An enormous bleeding heart dominates this side of the house every spring. At the peak of its growth, it will be taller than the meter behind it.
Fragrant sweet box (sarcoccoa humilis) grows in front of the air conditioner units. Wood anemones grow next to the bleeding heart. They look great in the spring but are ragged by summer.
For about a month, this side looks great.
I shear these back in summer to stimulate new growth.
The problem lies in the expansive growth of the bleeding heart. While it's beautiful in the spring, it goes dormant by mid-summer, leaving a big empty spot next to a clump of fried anemones.
The grass is crispy, thanks to the heat wave. 'Miss Kim' lilacs and newly-planted-this-spring daylilies meet the sweetbox shrubs.
The bleeding heart is going dormant and within a few weeks all growth will be gone, leaving a big empty spot.
A motley assortment of homeless perennials thrive here, including Painter's Pallette and a very happy patch of heuchera. I've created a small path from the grass to the rain barrel for easy watering jug fill-ups. The top of the barrel unzips for easy access. I thought about filling in the empty spot with summer annuals, but they're too hard to establish in the middle of summer. Plus, I'm hesitant to disturb the bleeding hearts roots.
Wild petunias (native ruellia), white flowered eupatorium, and Maltese Cross (lychnis) grow well here, too.
A patch of toad lilies from a friend are happy here, too.I don't want to put in something so big and leafy that the toad lilies are overshaded. I was thinking about something with a light, open feel so the toad lilies will still receive a bit of sun.
Smashed by the Verizon Fios installation crew.
This area had been full of obedient plants that were completely crushed.
Here's the problem: I want to plant something tall that will detract from the big empty spot created by the dormant bleeding heart. The tall showy tick trefoil that I planted near the rain barrel and the wall of the house last fall were smothered by the foliage of the bleeding heart. I think I need a woody plant that can withstand the onslaught of bleeding heart foliage, and fill in the empty space a bit, but I'm just not sure. I'm so tired of trying to solve the same problem and always coming up short, that I'm asking for HELP!!! The area next to the rain barrel doesn't have any underground utility lines.
Exposure: Sheltered, northern wall with moist, well draining soil. Mostly shady with high bright shade and patches of sun throughout the day.
If this was your hot mess, what would you do?