It was about to be another boring slab of concrete. Now, it’s a nice piece of garden that stays green through winter. It took a few tries to get this little garden spot right.
Three summers ago, my landlord busted out the final remnants of spent concrete in 3’ x 5’ section against the southeast corner of our house. He was planning on pouring new concrete there, until I offered an alternative of creating garden space. It saved his back and money, along with looking much better.
I dug out two layers of medium-sized rocks, and poured in fresh soil. That was about a three-hour chore. That was the easy part.
I planted a Bleeding Heart in the center, which still blooms in the spring, but dies back in July. I planted annuals to fill for the rest of the summer. Then the big problem hit. The eastern half of the planter died back. Sitting right above the dead zone was a dryer vent. The hot exhaust scorched plants and soil.
Then my neighbor Martin had a great idea. He unscrewed the vent, and changed the direction so the exhaust would shoot out to the side, instead of straight down. I re-amended the soil, and started planting perennials.
Now, the garden square is thriving with Bear’s Breeches, the Bleeding Heart, a Leopard Plant and Blushing Bride Spiderwort. The warmth from the house helps keep the spot green all winter, as the Leopard Plant can be an evergreen in a mild Seattle winter. I still add a few Waxed Begonias in the spring for summer color.