of them from the recent sale at Morningsun Herb Farm.
LEFT: Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’. This was a 5-gallon plant from Green Acres Nursery.
RIGHT: Echium wildpretii (right). I planted another Echium wildpretii about 15 feet to the right. These are the volunteer echiums I talked about in this post. As you can see, they survived their extrication.
LEFT: Aloe mutabilis × striata
RIGHT: Epilobium septentrionalis, a California fuchsia (aka zauschneria) with larger and wider leaves than the more common Epilobium canum
I also did some heavy pruning on one corner of the Pittosporum tobira hedge. The sprawling Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) I talked about in this post used to be just to the left of the hedge.
In the space I created, I planted a Protea susannae which I’d bought as a 4-inch plant at Annie’s Annuals. I love the common name of this lovely South African native: stink-leaf sugarbush. Its leaves, when crushed, release a sulphury aroma, hence the name.
It may not look like much now, but check out the flowers a mature Protea susannae produces!
As you can see in the last photo, I amended our native clay soil with lots of coarse sand and bagged top soil to improve drainage.
Yes, the sidewalk planting strip in the front yard looks a bit bleak right now, but I have high hopes for next year!