a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing
raaven

Plotting a Dark Garden

Saturday, steanne and I set out to plant some bulbs in the front of the house. Who knew that first, we'd have a battle to the death with some overly aggressive ivy? Seriously, I could not get to the soil to dig holes for these bulbs without first ripping out the mats of ivy root growing through the small grassy plot! I set to work, while steanne did battle with the hedges along the sidewalk.

Eventually, I prevailed (as did steanne, but we were both exhausted by the experience). At least enough for one row of bulbs. If it's not raining tomorrow, I may well tackle the rest of it then.

I should note here that I really like gardening. No, I'm not being sarcastic.

One of my very favorite things to do is to pore through seed catalogs, imagining what miraculous gardens could be wrought from the contents.

It's what I've been doing today.

My current plan (if plan you can call it) is to create a backyard wonderland of darkish plants, out of the assorted miscellany that grows there now. What grows there now?

-1 largeish tree in the corner (steanne, what is that thing, anyway?) which means shade for most of the rest of the yard
-1 random grapevine, currently attacking utility wires
-several sizeable patches of poison ivy (which I, since I'm not allergic, will be ripping out. Possibly as soon as tomorrow)
-some sort of not-very-good-smelling, mosquito-harboring, evil ground cover

Because of the tree (and because I live in a city), I need to aim for mostly shade-tolerant plants. I've found a host of nifty things, many in lush, dark colors which would suit both the Halloween-y look of the house, and (I think) the owner's sensibilities.

However.

I'm looking for some sort of small-footprint, reasonably tall and dense shrubbery to use as a privacy screen around the edges. I need to replace the icky groundcover with...something (something, mind you, that will grow in both partial sun & full shade...and additionally, does not harbor many bugs). I'd also like to put a goodly number of herbs in...and I'm having trouble finding many that are shade-tolerant. Any suggestions from out there in LJ land?

Extra credit question: Does anyone have experience with planting catnip outdoors in a cat-heavy neighborhood? Do they roll in it? Crush it? Run wild & destroy the rest of your garden? (cmpriest, your killer catnip plant and the kitty who fears it do not count. :)
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