Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring Flower Beds

Most of our gardening beds are dedicated to edibles, but we do have a few flower beds. Admittedly, I'm no expert on growing flowers and know even less about garden design. We've lived in this house almost nine years and, with the exception of the front beds surrounding the house, the flower beds are a mish-mosh of successes and failures (most failures are removed or die on their own). I gave in and had a professional create a plan the front beds. I was tired of the yard looking like a couple of college kids lived here.

These are the first pics from this spring. It might not look like much, but things are growing. So far, we've planted a few summer bulbs and plants that are frost tolerant. Here in zone 6A, we're about three weeks from the frost free date.

During the summer I spend a lot time tending the edible garden and preserving the food.  I need ornamental plants that are easy to grow and look good without much care. After the initial spring cleaning, I might weed just once more through the growing season.

Have planting suggestions? I welcome your advice. Feel free to leave a comment below.

This bed is right next to the drive. We're removing the railroad ties and tearing up the poured walkway on the bottom. The bed has several peony bushes, dianthus, volunteer black columbines, spring bulbs, lilies and a mum that probably won't make it. I pulled out a lot of spider wort. And I planted an elephant ear, because I needed something tall to anchor the bed. And they were in a huge pile at my garden center that I couldn't resist.

Have you planted spider wort? It looks so beautiful in the catalog. But it never looked good in the bed. And it TAKES OVER. It's like mint only you can't eat it. See all those roots? They run for yards. We have an annual spring ritual: Pull the Wort!! We've worked to remove it for the past three years.  The wort persists. 

This is the kidney bed near the road.  The shrub next to the daffodil is loaded with small pink flowers. I can't recall the name but I love it. There's also an astilbe on the far left and a just planted hydrangea on the far right. 

The herb bed just off the kitchen includes (bottom to top) oregano, chives, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, lavender and sage. We'll plant basil next month after danger of frost passes. Lemon grass will be planted in the nearby kitchen garden.

If I'm going to find a dead raccoon on the property, I'm pretty sure it'll be in this bed. Despite my efforts, this plot never looks pretty. It grows near a big maple that shades it in the summer, and covers it in deep leaf mulch in the winter. It stays wet, doesn't get much sun and usually includes a patch of poison ivy. I'm not a hosta fan so I'm on a constant search for interesting shade plants. Right now the plot includes coral bells, woodruff, bleeding heart, phlox and other things that never bloom. So they're unidentifiable to me. 

I'll be posting updated photos as the beds fill out. Hope you'll check back!

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