Jay Sifford is a regular GPOD contributor. We’ve visited his garden in Charlotte, North Carolina (Jay’s Garden in North Carolina, Revisited), and today we’re in his other garden, up in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Even though it’s dry up here in the western North Carolina mountains right now, the garden doesn’t seem to mind. The pollinators are happy too. I took these updated photos of my septic drain field turned stylized meadow garden, featuring midsummer color.
‘Tiki Torch’ echinacea (Echinacea hybrid, Zones 5–9) is new to me. Here it shines in front of ‘Panther’ ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius, Zones 2–8) and ‘Blue Dune’ lyme grass (Leymus arenarius ‘Blue Dune’, Zones 4–8).
Here’s an example of layering, with Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ (Zones 3–8), ‘Karley Rose’ pennisetum (Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’, Zones 5–8), Liatris spicata, ‘Blue Dune’ lyme grass, ‘Bonnie Blue’ and ‘The Limey’ spruces (Picea pungens, Zones 2–7), and Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Zones 5–9).
Closeup of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’. I’ve become bolder in my spring paniculata pruning. I’ve been cutting them to within 10 inches of the ground, rather like a hard prune on a rose bush. The result is large flowers on very straight, strong stems.
The color progression in this garden is better than I’d imagined. Here, ‘American Gold Rush’ rudbeckia (Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’, Zones 3–9) is beginning to bloom. This variety is supposed to be fungus resistant. So far, so good. It’s year number 2 with it in the garden.
Wide view of the front garden in very late July
Pycnanthem muticum (mountain mint, Zones 4–8) is aggressive when happy, but it’s a real pollinator attractor. Its root system is great for holding soil on a slope.
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