A Morning Surprise

I walked around the north side of my house this morning and was surprised by the sight presented me in the foundation planting bed. Perhaps a better word would be unexpected. It is mid-October here in North Carolina, and most of my plants are beginning to shut down for the winter. For some reason, I had not made my way around this side of the house for a few days, so this developing scene had gone unnoticed. This picture reminds me of our good fortune in this climate to have these plants that give us flowering goodies well into the fall.


This bed has come together nicely over the years since it was planted eight years ago. The loropetalum has grown a bit too big for its location, so I have to trim it several times a season to keep it in bounds. Altogether I am pleased with the contrasts in foliage form, size and shades of green, which is only enhanced when the blossoms are present. An added bonus is that this bed, except for that vigorous loropetalum, requires a minimum of maintenance, an attribute that seems to become more important to me with each passing year.

The plants include (left to right) ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae, Encore azalea ‘Autumn Sweetheart,’ ‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea macrophylla, “Red Mill’ Pieris japonica, unidentified Hydrangea macrophylla, Encore azalea ‘Autumn Carnival,’ Carex morrowii ‘Evergold,’ Loropetalum chinense  ‘Rubra,’ and holly ‘Sky Pencil’ Ilex crenata.

It seems I must investigate the goings-on in my garden more carefully. What else might I be missing?

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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10 Responses to A Morning Surprise

  1. pbmgarden says:

    A very attractive planting, John. Low maintenance is always a good thing.


  2. Julie says:

    Your border is really lovely and sits beautifully against the background of your house.


  3. Glad to see Pieris among the mix. This plant is not grown often enough, in my opinion.


  4. johnvic8 says:

    Marian, Thanks. This particular pieris has lovely red foliage when it first appears.


  5. Looks very full and colorful, especially for October. I often find that there is some corner I have not checked on in a while, even in my little garden here.


  6. Pauline says:

    I like borders that can look after themselves, yours is looking beautiful. I too must think about simplifying the planting here as the years are whizzing by!


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