It’s always difficult to choose plants in your own garden. Those thoughts cross your mind…. which plants define me? Should I try something completely different? But the only thing worse than making those decisions is having a bit of garden that looks terrible – a bit like the mechanic that drives around in a bomb. The only difference is that the mechanics don’t post photos of their cars on blogs!
I’ve had this trouble recently; an area of garden that was thriving has gradually become shaded out and was due for a replant. It’s a bit of a graveyard site actually, with a couple of overgrown Agaves, an Aloe that out-grew its pot and some Mexican Lilies that were left behind after a presentation. There’s even a big of clump of Aspidistra elatior that I rescued from a clients rubbish heap after a site visit
So with the tone set as haphazard, I’ve gone for some lesser known shrubs and ground covers to fill out the space. Ruscus hypoglossum thrives in dark, dry shade and is mainly a textural plant. It does have curious flowers that form in the centre of the leaves (cladodes for the botanical nerds) and will hopefully turn into red berries. Then I’ve popped in some Soft, grey leafed yucca’s – yucca recurvifolia to work with the Coastal Banksia’s and the other grey foliage and tied everything back together with Baby Sun Rose – Aptenia cordifolia – which will run through as a lush ground cover
The Leggy Agaves needed to be cut down and replanted so that they worked in proportion to the rest of the garden. Quite simple once you know how:
The trunks get a bit tall over the years and often overbalance, as the crown gets bigger
They send little baby plants off to the sides that can be harvested as well as aerial roots’
It seems a little brutal but you just cut it off as low as you can go!
Pot up or plant any little off shoots
Dig a hole that’s as deep as the cut off stem, drop it in with a bit of osmocote and Voilá! Ready for another 5 years of looking great.
And that’s my shameful little corner all cleaned up! A bit odd and almost prehistoric but I’m pleased with it.