The Adventure Garden has got to be one of my favourite garden areas in my yard. The sunroom at the back of my house looks out directly onto this garden and the slope allows for a great show with plenty of layering of textures. This garden is also one of the most challenging areas because it ranges from a dry shade area on the left to a hot, exposed sunny area on the right, so repetition of plants across the entire width of the garden is impossible. I am still experimenting with incorporating repeating colours and textures with different (shade and sun-loving) plants to improve the continuity of this area and it's definitely a work in progress.
There are many young shrubs near the back of this garden that need a few more years to mature and really strut their stuff. Eventually you shouldn't be able to see the fence at the back. This garden is very low-maintenance with mostly shrubs and perennials, and just a few of my favourite annuals for added colour - I like to plant snapdragons and cosmos every year, and borage self-seeds itself around this garden with abandon. Fortunately, it's easy to recognize in spring so I just pull up the unwanted ones or gradually cut them down over the season if they get too big. The only plant that's not low maintenance here is the iceland poppy, but it provides such early season colour that I can't quite bring myself to get rid of it. But I wouldn't recommend it if you want low maintenance 'cause it seeds itself all over like crazy and is perennial, not annual.
Here's what this garden looked like in 2010:
Above: In late May, tulips, dwarf bearded iris and iceland poppies (also shown in close-ups, below) are providing some colour. But the area on the right side of the dry stream bed is much more mature and full. The area on the left needs a few more years to fill in, and a lot more bulbs which I will plant once I'm happy with the placement of the shrubs and perennials (this fall I hope!)
Above: close-ups in June.
Above: In July, just before I went on holidays, here's how the Adventure Garden looked. I'll be honest here and admit that I keep cropping out the left-hand side of this garden area because it doesn't look like much yet. That's where the transition is to the dry, shady side and I'm still experimenting with plants that will do well here and fit with the rest of the garden. This year I plan to try some calamagrostis 'Avalanche' to the left of those pink, painted daisies to add some tall foliage texture which is sadly lacking at the back left right now. This particular grass has variegated foliage and should do well in the part shade there.
Above: peonies, columbine meadow rue, painted daisies, blue salvia, peachleaf bellflower, roses, cosmos(started from seed), yarrow, nepeta, iceland poppies, siberian iris, dianthus, and blue flax bloom in this garden in July.
Above: close-ups in August. Let me know if you have questions about any of the plants in these photos!
To see what this garden looked like last year, click here.
To see other areas of my garden in 2010, check out:
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