Four Different Days Of The Same Garden Bed: What's Missing?

Above:  February 29, 2016.  Originally this was a small lawn with a quartet of roses against the foundation.  I removed the lawn and the under performing roses, switched the irrigation to drip tubing, and replanted with different roses, salvias, clematis, daylilys, and a few succulents along the edge.  This flat, walled-in area retains moisture better than the areas outside the walls.

March 28, 2016: 
Plants settling in.  A few more plants added, and the area mulched.  

For now I leave aside the problem of the ladder-like trellis on either side of the window.  Those were installed by the original landscape architect and have been unsatisfactory.  But that's another issue for another time.   

July 17, 2016:  Looking a little tired because of heat and the drought, but not bad.  Annual cosmos and a Gomphrena 'Fire Works' added for fun and instant space-filling.
May 26, 2017:  rain is magic!



A strong feeling something is missing, that the area needs a human-made focal point of some sort...a fountain, a big oil jar...something...I dragged the wire object that lives on the back patio out front to ponder scale for the area.  What size would the dingus need to be? 
 The height seems about right, though a more substantial material seems called for.  Focal point:  yes.   It needs a focal point.   
I'll start looking.  

This has been an interesting experience.  Rather than starting out knowing the area needs a focal point, I came to the realization on my own, at the end of the process.  Is that how a lesson is really and truly learned?    

Comments

  1. Does it have to be inorganic? A towering miscanthus ('Positano' and 'Malepartus' are nice) or panicum ('Rotstrahlbusch’ or one of the blue varieties) might be nice, and the cool season interest can't be overstated. Evergreen-wise, a phormium or non-arboreal yucca, even potted, could work.

    Vining-wise, and provided you'd be willing to plant them in a container and sneak some spaghetti tubing into the pot to supplement winter rains, tuberous tropaeolum (rather than the annual herbs) are also delightful and easy to switch out with a warm season annual once dormant.

    I love when a 'problem' requires a new plant or two as a solution. *rubs plant-hoarding hands together*

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    1. Yes I think it has to be at least partially, a tall urn with something in it, or an empty urn, tuteur, metal scrap, fountain, something like that. It's a whole lot of billowy plants. Seems to be calling for defined, hard edges. It's not a large area--I'm going to go measure it now.

      Do we need an actual excuse to get a new plant? Nah! :^)

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    2. I look forward to seeing what you choose, very interested to see if you go with something bespoke.

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  2. A big urn or glazed vase perhaps?

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    1. Yes I went looking at a few yesterday. Certainly contenders.

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  3. Maybe an urn or bird bath or perhaps a small water feature?

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    1. Yep, something like that. I've been shopping a little. More time since a heat wave will drive me out of the garden for a few days. I guess a heat wave can be good for something!

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  4. Rain did work magic on that bed with a little help from a knowledgeable gardener! I like the idea of an oil jar or something ceramic and vaguely Mediterranean to work with your house style. On the other hand, a speedo-clad, sunglasses-wearing mannequin holding a watering can is always a tasteful touch.

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    1. I regret I don't have the sense of style to make a speedo-clad mannequin work. Besides, here he'd get sunburnt. Great idea, though. Tasteful, as you say! The neighbors would love it.

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  5. I think the height of your imaginary focal point seems very right (the current wire object). I can see the focal point including purple--much like the gorgeous happy flowers at the front of the bed.

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    1. Yes the height seems right. And I love purple!

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  6. I think it was logical to start with determining which plants would be happy in the space. I agree that it would be better still with something that adds height, natural or otherwise. I imagine you want to avoid anything that blocks the window or swamps the neighboring plants? I'm bad with objet d'art but I can see that something in that line would be effective (even if I tend to be reluctant to deed space to non-living things).

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    1. I thought a tall-ish fountain, so from the window I could watch bird baths. That was the original concept, but perhaps an empty urn would work just as well and need no electricity. Tall and narrow would not take much space at all. Thinking, thinking...

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  7. I know a guy who can make you something custom and ship it to you as a kit if you're interested. :)

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    1. Hey, that's a great idea. I'll make some measurements and email you!

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  8. I love the plant selection here. As for a focal piece, how about a large olive oil urn (tijana) like in this garden: http://www.succulentsandmore.com/2016/10/more-is-more-designer-roger-raiches.html

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    1. I remember those huge urns! That is a focal point for sure. I think I would have to get rid of all the plants to fit one in. The space is 11' deep and about 12 1/2' wide. I have been looking at those types of urns, but smaller. (Not small, just smaller.)

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