Need suggestions for a new garden

deep_south_gardener(z9b)August 19, 2010

We have a new place. 4.5 acres. We've cleared out a huge amount of trees. We only get out there every other week or so. I haven't started any garden beds yet but I was thinking of putting a bench or a couple of chairs under an oak on the front of the property. What would ya'll suggest for planting under or around the drip line of the oak. I'm hoping to create an intimate area to sit and read or have a cup of tea. Is it possible to plant under or around an oak? Also think low maintenance as we are not our there everyday to water so it will be survival of the fittest. Thanks for any help.

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Different types of oaks tolerate root disturbance better than others. White oaks don't mind at all but you may want to be more careful when planting around black, red or scarlet oaks.
Geraniums and hostas are great under trees, I just planted some toad lilies under my oak and plan on transplanting an astilbe there in the fall.
What is a drip line?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Thanks Earthchild. A drip line is the area around the edge of the canopy of a tree where the water drips down to the earth. That is where I thought I'd start my plantings. We're going out next weekend God willing so I'll take pictures and measurments so I can give some more thought to if and what I should plant there. I guess I should identify the type of oak as well. Maybe I'll just start with a bench and a potted plant. At least I'll be able to sit and read a book and watch the sunset. Good luck with you garden. Have a great weekend


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 7:12PM
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Deep south- How about a couple of adirondack chairs and a table? What a great idea to have a shady spot to sit under your oak tree :)

I'm in the wrong zone to know what would grow well, but what about some columbine or pansies. Do they do well in your area? Bee balm does well, too, for me. These are all in my little shade garden, along with some sweet woodruff and some impatiens.

Hostas, astilbe and the purple leaf coral bells, along with some bleeding hearts and ferns do well for my mom in her shade garden. What about hydrangeas? I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:40PM
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I'm from N.O., St. Bernard. Many people have successfully grown various kinds of liriope or monkey grass under oaks with alot of shade. Also caladiums. And cast iron plant. These are all very low maintenance and very Southern. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I would plant a comfortable chair and read a good book under that shade! My son has a farm in Corsicana, TX with a large oak, and that's what I do!

Big help, right?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:48PM
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or can a branch carry a swing chair?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:54AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Hi Deepsouth I am in Fl but similar weather. Don't forget the lovelies you can hang from the oaks such as orchids and staghorn ferns,impatience will do well in a hanging planter and hopefully some Spanish moss. Bromeliads don't need to be dug in deep either.
I have lost several mature laurel oaks due to root disturbance so I am ever so cautious.Big construction trucks parked on roots can REALLY do them in!
Good luck,I have over 2 acres and it can be overwhelming,sounds like you are on the right track though,start slow and enjoy the journey

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:28AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I have a lot to think about. I love the idea of a hammock chair, and the adirondack chairs sound nice also. I'm going to take pictures and maybe sketch out the area on graph paper so I can get a better idea of just how much area I have to work with and how many plants I will need. Hopefully I can use a lot of what I already have and can divide. One must be frugle with such a large place. My LA garden is over crowded anyway. I'll keep ya'll posted. Thanks again for all the help. Hope ya'll had a great summer. I'm looking forward to a little cooler weather.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:18PM
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