May 13, 2013

Spill, Tumble, and Spew

I love the early spring look of densely flowering ground covers spilling down slopes or tumbling over edges and walls. But I have discovered it is not an easy look to achieve.

Here is my attempt to get Basket of Gold, Aurinia saxatilis, to spill over the edges of the gravel. I wanted it to blur the lines between the mulched bed and the pea gravel area, but instead it has grown in a straight line, apparently afraid to touch the stones.

After flowering I will divide and spread out the individual clumps, and if I stagger the clumps a little better I might break up that straight edge.

And I need a lot more. It should form a long sea of bright yellow spreading all down the borders of this sitting area. Right now it is more of a yellow puddle than a golden sea.

I do love to see it through the emerging red foliage of a smokebush. I cut the smokebush down to two foot high stubs in late winter, and this is what it looks like by mid May. This is Cotinus coggygria 'Grace'. Within the month it will get huge and leafy.

Here's another attempt at spilling plants that has gone a little wrong. These are Forget Me Nots tumbling out of a pot laid on its side.

You can see this kind of thing all over Pinterest, mostly using alyssum as a river of dense flowers running out of a pot. I think it looks dumb, but that didn't stop me from trying to imitate it.

My problem is that the Forget Me Nots (Myosotis) are spreading uphill. You can see it a little better from the other direction in the shot below. It gives an aggressively spewing effect rather than looking like a gentle tumble down the creek bed slope.

Honestly, it looks like the flowerpot belched this blue stuff out and now regrets it. I'm sorry, it just does to me.

See what I mean? I'm going to divide these, spread them about in spots in the gardens for a more natural look, and stop copying ideas from Pinterest.

Who knew growing flowering spreaders would require such fine tuning?

 

35 comments:

  1. Ha, this often happens here. You see something and try to imitate it and blech it doesn't turn out like you wish it would. My sister has a block wall and she has some sort of soapwort on it that is doing just what one wishes it would. She stuck one plant in (it was a hostess gift) and it took off. Draping down the wall. Coming out of cracks. Just like pictures you see. My point is... sometimes it does work out. :)

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    1. Lisa, I like it when something you copy does work out! That's the best.

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  2. Funny about the spilling plants. Looks like you imitated just fine. Speaking of spilling, it's this time of year when blooms spill out of buds all over the garden – so fast the eye can hardly keep up. Even from hour to hour. Enjoy.

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    1. Lee, I know -- I see what I want to photograph on my morning walk around the garden, and by late afternoon it's completely different. Amazing time of year.

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  3. Hi Laurrie...you just crack me up...I love reading your posts!! I think the Forget-me-nots are really pretty. I have a "pot on the side look" too but I got the idea from a cottage magazine. I have "dragons blood sedum" spilling out...although it hasn't decided to "spill" just yet...it seems to be perfectly happy staying inside the pot...oh well! I'm going to check out the "basket of gold". That color is just amazing! Thanks for giving me a morning smile!

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    1. Christy, the dragon's blood sedum would look great spilling out. I still like the idea, just not the way my forget me nots are executing the concept : )

      Glad I gave you a chuckle today..

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  4. Love those forget me nots. I too have reservations of pots spilling flowers... maybe all these years as a mother, cleaning up messes! It's all just gorgeous.

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    1. Larkspur, I saw a garden this weekend where forget me nots were tucked into every corner and nook, and repeated constantly throughout the whole garden. Loved it. That's now my new idea to copy!

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  5. I have never really liked the flower spilling from the pot on Pinterest, but I actually think you pulled it off quite nicely.

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    1. Kathryn, thanks! It just doesn't look quite the way I expected, and now I'm kind of off the idea. What fun is gardening if we can't change our minds and re-do all the time!

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  6. It didn't look like the pot was belching flowers until you described it as such . . . Thank you for such a good laugh! I think they look lovely.

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    1. Heather, I'm glad I made you laugh. You really have to see them from the kitchen window, they just don't look like they are naturally spilling at all!

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  7. Did you try moving the pot to the uphill end of the forget me nots? I have a couple of places where plants spill over the edges. Sometimes it just takes time to get the effect you are trying for.

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    1. Patty, that's actually a good idea. Reversing the "flow" might look odd next to the creekbed, but it might really improve my sense of how the forget me nots look!

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  8. It does take refining to get them to spill just right...

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    1. Donna, it all looked so easy to do!

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  9. you know I really love all those blue forget me nots, they'll seed all on their own and spread everywhere if you let them. Maybe just take away the pot? I think given time your yellow flowers will creep over the border too. then of course, you 'll be fighting to get them out of your pathway ;-)

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    1. Marguerite, yes, I think I might take the pot away and call this a patch of forget me nots and not a river spilling out. I do want them to seed around, but you are right, I'll be complaining about that some day : )

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  10. haha - Yes, now that you point it out, it does look like a lot of forget me nots coming out of one little pot. Perhaps raise the pot, so that it looks more like a waterfall? Good luck whatever you decide. I've seen this look over the years, some with more success than others, and decided years ago I would never even give it a try. So, bravo for giving it a go!

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    1. Holley, you were smarter than I was, to not even try to do something like flowers spilling out of a pot! Good judgement : )

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  11. Masses of forget me nots are beautiful no matter what. My best success with "spilling" has been with allysum and nepeta.

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    1. Jason, I do love those little blue flowers, and I think I will spread the forget me nots about in different parts of the garden to seed.

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  12. HA!!! I am seriously laughing out loud right now!!! I do think that your flowering ground covers are gorgeous but I get what you are saying about the pot!!! Love your honesty! Your garden is filling in so beautifully and I enjoyed seeing your mass plantings of foam flowers...Awesome!!!

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    1. Nicole, thanks. I thought the forget me nots looked nice too, until I got the image of the pot spewing flowers in my mind and now that's all I can see!

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  13. Your yellow puddle is very pretty, and as for the forget me nots, I would just remove the pot. Sometimes it is hard to duplicate a look, because our own gardens have their own inclinations, which may end up being better than the original!

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    1. Deborah, I agree, I think the pot will be taken away and used more appropriately. It was fun to try the tipped on its side thing, though. But.

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  14. Laurrie, I love that you tried the spilling as seen on Pinterest. It's exactly the type of thing I might do ... and now I don't have to.

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    1. Joene, good --- I am glad I saved you the work (and embarrassment?) of trying to do this : )

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  15. Thanks for the laugh!
    I bet that alyssum will end up looking lovely, I am glad someone else always discovers they need 'more' than they ever thought they did.

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    1. Acair Fearann, thanks, and I'm glad I gave you a little laugh today!

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  16. Laurrie, you said:yellow puddle and I love it! sunny puddle!
    The pot with Forget-me-not is smaller than have to be, I think. If you take bigger pot and place it of the other side of the flowers--- will be wonderful!
    Have a nice day!

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    1. Nadezda, you have some good ideas -- a larger pot at the other end would work! in the end, I might just take the pot out. But your ideas would really work too.

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  17. The best ideas don't always work out as we'd planned, do they? But I love your forget-me-nots! I've tried to grow them the past two years with no luck, but then I planted them in a pretty inhospitable place, so that didn't help.

    I just read Lisa's comment--my friend and I happened to visit her sister last week, and she's right the soapwort is beautiful, like something out of a magazine. The thing is, she said she didn't even plan it that way:)

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    1. Rose, I'd love to see a picture of that soapwort in the cracks of the block wall. Serendipity!!

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