A Narrow Landscape Bed Including Metal Garden Art and Unique Plants

Landscape Bed With Garden Art
Landscape Bed With Garden Art

Adding metal garden art alongside unique plants in this landscape bed makes this one of the most exciting areas in our landscape.

This narrow rock bed is approximately 3’ x 50’ long and branches off from a larger landscape bed close to my deck. Due to a septic system drain field nearby voiding any planting possibilities, I decided to try something new. Narrow and long.

This bed was an experiment for me. Not only is it narrow and long, I also added some large boulders left over from a separate project, making the bed even less "traditional." The rocks felt too big for the area until I added the garden art and some plant material. Now I feel like they “fit”.

Below is a video tour of the bed:

Below are pictures for you to enjoy of the plants and garden art used in this project:

Red Cone Norway Spruce, Picea abies ‘Acrocona’

Red Cone Norway is an excellent conifer with a broad, spreading pyramid habit. The red cones on the branch tips each spring are wonderful. Make sure you plant this conifer in full sun and give it room to grow. I’ll likely have to widen this bed to accommodate its mature size. It can reach 12 feet high and 12’ wide. 

Uncle Fogy Jack Pine, Pinus banksiana ‘Uncle Fogy'

My favorite part of the Uncle Fogy is the name. Right? I love the character and branching habit of this pine. I suspect this gnarly irregular branching habit is not for everyone, but I love it. 

The Uncle Fogy branches will bend and swoop to create a living sculpture. It is very hardy, to Zone 2, and will tolerate the poorest of soils. Fogy is a medium to fast-growing pine reaching 12’H x 8’W. 

Even though fire is destructive, it is also necessary to renew many different plant species. The cones on the Jack Pines need heat for them to open and disseminate their seeds. So when a forest fire occurs, you may lose an existing stand, but the seeds will float away in the warm air, eventually land, and a new forest begins. 

I used to burn firewood as a heat source in one of my homes. Since I had a wood stove with a glass door, I placed a couple of Jack Pine Cones in the fire. Sure enough, the cones opened, and the seeds floated around in the flame box.

As I watched, I imagined how millions of these seeds could be released in a wildfire. It was fascinating.

Dwarf Scotch Pine, Pinus sylvestris ‘Glauca Nana’

The scotch pine you see here has been trained in this bonsaii form. I prune the candles back by 1/2 to 2/3 each spring to keep the unique form and tight habit. Eventually, the growth of the balls will begin to merge, and it will become an irregular mounded dwarf conifer. 

This is the most I have ever paid for a plant, around $1600. It is one of my wife’s favorite plants. After the first winter in the ground, it had considerable winter burning but flushed out new growth and recovered nicely.

This dwarf Scotch is hardy to zone 3, grows slowly, and will eventually reach around 10’ x 10’ if the groomed balls merge.

Hot Wings Tatarian Maple, Acer tataricum ‘Gar Ann’ 

The Hot Wings gets its name due to the showy scarlet red samaras, often called helicopters, that it produces mid-summer. The samara is technically a fruit but is most often called a seed. 

Hardy to Zone 3, it can reach 20 feet high by 25 feet wide. Hot Wings is one of the tougher maples for the Great Plains as it tolerates our higher Ph soils. I highlighted this tree in another blog post discussing four medium-sized trees you'll love.

I’m a big fan of adding garden art to landscapes, especially pieces made of stone and metal. The circle you see here was custom-made by Davis Designs out of Fargo, ND. 

It was an adventure getting it unloaded and placed in a temporary location. But it is becoming more permanent there each year (I’m getting tired😊). 

As you walk through our landscape, I love how it frames different plants in the distance, depending on your point of view. 

And right next to the most expensive plant is the most I have ever paid for an art piece. Forest Edge Art Galleries made the art piece you see here. My wife calls it “The Flame”.

It was initially mounted on a pole but was damaged in a wind storm and remounted on the granite slab. Eventually, I would like to display this art piece on some type of platform that would elevate it higher. I have not found that “something” that would work yet, but I’ll keep looking.

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Our Flame is viewable from our central kitchen window, so we enjoy it nearly every day of the year!

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