Several years ago, a native pine tree grew in a planter that divides the top, flat part of our driveway from the steep slope coming up from the road. The planter was cobbled together, made with various rocks the previous owner had left over.
When the pine tree died from boring beetles and we cut it down, it made the tight turn at the top of our driveway feel so much more open. However, the steep grande change required something to divide the two levels, so Ben and I agreed on a 6 foot diameter culvert turned planter.
Though 6 feet isn’t small, it was about half the size of the previous rock planter, giving more space to make the turn. In June, Ben got the planter in place, but I waited to buy plants because I didn’t want to plant in the heat of summer.
With cooler fall temperatures, the new plants can start to establish roots before winter hits and hopefully bounce right back with warm spring temps. As per my plan, I bought an Ivory Silk Lilac, placing it in the center of the planter. It maxes out around 20 feet tall, which will stay compact in this tight space.
Around the tree, I added four Black Eyed Susans. In part because the do well in our conditions, but also because I couldn’t find lavender locally this time of year.
Between the culvert planter and the wooden beam walkway, we added large stones to divide planter space from driveway.
In that section, I dotted Angelina Stonecrop plants, which should fill in to form a low lying green rug.
Currently, the tree looks a bit puny, like something Charlie Brown would rescue. Once established, I hope it fills out and dazzles us with white flower clusters.
In the steep grade change, I nestled a few Hens and Chicks succulents in to help soften all of the rocks.
Patience is always the name of the game when dealing with plants. It looks sparse now, but in a few short years, it should look lush and full.
Navigating the driveway is easier now, thanks to the extra 6 or so feet cut off from the old planter size. Next spring, I will add sweet potato vines (an annual in our zone) to the tall front edge to drape over the front.
And now the waiting on plants to grow game begins, which feels like an eternity. Taking pictures along the way helps, because it shows the slow progress that is otherwise hard to notice on a daily basis.