Garden Projects and Ideas - Gardening Forums

What would you do with this bed?

Need advice about building a raised garden bed, double-digging or installing an irrigation system? This is the place to find the help you need!

What would you do with this bed?

Postby styric » Jul 23, 2010 10:21 pm

As I posted previously, just moved in and I am a VERY beginner gardener. The house was owned by renters and I've had a hell of a time with the yard. Pitted, more weeds than anything else (and not nice ones, the really nasty invasive ones), trees overgrown, one garden bed and a rock bed with nothing in it but rock. I've started filling in the pits, reseeded the lawn and gotten an arborist to prune back the maples. Now it's time for the garden bed.

This bed was covered in ferns and a ground cover and grass, and that's it. I dug it up, planted a bleeding heart and just moved the astilbe into the middle. My nephew chose the viola patches, they'll reseed everywhere I expect. The bleeding heart fell over in a storm, so the whole thing looks pretty pitiful!

What would you do with this? It's north facing but gets about 3-5 hours of sunlight a day. on the western side, near the stairs gets about 6.

Image

More calendula is seeded in the blanks, and the yarrow and basil are volunteers that I'll move eventually when they start getting crowded.

Image

Image

Pardon the dog bowl and toy, my toddler was 'helping'.
The most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
User avatar
styric
 
Posts: 309
Joined: May 23, 2010 10:45 pm

Re: What would you do with this bed?

Postby bradinottawa » Jul 25, 2010 2:48 pm

To start, I'd probably extend the bed out a bit and install some quality black plastic edging or cut a deep natural edge. Along the main stretch (photo #2), you might want to start with about 3 purple Ninebarks spaced evenly across that stretch and about 18 inches from the foundation. Once you decide on your foundation plants (plants in a row along the foundation) or your 'feature' plants, which are generally larger or more showy plants, it's much easier to decide what to put in after that. It's also nice to throw a boulder in to break things up (plant something taller behind the boulder, moss on the boulder, and low-growing things in front, etc). If you decide to put a small-ish hedge up against the house, Alpine Currants and Cotoneasters are great choices. If you like vines, you'll have to be certain you pick one that doesn't crave sun (like Clematis).
User avatar
bradinottawa
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 18, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: What would you do with this bed?

Postby conniepr » Jul 27, 2010 9:05 am

The Diabolo Ninebark that is suggested here is a great idea. I bought two this year and I've already had comments from people saying how beautiful the leaves are and how eye catching the color is. Would look good up against your light colored siding, and I believe the color of the existing flowers would be very attractive together. This Ninebark though can grow to six-eight feet high and four feet around, so there would be some pruning eventualy to keep it from outgrowing the space.
User avatar
conniepr
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Jul 09, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Zone 3

Re: What would you do with this bed?

Postby dorismccomb » Sep 24, 2010 9:26 pm

I definitely agree with the Ninebark shrubs. I have several planted and not only do they grow well, they also are easy to maintain in terms of shaping/trimming. In contrast, the Dart's Gold Ninebark is another great shrub that is medium sized with golden leaves. The Dwarf American Cranberry is another shrub good for part shade/sun locations.

I am not a lover of the Cotoneaster due to fire blight and the attraction that wood wasps always had to mine. And for some reason mine always seemed to be affected by aphids, leaving that smelly, sticky honey dew all over the leaves. However, a gardener friend of mine has a few planted and they are doing just fine. I guess they just don't like me.

With the above said, prior to planting anything, I firmly believe in working the flowerbeds from the ground up..meaning amending/preparing the soil prior to planting. No matter what you decide (or have decided to plant) if the soil is nurtion poor, the plants will not perform to their optimium level. Add leaf mulch, manure, compost, ect. to the soil. Of course the amount will depend on your soil type. I garden in heavy clay. This has me adding a 5 way soil mix every year to all of they flowerbeds.(a 5 way soil mix: top soil, sand, mulched leaves, shredded wood chips, well rotted manure)

Hope my suggestions helped.
Doris
User avatar
dorismccomb
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Aug 19, 2010 10:53 pm

Re: What would you do with this bed?

Postby styric » Sep 26, 2010 3:43 am

I've already put in 200 lbs of mulch, all the leaves from this fall, 2 yards of compost, 2 yards of sand, 2 of topsoil and am adding more next spring :)

I've got the plans out to pull the bed out further, and raise it into a two tiered system with the bushes in the back. Thanks for the advice!
The most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
User avatar
styric
 
Posts: 309
Joined: May 23, 2010 10:45 pm


Return to Garden Projects and Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Follow Style At Home Online

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests