Need help with 8' round garden bed

lavender_lass(4b)June 8, 2010

I need some help with a round bed, with a birdbath in the center. The bed is 8' across and the birdbath is about 3' high and light gray (faux stone). It's kind of classical looking and I would like something more traditional, but not too stuffy. Formal cottage? LOL

Anyway, this is the bed in the middle of my kitchen garden and I'd like it to be a nice focal point. The rest of the garden has some black metal accents and of course, roses. I'd like something probably non-edible in this area, since it's directly under the birdbath. Any pictures would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

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daislander(Van. Island B.C Z 8)

so the bird bath is staying? And you are wanting suggestions as to what to plant around it? Are you trying to fill the 8 ft? Your name says its all I would a ring of lavender all the way around the bird bath. Definelty some boxwood for year round interest and a red or pink carpet roses, lambs ears, ladys mantel. Depends on how much plants you want in there and how much you want to spend. Oh shoot zone 4. hmm I have to see what plants can grow there then get back to you lol. Mabey dwarf conifers... or are you thinking annuals...?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:00PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

daislander has a wonderful idea with the lavender! Why not take it one step further and do a whole knot garden of herbs?
Chives, lavenders, Greek Oregano, Lemon Balm, some mints, Catnip and edge it in thyme. It would be so lovely.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:06PM
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That's a really good suggestion - herbs are gorgeous. Maybe some blooming sage and some lemon thyme for color variation? Now I want to do that! :-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:29AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Irises. I want to do that with irises.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:48AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Lavender, how about sharing a pic with us? Let's see the space you're working with.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 11:28AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I think LL wanted to avoid herbs around the birdbath since the birds splash so much that they would get the nasty water all over nearby plants.

Maybe you could make it a tad formal by edging the bed with all one type of plant (very much like a knot garden) and then filling the inside with a mix of cottage-y plants like Sweet William, Columbine, Calendula, pansies, etc.

Really like the idea of edging with Lavender, or maybe even a purple perennial geranium, like 'Ballerina' or something.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:42PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Who says you have to eat the herbs :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Sound like a lovely area and there are so many possibilities. One thing you may want to think about is how often (and how) you clean out your birdbath. Because we have so many birds here I sometimes have to do it twice a day especially if I see those dirty robins have used it. They really make the water filthy. I blast the old water out with a strong spray with the hose, rinse, then refill. This makes the area around it quite wet so I can't grow plants that prefer dry soil there.

If you have outdoor cats you should perhaps grow low plants around so the cats can't hide in the foliage and catch the birds. We no longer have outdoor cats but several years ago the cat that was in the process of adopting us would get at least one bird a day. To stop this massacre my DH put the bird bath on a tall pole so it's almost 6' off the ground which I'm sure must make the birds feel safer. That 'mighty hunter' is now one of our indoor cats and only gets to enjoy the birds thru the window.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Thanks for the suggestions :)

I already have a lot of herbs in the garden...and more lavender, salvia and catmint with the roses. I like the idea of a knot garden or something with a more formal feel.

CMK- You're right, I want to plant something I don't have to worry about eating amidst the bird splashing. I like your idea of using an edger (maybe marigolds?) with the same plant filling the inside. Instead of herbs, maybe root vegetables...that would be a nice way to "spice up" a rather boring veggie. I have turnips, kohlrabi, rhutabagas, carrots, radishes, beets, etc. that my nephew wants to plant, so maybe filling in areas with those vegetables (outlined with the marigolds) would make them more attractive - and more fun for my nephew to try eating them! :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 3:39PM
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Wait . . . 8 ft, round, nephew, veg = pizza garden! Kids love pizza gardens :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Sewobsessed- I like your idea...but what would you put in a pizza garden? I already have tomatoes planted, so what would be some good choices for full sun? Of course, I guess you can never have too many tomatoes :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:42PM
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daislander(Van. Island B.C Z 8)

peppers, garlic, oregano, onions, spinach, zucchini, basil. All good on a pizza! What a neat idea! Could be made formal lookingish.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 2:01AM
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I could move the birdbath to another part of the garden. A pizza garden might be a good idea. I'll talk to my nephew this weekend and see what he wants to do. If they're all annuals, I can always change it next year, if I decide to put the birdbath back in the center and plant herbs :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 3:45PM
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pizza garden -- try basils of many kinds like the purples, the small leafed ones and the large leafed ones. Try parsley too.

I like the idea of herbs and recommend lemon thyme - which is low growing but mounding and very fragrant if walked on.

Or you may consider germanium which you may need to trim from thyme to thyme (hahah)

Actually I saw this somewhere.. a potager with many forms of thyme scattered on teh grounds every were. It was such a clever idea.

If you like coloure - use nasturtium but let them spill over.

Or if you like something more permanent - use thrifts of many kinds.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:34PM
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I want to thank everyone for their great ideas, but I finally have it! I've been trying to remember where I saw a birdbath was in Sally Jean Cunningham's, Great Garden Companions. She plants a lot of perennials and annuals around her bird bath to bring beneficial insects into her garden. That's what I'm going to do...coneflowers, rudbeckia, coreopsis, bee balm, zinnias, marigold, etc. It should be fun and a lot of color as you enter the garden. Thanks again for all the suggestions :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 7:17PM
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