The Sunshine Bed: Phase 1

The first delivery of plants for my Sunshine Bed arrived at the end of last week, just as it started to rain…. ideal actually, as the ground was dry and this would mean good conditions for planting.

Well we didn’t get much rain in the end so I was able to hoe and rake the soil on Monday morning and get everything in. Just as I was finishing up it started to rain again and as the plants had all had a good soak beforehand I didn’t need to water them in. What luck!

Here is the sunshine bed seen from the house..

Let’s walk along the grassy path and take a closer look…

A bit closer… and you can perhaps recognize what the trees are now. From left to right, a silver birch, a willow and a wild cherry.

I had to mow around the bed as it is that time of year where you can almost watch things growing, and I am amazed how lush the vegetation looked after just a few litres of rain.

AΒ side view shows how meagre my plants look at the moment. But I know they will fill out and there are two more plant deliveries to come…. πŸ˜‰

On the right, Cytisus x praecox ‘Allgold’ (Broom) which shouldn’t really be in flower yet but as is often the case with nursery plants it is a bit early. Yellow broom grows at the roadsides near us, which is what prompted me to choose it. I noticed some died in the drought last year, but most of it survived as it is pretty tough and likes the sandy soil we have here.

A couple of aquilegias, some Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’, Euphorbia, a Papaver naudicale (Iceland Poppy),Β several grasses and some Helianthus microcephalus ‘Lemon Queen’ complete the picture… for now.

I have already sown seed for annuals to go in this bed: Tithonia, sunflowers and yellow Cosmos. And some Crocosmia bulbs are going in today too. πŸ™‚ As you may have guessed, this bed will be yellow and orange. It is the first time I have chosen a colour theme for a single area and I am not entirely sure I will stick to it long-term, but we will see…

Have you ever planted up a flower bed with a limited colour theme? And did it work?

IΒ would love to hear your ideas or suggestions regarding plants too. That is what is so good about blogging – learning from all you talented gardeners and garden designers out there!

Thanks for visiting!

44 thoughts on “The Sunshine Bed: Phase 1

  1. It is exciting to watch a new bed take shape, but it is hard to be patient while it fills out to be what you can see in your imagination. Yellow and orange is a great combination. One I never use, but did this spring in my selection of pansies. I loved the bright pop of color, but liked it even more once I added some white.
    I mostly stay with pink, purple, blue, and white for my beds because I love those colors. I have never regretted this. But last year I created an echineacea garden in orange, red, pink, green, yellow and white. I want it to eventually be a solid mass and riot of color. The one thing I never do is mix the hot and cool colors in the same bed.

    • Thanks for your thoughts on colour Cindy. I love bright colours and as you say they don’t go with the pinks or blues so this will be an experiment at separating them. My Butterfly bed will hopefully remain predominantly pink, blue and purple, while this one will be sunny and hot! I might add some deep orangey reds too, and lime green. I love the sound of an Echinacea garden. πŸ™‚

  2. The image may be deceptive but your new trees look very close together, I’m sure you checked their eventual height and spread but if not it’s not to late to move them now or in autumn. Ideally when you plant you should water in even if it is pouring with rain as it pushes the soil close around the roots so they make good contact with the surrounding soil. I hope you don’t mind me saying this, if you’d rather I didn’t let me know.

    • I don’t mind Christina – good advice which I will remember in future. I secretly didn’t want to get wet as it then continued raining all afternoon and night! The ground was lovely and moist as the bed had beenn covered with cardboard since digging over to stop the weeds and help kill off any remaining grass. As for the trees, I am sure they are fine as they are about three or four metres apart and at a slight angle to each other too, and all with upright growth as well. πŸ™‚ We had the tree-planting done my a landscaper last spring – about 130 trees and 200 shrubs for hedging. We were really lucky that we managed to get almost all of them through the drought by watering extensively with water tanks and firemen’s hoses!

  3. I have tried planting a garden with limited colors, but it didn’t work. I have such a tetchy yard—part sun at best—that I have to be content with whatever thrives there. πŸ˜‰

  4. New beds are always exciting to watch grow. I’ll look forward to watching yours progress. I like the idea of adding lime green to the bed, it will make the colors pop and give the eye a place to rest.

    • Thanks Eliza. I was hoping to have some Nicotiana in the bed too, after seeing it do so well in your garden, but my seedlings are almost microscopic still! Maybe I’ll find some plants somewhere, but I have not seen them on offer at nurseries yet… but new trends arrive each year so I am hopeful!

  5. It looks like a good start to your sunny garden. I have tried a color wave in a garden before but it always ends up mixed. I seem to get bored with just a couple of colors in a garden. It is fun to have different colors pop open. I love the grass path to this garden. It looks inviting. Native flowers would look fabulous out there.

    • Hi Lisa. That may well happen to me too – I might decide yellow is boring and add something outlandish like purple… πŸ˜‰ Long- term we do want to leave parts of the meadow standing and allow wild flowers to move in. There are quite a few already, but not flowering yet. πŸ™‚

  6. I remember some garden guru being asked how she came up with such great color schemes. Her answer: “I just plant what I like and it seems to work out.” Pretty much sums up my color philosophy. I do love oranges with an occasional shot of blue.

  7. How exciting! It will be wonderful to see this bed fill up as the plants settle and flourish. I keep my whole garden to the pallette that pleases me – so pinks, purples, blues, oranges and white are the only colours allowed! Yellows creep in as daffodils and wall flowers and there has been an odd red anemone but otherwise than that …..

    • I know quite a few people dislike yellow in their gardens. I suppose it depends very much on light, companion plants etc as to what works and what looks best. It will be a challenge to stick to a few colours, but I will give it a go and see if I like it!

  8. Cathy I love silver birch. I’m glad you’re already planting your Sunshine bed. You already know that I am a novice gardener without any academic training in gardening, nothing more than the books I have read. But to release your first year of bed Sunshine I find the orange and yellow to be daring and fun! Then you can put white and a little purple to soften. I love the grass path that leads to the garden. Cathy congratulations for your Sunshine Bed, enjoy it! Have a happy week and happy gardening. Take care. Greetings from Margarita. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  9. I do like your idea of the coloured bed, I have never quite got around to having one myself. I love the broom too. It grows very well here, I just need the right place for one. Amelia

    • Hi Amelia. Yes, broom can take up a lot of space and does tend to flop over other plants when it gets rained on, but the zingy yellow in spring is so lovely.

    • Thanks Jason. Yes, these three trees together draw the eye across to that area of the garden, so that is why I decided to put the new bed there. πŸ™‚

  10. How exciting to be planning and planting new beds – as you say, things look a little lost at the moment but they will quickly fill out. It is so tempting to just stuff things in without remembering this. My beds are roughly colour themed but with quite a wide range – a blue bed was too difficult to fill but adding white made it easier!

    • My rockery was quite different, with the oriental poppies clashing with the peonies some years! And yet both looked so good with the irises… A blue bed would be a challenge here too. Blues are difficult to find in the height of summer. I’d love to grow Caryopteris but it is not terribly hardy here.

  11. Your bed is going to give you so much pleasure, Cathy. I love the way you’re referring to it as “The Sunshine Bed.” Name alone makes me happy. I have a California native that I am growing more and more fond of, and I’m curious if you’re even familiar! It seems to hardy I’d think it grows everywhere, but we all know how geography affects not just what we grow best, but what’s even made available to us! If you have the chance to look it up, I’m referring to Ceanothus (California Lilac) which is more bush than anything else, but has the sweetest cone shaped flowers. Many colors available. I just mention it not so much for your sunshine bed (they get big) but because I’m curious about whether you’re familiar! I have a fair amount of planting bed space, but I’d love even more! More work, but the pleasure is worth it, isn’t it!!

    • Hi Debra. Yes, I am familiar with Ceanothus. In fact I recently photographed a beautiful one in my parents’ village in the UK that had been shaped into a small tree with a lovely round crown full of flowers! It is just about hardy in the UK but I have never seen one here… perhaps in a sheltered spot near a wall. I wouldn’t dare try one though. I agree totally where the ‘work’ is concerned – so worthwhile and better than a fitness club any time! Have a great week in your garden Debra!

  12. How exciting! I’m glad to see you’re able to get in there and plant a few things, it’s going to look great. I love color schemes, but haven’t been able to stick with one yet!
    I see many new plantings in the background, and I don’t think I’m not even close to understanding the scale of what you’re taking on. Enjoy! Get what you can done now so you can just sit back and admire the setting when the weather finally gets warm πŸ™‚

    • It is a large plot, but we are thinking long-term and the actual ‘garden’ has to be manageable for me. Doing bit by bit is fun, as I’m getting to know the soil, climate and our almost constant wind! πŸ˜‰

  13. What a lovely planting! I find it difficult to maintain a limited color scheme because there are just too many plants that come in too many colors which are too beautiful to pass up. Good to hear that Mother Nature helped you with the watering!

    • Thanks Margaret. The cooler weather is definitely helping the plants settle in but we are feeling the cold ourselves after the lovely mini- heatwave we had a couple of weeks ago!

  14. Oh, wow! That does sound labour intensive. Well done for keeping them all alive. Do show us more and tell us more for your plans for this exciting new garden.

  15. Sounds like you put in quite a bit of effort to get your lawn and soil ready for your plants. It looks like a well-maintained backyard – so green, so fresh. Your little plant may look meagre but in a while it will not be so meagre anymore πŸ™‚ Yellow and orange sound like very vibrant and vivid colours for a patch…and I can imagaine how wonderful the plants will look to the eye when they bloom πŸ™‚

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