Along the Front Walkway

along the front walkway

Dappled shade of hickory and oak trees pattern our front walk. The bed along the walkway is the perfect place for Impatiens plants. They thrive in humus rich soil and the shade of the trees.

This flower bed has always had Impatiens lining the path. I learned about these lovely plants from my parents-in-law many years ago.  My father-in-law would plant them in his flower bed next to their back patio every year, creating a lovely spot of bright color.

When I first planted Impatiens along the path of our home, I discovered that the chipmunks would pick the blooms off and eat them. So, I decided that I needed to fill the bed with them to have enough for him to eat and plenty left for us to enjoy looking at. Now, there are so many plants in the yard for the chipmunk to choose from, that the Impatiens are no longer in threat of stripped bare of blooms. This means I don’t have to fill the whole bed with Impatiens to have a good show of blooms.

Now that I can have other plants in the bed too, I needed to figure out what plants would work together in succession so there would be color from early spring to fall. Now they share the bed with daffodils, Columbine and Hosta.

In early spring, daffodils provide color down  the middle of the bed. Then, as the daffodils are fading and their foliage withering, the Hosta in the back and Columbine along the middle come up and put on a show.  The large variegated elliptic Hosta leaves are a nice foliage contrast to the smaller trifoliate columbine leaves. The Columbine bloom first and then the Hosta.

Both have attractive blooms but short blooming season, so it is the foliage that creates most of the interest and becomes the backdrop for Impatiens during spring and summer.

When the ground has warmed enough and our area is past danger of frost, then the Impatiens are planted along the front half of the bed. They have a long blooming season that can last past our first frost if I cover them at night. Their lovely blooms create a swath of bright color along the shady walkway.

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