The "back" row of my bed is really 3 staggered rows, consisting of:
- An iris (see Step 2) and Blue Star juniper (Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star')
- A King's Gold cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'King's Gold')
- 2 Emerald 'n Gold euonymus (Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n Gold')
The latter two are my tallest plants, reaching a mature height of 3-4 feet. All fit into my blue-purple-gold color scheme.
In this project -- and especially in the back row -- I have consciously broken one of the rules of landscape design. Note carefully that term, "consciously." Designers will tell you to mass plants of the same type together. This achieves unity and is more eye-catching. And I disagree not a whit with that assessment....
However, design considerations are not always paramount. It depends upon what you, personally, wish to achieve in a planting bed. A unified design was not my primary goal in this project; rather, I wished to grow particular plants in which I have had an interest.
I go back to that word I emphasized above: "consciously." Once you know the rules, it's okay to break them -- by choice. If I were being paid to install a bed of a similar size for someone else, I would make the back row consist simply of 3 King's Gold false cypresses. In terms strictly of design, that would be the superior choice. But I had no one to please but myself, and including the euonymus and iris was important to me.
In Step 10 I finish up with a final touch....