This year I've been concentrating on the garden that slopes around the Tea House. I began some initial planting late last year with some very small trees and small clumps of ferns. This is what it looked like last summer, just as I was beginning to tackle this area. The Golden Shadows dogwood is surrounded by dwarf Solomon Seal, Sweet Woodruff and half-dead Ivy.
Here it is at the end of July last weekend. A gardening friend stopped by so Mark opened up the Tea House and added this Japanese shop sign. Note the hole in-between the clump of bamboo on the left and the yew ball on the right, as well as the huge spread of Iris cristata near the bottom of the slope. If you look carefully you can just see a dwarf Ginkgo tree poking out of the Iris at the bottom of hill.
Here's the same space after I attacked it this week. I finally joined up the two clumps of Iris cristata (the plain species at the bottom and 'Navy Blue Gem' at the top) to create a river running down the slope and spreading out around the flat rock at the bottom.
Except for a few brief moments this is essentially a green garden, which I think is a bit difficult to understand from a photo. But, if you look closely, you will see that I removed a lot of the Iris that was at the bottom of the slope. Essentially I cleared out where it was engulfing a pair of dwarf Ginkgo trees that are at their tiny mature size. This should do two things: accentuate the "river" effect and make these specimen trees more visible.
The slope includes a swath of Japanese painted fern, as well as a small river of Hosta 'Lemon Lime' (or its it 'Feather Boa'??) that swims around a group of rocks to join up with a group of 'Second Wind' Hostas. At the end of this line of Hostas is 'Spritzer' which finishes off a triangulation of this particular Hosta on the top of the slope and at the two bottom points.
This view is looking down the stone steps last summer.
The same view this week. Late last summer we added two more yew balls on this slope but away from the stairs. In recent days I planted about a dozen Hostas of varying sizes on this slope, a few new ones and the rest moved from other parts of the garden. In addition I added another dozen Hosta plants that were divisions of two mother plants that will eventually create larger swaths.
We also moved one of our largest ceramic pots to this area from the Sacred Grove where it has lived for a number of years. You can just see it in the corner of this photo. It nicely echoes the large pot under the Ginkgo tree in the triangular garden on the other side of the stepping stones at the foot of the slope.
This post is my addition to Helen's "At the End of the Month" meme.