The morning after our driveway was finished our neighbor took down an old maple tree and high pruned two big white pine trees. All three edged my long driveway border garden. This change — coupled with removal of a couple of trees across the driveway before we began the big redo — meant that this border will now get more sun than in the past. So I decided to change some of the plantings instead of replacing everything just as it was when we began the driveway work back in June.
I did, however, put the Hostas back by the street and Epimedium rubrum plants where they were (above left). That linear break in the Epimedium planting marks where we had to dig out the plants before the driveway project began.
I dug up a chunk of Sedum 'Matrona' from my Traffic Island garden to add to this now sunnier spot. I discovered it was so intertwined with the Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (above left) that it had to come as well. I filled in the next spot with fans of Iris pallida dalmatica that was growing here when we moved in 21 years ago. I also moved some lilies to the front that had been in too much shade. The Iris are followed by a swath of Carex siderosticha 'Lemon Zest' and Heuchera 'Marmalade' (below right).
I echoed the red Epimediums on the opposite side the driveway in one of the new planting spots. I will fill in the rest of this new area with more of my favorite seersucker sedge (the background plant below).
I also added more of the Lemon Zest sedge across the driveway to make the two sides have some continuity, along with more Heuchera and a big group of the solid green Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) in the foreground below.
The rest of the Sedum 'Matrona' went into the wonderful curved planting bed at the foot of the boulders along with 'Summer Beauty' Alliums and 'Herrenhausen' oregano. Sprawling over the rocks in the background is Stephanandra incise 'Crispa.'
In the beds above the boulders, I put a number of shrubs that will eventually fill most of the space. There are a few yews (one is visible in the center of the photo) which will be pruned into balls to match those across the drive. To the right is a Russian cypress which will eat up as much space as I want to give it — and can take sun or shade. Peeking around the big rock on the left is Buxus sempervirens 'Waterfall', a lax and quirky boxwood that came — via the old Heronswood Nursery — from the late Rosemary Verey's garden at Barnsley. Sedums, trailing Geraniums and a yellow-leaf Bleeding Heart, dormant right now, take up the bare space in the center front.
Further along the wall is a Berbers thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' planted to echo a trio of Red barberries across the drive. Next is a weeping Norway Spruce and a shrubby white pine (Pinus strobes 'Minuta'). In between are Allium senescens 'Glaucum,' Carex laxiculmis 'Bunny Blue', a dwarf red-flowered daylily and similarly colored Astrantias. Curving around the far end of the big stones at the end of this bed are the steps leading up to the top of this garden.
On one side of the path is another yew waiting for its haircut. It's surrounded by Lilac Fairy Epimediums and assorted ferns.
Opposite it are more Lilac Fairy Epimediums, Hosta 'Sagae', and Japanese blood grass. Shrubs (from left): yew, a dwarf Norway spruce with tiny reddish-purple cones (Picea abies 'Pusch') and Thuja 'Rheingold'. None of the shrubs will likely do much for the first couple of years but I'm hoping the perennials fill in quickly — in time for the two tours of our garden that are scheduled for next June!