Xericstyle

Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Lucky Lesson Learned…

I mass planted upright rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Hill Hardy‘) around the perimeter of the front of the house almost a year ago for its unruly look as opposed to traditional foundation plantings, as well as to repel cats at night.  It has fulfilled both of those purposes nicely.  I chose the ‘Hill Hardy’ cultivar, also called ‘Madeline Hill’, for its smaller footprint compared to the more readily available ‘Tuscan Blue’, as well as its winter hardiness.  Y’all know I do not like to trim hedges therefore I wanted a variety that would top out naturally before it reached the windows.

Here it is newly planted back in January:

I planted tiny transplants but they grew quickly!

Now this is where I learned a valuable lesson.  If you look closely on the left wall of the house you can see I lost a plant with the re-roof.  Non-gardeners would think, no biggy, go buy another plant.  Well, when you mass plant, especially in a situation like this, a baby plant would look silly.  Then there is the issue of finding the same cultivar, as you would not want to plant a more readily available ‘Tuscan Blue’ that is a monster here amongst plants that top out around 4ft.  LUCKILY I had bought one plant too many last winter and I stuck it somewhere else in the landscape.  It came in handy!  Same cultivar, and roughly the same size as its friends!  CHEERS!  So when the temperatures cooled a bit I popped it in.  I also started a cutting and planted it in what I now call “the rosemary holding area!”

Here is my little ‘Hill Hardy’ cutting well rooted ….waiting in this non-focal area if I ever need it.  I learned this lesson by luck, but now I am applying what I learned.  Mass planting things is my favorite way to plant, although there are situations where that can be challenging, such as this anchor planting.  If I lost a mass planted Mexican feather grass in a sea of feather grass, well, that is truly no biggy.   But when you lose a bigger mass planted foundation plant, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

My oh my have the plants grown in less than one year.  Here they are on the right side of the house casting super cool shadows at night especially.  I just love that unruly look!  In front of my planter my creeping germander (Teucrium cossonii majoricum)has FINALLY taken off and started flowering profusely creating a dense silver and lavender carpet.

Rosemary, rosemary, rosemary…life and my garden would be boring without you!

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4 Comments

  1. Love it! mmmm I can just imagine the smell as you tend your garden. I was hoping you’d feature your rosemary! Try the lemonade yet?!

    • Your rosemary lemonade recipe you shared with me, or as I call it around here, “Louisade,” is FREAKING DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – xericstyle

  2. We had a similar situation with our mass planted foundation planting of Lavender. thanks to the wet weather this summer we lost 3 large plants. I like the idea of having a couple of extras just in case.

    • Sorry to hear you lost a few foundation plants – IT SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! I mourned my rosemary for a little while and was so frustrated as the ‘hill hardy’ I have only ever seen in teensy pots. Then I realized I had that other one planted! It is worth it for sure!!!! Like a little plant insurance – ha! – xericstyle

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