the triangle

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Time posted: September 29, 2006

This bed is directly beneath the picture windows in my living room. So in addition to the vantage point from the yard, I can see this from in the house. So I put a lot into it. It’s a right triangle roughly 14 feet on each leg, so about 100 sqare feet. I made the diagonal edge slightly arced, so it flows more than a strict triangle.

This bed took a large amount of preparation. I tilled in compost repeatedly. Substantial amounts of weed seed were tilled in along the way, unfortunately. I planted this out in the late summer (around Labor day) of 2005 with one gallon perennials bought at full price (gasp) from Ace hardware. Without really knowing, I selected mostly award winners.

Here’s the bed after being tilled. You can see the nice topsoil I had to work with. Adding the composted horse manure just made it better.

tilled flower bed
ready for planting

What went in was:
12 Salvia “Mainacht” (1997 PPA award winner)
12 Coreopsis verticillata “Creme brulee” (Improved cultivar of “Moonbeam,” the 1992 PPA award winner)
6 Coreopsis “Heaven’s Gate” (a pink cultivar that looks like a threadleaf verticillata)

Sad to say, the pink ones did not survive the winter. However, the rest came through shining. Chalk it up for the award winners I guess. But I started the 2006 season with a hole in the arrangement. I had planted the Coreopsis in “wedges” arranged to radiate out from the back corner. The Salvias were the background, which worked well due to their height. But if you can picture a quarter of a pizza, cut into three slices, someone ate my middle slice!

I went back to Ace looking for Coreopsis and came out with Gaillardia “Arizona sun” instead. These were tagged “blanket flower” but my sister-in-law referred to them as “goblins” which just goes to show why I like to use the species and cultivar wherever I can.

This spring the Coreopsis had coalesced into big clumps and the Salvia were grown to where they also touched. Pay attention to the recommended spacing, folks. Especially on perennials. The purple of the Salvia was striking–this pic doesn’t begin to do it justice.

Salvia Mainacht
the Salvia looked great in May

Anyhow, at the beginning of summer the Salvia was pretty much done blooming (but it was a knockout all through May) and the Coreopsis were kicking in to gear. This pic is from then:

planted flower bed
the June 2006 look

I’m very satisfied with the Gaillardia. For a perennial, they sure rebloom for a long time. I have some blooms on them now in late September. And what do you know, it’s a 2005 All-America Selections winner. So my triangle bed is now full of exclusively award-winning perennials.

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