Expanding the Triangle

Normally I don’t start thinking about next year’s garden until at least after Christmas, but this year is different. It’s not even Thanksgiving but I’ve pretty much decided that I want to expand my growing and space, and where.

We have a very small area of space next to our entry door that I call “the triangle.” It is a triangle. I have some hostas there, lady’s mantle, Jacob’s ladder and a purple heuchera. I’ve decided in the spring I will enlarge the triangle by removing the area of lawn under a nearby saucer magnolia.

I haven’t figured out exactly what I’ll be planting—I’ll leave that for after Christmas—but I do think I want to keep it simple. I’m thinking more hostas, Jacob’s ladder and maybe some Siberian bugloss—Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ is Perennial Plant of the Year for 2012, by the way.

How about you? When do you start planning next year’s changes? Do you have ideas for what you’ll do new or different in your garden in 2012?

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12 thoughts on “Expanding the Triangle

  1. Think about adding a shrub to create balance or to soften a corner or maybe a large hosta will do the trick. This may help to offset “the door hanging off the end.”

  2. I actually got all my bulbs planted and I was happy about that now I can rake up all the mess in my hoop house and look at the plants that I want to grow – I am going to try crape myrtle which I fell in love with visiting NC – I have found a place that sells the seeds – now if I could just find someone who grows the tree that I saw in Florida and Costa Rica called tibouchina I think – yellow in FL and lavender in Costa Rica – this will go with plants in sun room, I have several citrus and others in sun room to make up for all the plants that died while they were working on barn part of house. I lost a tree that I always called the elephant tree because if came from Africa and was used as a scratching post by elephants I was told. I also lost a grapefruit that I had kept alive for years and many other plants that I am getting around to replacing. At long last I keep thinking and I am trying to make up my mind about what I will keep growing outside as well. Seed catalogs are already arriving in my mail box even earlier this year than last – and I need to decide exactly how much I want to take care of this coming summer. I am a messy gardener and write about this more than I should for local newspaper.

  3. I’m expanding the planting around a naturalistic pond in my country garden. I’ll be using a variety of ornamental grasses (think hungry deer), blue and yellow flag iris (both native or naturalized in our area of Quebec) and other plants that require little maintenance and look good for long periods of time. I take photos of the area and sketch out different possibilities so that I’m ready to go when spring comes. And may it be soon!

  4. Without a photo of the front of the house, it’s tough to comment, but I’m always in favor of larger beds and it looks like the perfect area to expand to make the entryway look lush.

    For my yard, I’m thinking about next year too. We moved to a new state w/ all new growing requirements. The vegetation was extremely overgrown, so I started out by having everything removed. I could plant here in NC at this time, but have decided w/all the heavy red clay the best approach is to lay out my beds, then add compost, leaves, & soil amendments & till it in, then layer w/newspaper and finish w/mulch. I’ll let it all percolate until early spring, then bring in my new shrubs and plants to what I hope will be good rich soil. Now for dreaming of all the new things I can grow!

    • Yes, a better photo would be nice but I just feel weird putting a full picture of my house on the internet. I have a vivid imagination and have seen too many crime dramas, I suppose! My qualm with our house is that the door is way over to the side, sort of hanging off the end of the house. It looks very lopsided, especially since most of my garden is right in front of the bulk of the house. I’m hoping by expanding into the grassy section on the other side of the path it will look more balanced and make the door seem somehow centered in the yard at least, if not the house.

      I think your patience will pay off for you—good for you for working on your soil first. It’s so tempting to dive in and plant. Have a great winter planning what to plant!

  5. Your idea sounds great Meghan. I am planning on Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ to a new shade bed I started this year. For next year’s garden I am busy planting tulips in the ornamental gardens and I want to add some decorative elements to the edible gardens. I am always so busy with the planting, the plants and the harvesting I don’t incorporate many decorative elements and I would like to add some of those this year.

    • You’re smart to realize you’ve overlooked decorative elements–sometimes it is hard to see the garden for the plants!–and I bet those will be fun to pick out. Enjoy your tulip planting!

  6. I’m pulling out the invasive nandinas I planted several years ago, and I’ll replace them with native plants. I know I want a nice big weeping youpon holly, but I’m still deciding what else I’ll plant.

  7. I haven’t given up on my 2011 garden yet! I’m experimenting with stretching the growing season to include a winter harvest of swiss chard, spinach, arugula and lettuce. These are all currently growing in two raised beds that I covered with plastic supported by PVC frames. So far so good. We’ve had a mild fall here in New England (discounting the freak storm that dumped a foot of snow on us October 30th) so time will tell if I can have fresh spinach for Christmas dinner. I also planted garlic last month for a summer ’12 harvest.
    I currently have 5 raised beds that I use for my vegetable garden, but my discovery of new cultivars to try is begging me to add just one more. I’ve found a nice protected spot in full sun alongside my shed that should be the perfect spot for more cucumbers and tomatoes!

    For me, gardening never takes a hiatus – it’s my joy and keeps me grounded (no pun intended).

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