Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Evolution of Little Rock

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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 1, 2015 1:25 PM CST
I hope you'll indulge me with a place to talk about my rock garden/semp bed I named Little Rock. It is rapidly evolving and I can't resist taking pictures and need a place to share them! Rolling my eyes.

The area (I finally measured it) is about 7 feet long, 13 inches wide at the widest and 7 inches at the narrow end. It abuts a brick wall and is next to a tiny sidewalk. The part right up by the wall often doesn't receive rainfall.

When I moved in last spring, this area was growing ditch lilies (H. fulva I believe they are) which will grow anywhere, and also lots of couch grass which is a nasty character that has hard-gripping root networks sometimes a foot or more deep.

In the area that became Little Rock, that grass was also rooting into the mortar of the brick wall.

I first just tried to get just the grass out but the lilies looked extremely unsightly there after they bloomed so I decided it was a rock garden. I dug in and removed absolutely everything.

I happened to acquire some NOID semps and this was the place to plant them. I also at some point bought a very small container that had three varieties of semps in it, one Green Wheel, one Oddity, and one that will forever be a NOID. Some of that went into Little Rock as well.

Here is this morning's view of Little Rock, taken from the wide end, which is the best angle for it:

Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/060c14

I used creeping jenny as a "between rocks and semps" groundcover, which was not a great choice as it likes much more water than it will get here. But it works okay for now. It will be replaced with more xeric plantings over time.

The semps I planted here, two NOIDs and some of the Green Wheel, are *really* liking the territory! and they are all making offsets. I trimmed some of the creeping jenny from around the Green Wheel and found it had already rooted an offset under one frond.
Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/97cb9a

I got advice to move some rocks away from these plants to give them more room to root in:
Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/f8b465

And as I was working I discovered several other offsets developing here and there:
Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/632fb1
Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/f36ef7

I planted some perennial Blue Flax at the narrow end, and there's a teeny start of thyme next to it. These are much better suited to the area than the creeping jenny is, so it will be fun to find some other replacements as time goes on.
Thumb of 2015-05-01/kylaluaz/a22aaa

The little fence you can sort of see in some of the pictures is made from bamboo stakes cut short, and garden tie tape (that stretchy plastic kind) woven in and tied as cross pieces. I had to do that to alert the lawn guys not to blow there, not to squish the plants with the mower wheels, etc. Sticking tongue out

At the wide end, I put a clay pot angled with creeping jenny spilling out -- and a couple semps behind the pot. (That's visible in the first photo I think.) That makes a nice little spot. I'll have to find something else to spill from the pot maybe.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - May 1, 2015 1:28 PM (+)]
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Name: J.c. S.
Kansas (Zone 6b)
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StaticAsh
May 1, 2015 8:46 PM CST
Quite a nice bed, and very cool pics! Thumbs up
Thanks for keeping us updated. Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
[Last edited by StaticAsh - May 1, 2015 8:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
May 1, 2015 9:14 PM CST

Moderator

Wow, Kyla you have been very busy. I love the way this is coming along. What a great way to plant a difficult area. There are several very low growing ground cover type creeping thyme that would work in the conditions you have in your rock garden.



And a very tiny Thymus praecox 'Elfin'


Then there are the miniature Potentilla:

And


There are so many wonderful tiny plants that would grow well with your lovely semps. Hurray!
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 1, 2015 9:27 PM CST
Thanks, J.C.! And Lynn -- I have all those types of thyme planted here and there in other beds -- I actually did a groundcover project in one spot not far from Little Rock:
Thumb of 2015-05-02/kylaluaz/267c80

That area was not much but sandy dirt and rather gnarly weeds when I moved in. I tried the Green Wheel there but it was too wet -- it's right under the drip line from the roof, turns out. The area has filled in nicely but rather than cannabalize it I'll probably enjoy buying a few more plants, haha.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
May 1, 2015 10:56 PM CST
Kyla,
Another alternative for Creeping Jenny that is a good companion for semps (and tender succulents too ) is Petrosedum rupestre subsp rupestre 'Angelina' which can turn a degree of chartreuse some time in the year:



Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 2, 2015 3:18 AM CST
Bev, thanks for that suggestion; I should definitely try sedum in that bed. My experience with sedums so far has been that they're often more delicate than I suspect, and so, Sad

I may look for some of this one you suggest, and also I have some I grew from seed, a Sedum 'Voodoo" which has very tiny leaves colored pale olive tinged with red -- it seems to like growing in my yard so maybe it will like Little Rock too. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 2, 2015 8:09 AM CST

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Great suggestion Bev. And 'Angelina' is a really tough sedum, not delicate at all.

Kyla, has your 'Voodoo' bloomed yet? The bright pink blooms should be lovely.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 2, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Congrats on your progress Kyla!! Yes you're in the right place for bragging about plants Smiling Rolling on the floor laughing I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 2, 2015 4:15 PM CST
Aw, thanks everyone, for letting me talk about my Little Rock, and for the great suggestions.

No, the Sedum voodoo hasn't bloomed yet, I'll look forward to that. Here's a patch in the ground:
Thumb of 2015-05-02/kylaluaz/d8b16a I may put a little over in Little Rock and let it spread there.

Unfortunately my little sedum bed attracted some critter one night; I suspect a racoon looking for grubs, because I got up one morning and it had all been rucked up and strewn about... sadly my Cherry Tart was broken in one place so it doesn't look as pretty and perfect as it did.
Thumb of 2015-05-02/kylaluaz/e49197

But Little Rock is doing great. I think my little fence is stronger than it looks, vibing critters away. Green Grin!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 2, 2015 5:47 PM CST

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What a bummer about your Cherry Tart. But it won't be any time at all before it recovers and will be beautiful again. It really doesn't look that it sustained much damage. Maybe a before and after photo?
Skunks are also great for digging for grubs, lizards, garden snakes and such.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 2, 2015 5:52 PM CST
Well, I sure hope we don't have skunks. I know we have at least one racoon wandering through. And yes, Cherry Tart wasn't damaged all that much -- no 'before' shot though. You can maybe see a bare patch. It wasn't there before. Sticking tongue out
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 3, 2015 1:13 AM CST
Kyla isn't springtime so exciting when things are starting to grow into something, and the weather cooperates for spending time in the garden!! Love that you named that area "Little Rock" I have a cousin who lives near the one in AR nodding
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 3, 2015 4:16 AM CST
Green Grin!

This week we will see temperatures in the 80s so the plants should all just pop. In a good way. haha

I will work early morning until it gets too toasty and then again in the afternoons... seems to be a good pattern.

Yesterday I repotted three semps into larger containers where they can expand comfortably and I'll see if I can get nice pictures for the chat thread later.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
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kylaluaz
May 9, 2015 1:43 PM CST
So here is Little Rock today at High Noon:
Thumb of 2015-05-09/kylaluaz/cf4e69

Well, maybe it was 2 pm but it *felt* like high noon, hot out there!

Here's Green Wheel being very productive:
Thumb of 2015-05-09/kylaluaz/6b5b75

I had a scare today because someone came to estimate doing some housepainting (which does need to be done) and I started to think about how this bed and the groundcover bed are at risk if painting is done, and wondering how I will protect them!

The painting is not imminent but I did make sure my housemate (who owns the house) knew of my concern, so it will be okay I hope. Blinking
Name: J.c. S.
Kansas (Zone 6b)
Sempervivums Sedums Lilies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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StaticAsh
May 9, 2015 2:10 PM CST
"Little Rock at High Noon." Sounds like a line from a western movie. Hilarious! Looks good and I dig Green Wheel!

Is you concern the plants getting trampled or covered in paint? I can't tell how high up the brick goes from the pics, or where the painting would start. But after your housemate chooses a painter, I would (very, very nicely) approach them and voice your worries. If it's fear of trampling just show them the green tape you've set up. If it's fear of paint cover, have them put a lightweight disposable plastic tarp on them. If they don't seem receptive to the idea, just go buy one and cover it yourself - they're cheap. As one who has painted countless houses, if someone approaches me in a friendly, cordial manner, I will make it my personal duty to see that no harm comes to their plants. Sticking tongue out
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
May 9, 2015 2:16 PM CST
Thanks, JC, that's pretty much what I intend to do. There is a wall of white painted siding not that far above Little Rock -- maybe four feet up. So yeah, it will need to be covered.

The ground cover bed -- well, both of them really -- are under whatsit, sofits? under the edge of the roof two storeys up. So dropping stuff, and/or stepping might be an issue -- they'll have to use a high ladder or maybe a scaffold for that part. But! That's much later on, turns out at first all that will be painted are the porches.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 9, 2015 6:46 PM CST

Moderator

Great advice J.C.
We painted out house about 5 years ago, then a new roof 2 years ago. Both with great results of no damage to plant life. Lite cover over the beds during painting.
The roofer put boards with plywood slanted away from the house, like a slide. No damage to plant life.
Both crew were wonderful.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
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kylaluaz
May 15, 2015 10:48 AM CST
Just a few pictures from Little Rock this morning:


Thumb of 2015-05-15/kylaluaz/e330bc

Thumb of 2015-05-15/kylaluaz/6a582c

Thumb of 2015-05-15/kylaluaz/167db4

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 15, 2015 11:00 AM CST

Moderator

Kyla those are some happy and healthy looking semps. Great photos.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
May 15, 2015 4:55 PM CST
Thanks, Lynn, I appreciate having a place to share them. Smiling

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