Rookie Mistake

When we replaced our lawn with a garden last month, I knew that I wanted to start with two elements – a mass planting of tall ornamental grass (we planted Gulf muhly), and in the narrow border bed between our yard and the neighbor’s driveway, I wanted to mix boulders and native plants in a way that, hopefully, looked more natural than contrived.    I got what I wanted, but there is a little “oops!”;  I didn’t consider that the tall grasses would hide a large portion of the boulder plants. 

I was initially inspired by this lovely photo I saw at the blog Creative Country Mom…..

I don’t have near as much real estate as CCMom, but here’s our new boulder-border below (on the left) sitting behind the tall muhly grass.  I like this view, but it’s only seen if you stand at the curb in just the right spot.   


The rock bed is more visible from the top of the stairs near our driveway (where visitors usually pass to the front door); hopefully the plants in the rocks will thrive and get taller while the muhly shouldn’t get much taller than this since it’ll be cut back each year in late winter.   

I really like this combination of  light green Bamboo muhly and silver Texas sage with a purple boulder.  I wonder if I can keep the TX sage pruned so it stays full at the bottom and not leggy as it matures?  I think low Creeping (wandering?) rosemary (for its dark texture) at the base of the rock would make this even better! 




Here’s more bamboo muhly planted in a culvert pipe- this visually anchors the end of the long boulder bed.  Inspired by Pam Penick’s Digging post about culvert pipe planters.    The dense sago palm and tall pipe shield the afternoon sun from a saucer of fresh water left for the wildlife.    

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam/Digging
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 22:44:04

    Ah, those tricky little details that only become evident after installation. Well, even if the boulders aren’t as visible as you intended, they do look very nice with the grasses. Thanks for the link love re: the culvert pipe planters too!


  2. Shirley
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 13:05:21

    Cyndi, your project turned out great! We’re about to tackle the driveway side and your experiences and photos are an inspiration.


    • cyndik
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 15:35:50

      Thanks! It’s a good time to tackle any project I think!
      If I can figure out how to tell my husband, *gulp* I want to move the entire rock bed to the other side of the muhly grass (where I can see it) and put taller plants / trees between me and my good neighbors. ; )


  3. cyndik
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 13:09:42

    Your welcome, Pam…and happy b-day! Headed over to Digging right now…to read about The Great Outdoors, I think that’s the featured nursery of the day. (


  4. lancashirerose
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 21:23:10

    Love what you did with the boulders. The grasses are a great and the culvert pipe fits in perfectly. I really wish I could put in bamboo muhly but we are too cold over here and I know it would perish the first winter. It adds great height with airiness.


    • cyndik
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 15:29:12

      Thank you, Jenny! The bamboo muhly likes to dance and is light on its feet. The pipe the muhly is in is actually more like a cachepot. I can and will pull the elevated pot from the pipe if strong weather gives me enough warning.


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