Scratch now has an open storefront on 111 Orange Street in downtown Durham. I've already been and the food lives up to the hype...no surprise there!
This past spring I had the enjoyable task of designing and installing several planters outside the shop. The owner, Phoebe Lawless, is a friend and down-the-street neighbor whose home garden is teeming with dozens of gorgeous plants. I was lucky to have a lot of choices from her yard that were both easy to divide and well suited for the site. For my early-to-full summer scheme, I used a mix of groundcovers for sun (sedum, ajuga reptans, and wire vine) and shade (creeping jenny and a velvety gourd-leaf lookalike from Asia Minor called lady's mantle). Yes, there are some things you could flavor a dish with (rosemary, cardoon, scuppernong) but right now the planters are not designed to grow food. I am hoping the ornamental grasses (chiefly, sea oats and feather grass) keep their promise as low-maintenance all stars.....we'll see. Like all plans, the best ones need to be revised once in a while. We have already spied a stray sunflower seed that has hitchhiked its way into one planter! We may just decide to see what it does.
P.S. When visiting the shop, take notice of the beautiful woodwork that Phoebe's partner, Chuck Samuels, completed. The counter and display case as well as the bluish table tops are really a testament to his skills.
Pictured below from top to bottom L to R:
*Northern sea oats
*Alchemilla mollis aka "lady's mantle" planted around a pre-existing azalea group.
*Sedums, blue fescue, and a small cardoon seedling. The smooth-ish rusty brown stones came from Phoebe and Chuck's backyard in Rockwood. They look identical to many of the rocks found throughout the Third-Fork-Creekbed that flows through our neighborhood's Rockwood Park.