“The Microcosmic Garden”

The circular bed next to my back deck has had many incarnations, it is a focal point that anchors the back patio area and through its circular form, has dictated the design of the pathways to the rest of the yard. Here are a few of its schizophrenic personalities over the last few years: 

Sedums and a lone bagpiper                              and a rather ugly combination of everything!
A tropical look and a …………………………………………………………….. Fire Pit?
  As you can see I widened the path on the right hand side to create a better flow around the bed. This picture was taken this last Winter, you can see the “bare bones” structure of the hardscaping.  Note the absence of the nasty tunnel on the left, 
and how much more open the view looks!

This spring I thought I would try something a little more cohesive:  “A Microcosmic Garden”, I thought to myself – a miniture of my cactus and succulent bed, with a backdrop of grasses to reference the rest of the yard. I planted the Mexican feather Grasses first, directly into the granite path. If anyone can make it in the granite, the heat, and the lack of nutrients, it is them.

I scraped away the mulch and ammended the soil with granite and bagfulls of sharp cactus soil (almost to the top of the brickwork). I then went out to a number of nursery’s and bought two of  everything relevant, I was a Micro – Noah, my Arc was more of a circle.

Here is the bed newly planted, I brought in the Lava rocks from around my fish pond – you couldn’t really see them there due to the heavy foliage. They were much better suited to my minature moonscape. I planted quite densely as I
wanted the bed to resemble a minature Jurrasic Park when matured. I top dressed the bed with pea-gravel and areas of decomposed granite to tie in with the pathway.

These small plants hate clay soil and wood mulches; the crowns would rot, especially in winter. To succeed you must create something of a moonscape for them. The beauty of these otherworldly gardens is the tiny scale of them, they are a lot of fun when you “get in there” with the macro lens at full blast.

“Honey I shrunk the kids!”

“I like the view from here george, what do you think”?                “This is no time to rest, we must keep moving”


“My legs are hurting George”. .”There she goes…             George someone is coming!
moaning again”. 

“Mildred, just stay low and still, the mighty gloved                         “This is it George, home sweet home”
hand will pass right over us, I promise.”                                          “lets have a rock warming”

Here is the bed today – starting to fill in. 
The more you observe this rocky world the more obscure and captivating is the flora. The scene resembles a coral reef, as much as a rock garden.  I am planning a much larger scale of this bed in my front yard – I may even include some dwarf conifers and the rocks are going to be large boulders. 
More on that as it develops.

Other show-offs right now:

Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae) 
A storybook flower – very animated. This patch gets larger each year.

More Coneflowers with Rosemary and Sage.

A newly planted Canna, the container picks up on                          Tropical Lilly                  
the color of the foliage. A good layer of bark chips
(also in the same hue) helps to regulate
temperature and moisture.


All material © 2008 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Stay tuned for:
“My Agave is knocking on Deaths Door”.


~ by eastsidepatch on May 24, 2008.

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