Monday November 3, 2008 Putting Helen’s Haven to bed for the Winter – the Red Bed

Putting Helen’s Haven to Bed for the Winter

The Red Bed

For better or worse, here’s my Red Bed in Early August.  My gardens are no different than I, they look better in person than in a photograph – or at least that is what I want to believe.

Helen’s Haven is made up of many gardens.  Some serve a grander role than others.   I consider 5 of the beds to be major players.  By that I mean they are major in size and purpose; the smaller gardens play a minor role – they are small in size and/or function, but still, they’re fun to have around. 

The Red Bed - August 2008

The Red Bed - August 2008



The major players including the Red Bed, Office Border, Herb Garden (Butterfly Host Garden), Mixed Border (Butterfly Nectar Garden) and Secret Garden.


The minor players include the Mailbox Bed, Front Porch Beds, Children’s Play Area, Back Porch Bed One, Back Porch Bed Too, Woodland Garden One, Woodland Garden Too, Crinum Bed, Southern Back Border, and Rose Garden.


What the Red Bed means to me

The concept of a front garden is important to me.  In my opinion, they are not created often enough. Whenever or whoever decided to relegate gardens to the back had a bad idea.  In my mind, gardens should be up front and personal (pun intended.) 



My front garden, the Red Bed, is made up mostly of the color red – the red color can come form the stem, flower, bark, berry, bud, or the foliage including fall color, new growth, summer color or garden accents.  To add surprise, there is also a splash of purple, orange, yellow and white in the mix. 


Although I call it the Red Bed, it could also be called the Burgundy Bed to be more specific.  The reds tend to be muted, burgundy or otherwise low gloss.  I had a cherry red Knock Out® rose in there that clashed with the other reds…out it came.  It now sits in my holding area until I can figure out what to do with it or who to give to.


The main feature of the front garden is the fountain.  I’m a fan of fountains.  I’ve never met a fountain I didn’t like.  Some can be more maintenance than others.  My rule of thumb is they bigger the reservoir, the less problems you’ll have.


If I wanted to, I could calculate how many gallons my reservoir holds, but I don’t really need to know other than it’s big enough.  That makes me happy.  Over the years, I’ve had small reservoirs and they constantly needed refilling.  Mine is in the ground and it’s also big enough to hold water plants.  The frogs love being in there too.


My garden also makes a statement.  For the people how need it, I’ll tell them I live at 3412 Yelverton Circle, 4th house on the right.  But if it’s a gardener, all I need to say is you’ll know it when you see it…you can’t miss it.  It’s obvious a gardener lives there.


Before and After


After.  It wasn’t a killing frost, but it is lost for the season



 Keeping it interesting through the winter

The fountain is off so it won’t freeze.  I keep it filled with water so the birds can enjoy it.  During the Christmas season, I have it filled with something interesting.  Each year is different.  Last year it was a giant fruit bowl.  Years past, it’s been filled with greenery.  I’m not sure what it will become this year.


The dwarf pampas grass stays giving a nice blond color in the gray winterscape.  There isn’t much evergreen there, but enough to carry it through.  I’ll post a dead of winter shot in January.


The Red Bed Plant List  
Botanical Name Common Name
Abellia grandiflora  Abellia ‘Little Richard’
Acanthus Summer Beauty
Acer palmatum  Japanese Maple ‘Bloodgood’
Achillea millefolium  Angeique
Adonis Blue Butterfly Bush
Aquitegia  Columbine ‘Winky Blue & White’
Asclepias tuberosa Milkweed
Berberis thunbergii  Barberry ‘Crimson Pygmy’
Box Wintergreen
Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush ‘White Ball’
Callstem rigida Bottle Bush
Cephalotaxus harringtonia Yews
Colocasia Elephant’s Ear  ‘Rubarb’
Cornus florida Native Dogwood
Cortaderia selloana  Dwarf Pampas Grass ‘Pumila’ (Ivory Feathers)
Crinum Crinums  ‘Sangria’
Cryptomeria japonica Black Dragon
Edgeworthia chrysanthes  Edgeworthia ‘Gold Rush’
Eupatorium purpureum Dwarf Joe Pye Weed  ‘Little Joe’
Forsythia Forsythia
Hedera helix Ivy  ‘Eva’
Helleborus x hybridus Red Lady’
Heremocalis Day Lily  ‘Buttered Pop Corn’
Heremocalis Stella de ‘Ore
Heuchera hybrid Heuchera  Dolce Black Current
Heuchera hybrid Heuchera Southern Comfort
Hydrangea macrophylla  Lady in Red Hydrangea ‘Lady in Red’
Iris germanica Iris – pale blue
Iris germanica Vita Fire
Loropetalum Pizazz
Lycorius radiata  Surprise Lily ‘Surprise Lily’
Lysimachia congestiflora Variegated Siberian Iris  ‘Persian Chocolate’
Magnolia Grandaflora Magnolia
Pieris Valley Valentine
Pieris japonica Ground cover from VA trip
Pinus mugo Mugo Pine
Pinus strobus  Yellow White Pine ‘Hillside Winter Gold’
Pinus sylevstris Scotch Pine  ‘Hillside Creeper Scotch’
Pinus sylevstris  Hindu Pan
Pinus thunbergiana Black Pine
Quince Quince
Rhododenron  Mrs. G.G. Gerbing
Ricinus communis Red castor bean
Rosemarinus officinalis Prostratus Weeping Rosemary
Rubus pendalobus Creeping Raspberry
Rubus rolfel Creeping Rasberry
Rudbeckia mazima Black-eyed Susans
Sedum purium Sedum  ‘John Creech’
Sedum repestre  Sedum ‘Angelina Stonecrop’
Senna Senna
Stachys byzantina  Lamb’s Ear ‘Helen Von Stein’
Styrax japonica Japanese snowbell
Taxodium distichum  Weeping Bald Cypress ‘Cascade Falls’
Thymjus serpyllum Creeping Thume
Thymus ceiroiodorus Lime Thyme
Tulbaghia violacea Society Garlic
Ulmus alata Winged Elm
Verbena bonarienis  Brazilian Verbena
Yuccca gloriaso Varigatea
Zephyranthes White Rain Lilies


  1. tina said

    Very stunning front beds!

  2. Thanks Tina, but I don’t know. Sometimes I look at it think it is so beautiful and I can’t believe I created it. Other times I look at it and wonder, “What was I thinking!” LOL

    Thanks for making me a fav!

  3. That’s quite a list of plants!

    I’m a water feature person, too. With our stream and waterfall, we leave it running year round. The motion keeps it from freezing.


  4. Herb said

    Wow! Wish I had the time to create something like that.

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