Any plants for next years garden?

christinmk z5b eastern WANovember 23, 2010

If you guys are anything like me you will already have started to make plans for next years garden! So, do you have any big plans? Making any new spaces or re-doing old ones? Any interesting projects?

Well, I think I may be done digging out grass and making new beds! There comes a point when you feel you have just enough and more would be too much. This past summer/fall I partially "gutted" the front bed by the roses. The roses stayed, as well as a couple other things I either liked there or wouldn't do well elsewhere. This is a difficult spot to work with. It is on the south side of the house and a sort of micro climate, so everything is a couple weeks early in comparison to the back yard. Plus it is in FULL blazing sun and everything looks horrible come summer.

So this spring I plan to add some colorful/ornamental veggies and annuals amongst the perennials still there. So far I plan to maybe put a couple of tomatoes (one called 'Speckled Roman' which has yellow wavy streaks!) , Peppers 'Chinese Five Color', 'Fish', and 'Black Pearl'. Maybe some red cabbage too. And if I don't end up liking it I can always put more perennials back in there. Ones that look good all the growing season and can also stand up to getting hit with the sprinkler!!

Then I also am thining of making some large hypertufa troughs. There is another difficult spot in the front yard on the shade side. Along the foundation it is so DRY. Nothing much will survive there, even with frequent watering. Anything that does live gets promptly buried by cats that like to do their buisness in the sandy soil!! I am thining of making a few of these 'tufa troughs to put along the back there. Maybe fill them with mini hostas and diminutive shade lovers. Not sure how it will work out, since I don't always have the best track record when it comes to crafty projects, LOL!

How about you guys? Any plans for next year?


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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Arrg...that should be PLANS not PLANTS in the title!!! Maybe I got it confused since most of my plans do include plants, LOL!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 3:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

LOL! Plans and plants are such closely related things, your brain probably just filled in the blank!

I'm in the process of writing a 'maintenance manual' for the garden - for our own purposes (esp. for DH!) and looking ahead to the future when we might need to hire landscaping assistance as we age, and eventually, to leave it with the house when we ultimately (hopefully many years from now!) decide to sell. I'm sure a new owner would be freaked-out by the garden and rip most of it out. It might help to preserve some of it if they knew how to maintain it - and most of it is easy to maintain; there's just an awful lot of it!

It's an interesting process to do though because it's forcing me to take a detailed look at everything (literally too because I'm including pictures...) I'm only halfway through writing up the backyard and, so far, I've decided that next year I need to:
- remove the Hydrangea macrophylla that rarely blooms and put a 'Full Moon' or other golden Japanese maple in that spot. I've been a yellow foliage theme over the past two years for the southern side of under the pines so a gold tree would suit that best, as well as contribute to the fall color theme doveloping on the north side of the shed;
- remove a ligularia on the western edge of the oak woodland beds and replace it with something that can cope with less moisture and is also late rising to allow the trilliums to make their spring show without too much competition. At this point I'm thinking Rodgersia aesculifolia which, despite its supposed liking for moist soil, thrives elsewhere in the same area with even less moisture than this spot has.
- add something - not sure what yet - under the pussy willow on the south side of the shed to take over after the Marsh Marigolds go dormant for the summer. It's a tough spot so I might just let the white corydalis take over as a groundcover there.

I'm sure the list is going to get a lot longer as I continue with this project. I haven't started on the front garden beds yet and I've been increasingly thinking of adding more shrubs to the main bed, especially anything small with good fall color.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:08PM
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I've got lots of plans...'n plants too! This year was prep work for next year. The foundation beds all need some close attention because right now they're a mish mosh of a little of this and a little of that. I need to plant multiples of things and get some sort of theme going rather than just specimen plants.

The butterfly bed is coming along but nothing other than carnations wants to grow at one end of it. Naturally it's the end closest to the road! So that's pretty high on the list sooner rather than later. I'm winter sowing hollyhocks to put in at the end nearest the road so there'll be something blooming after the peonies & baptisia are done.

Then there's the biggest challenge--what was a 30 ft. square bed down on the south side of the house got chopped in half diagonally this year. I set a granite bench in the middle and have a design starting in my head for how to curve the edges of the bed outward on either side of the bench and then stuff the area with perennials. There are already a dozen peonies growing in the bed. Next year they'll get moved around--at the moment 6 of them are in a straight row. BO-ring. There are 30 clumps of daylilies also planted in rows. I'll need help digging those up, dividing & moving them--they've been where they are 20+ years so I may have to ask my neighbor to dig them out with his backhoe.

I spread cardboard & mulch in all the beds this year so there shouldn't be as many issues with weeds next season. That alone will save me some time that I can spend on planting instead. The plants I winter sowed this year should bloom next year so I'm really looking foward to seeing those put on a show. Just 118 days left...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:43PM
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Well, if the roses make it through the winter (the snow cover is helping) I plan to concentrate on the kitchen garden, next year. I want to add a fence and put in some new smaller beds, in the center.

I have plenty of space (maybe too much LOL) so I want to really work on keeping everything weeded next year. Also, lots more flowers in with the veggies and herbs.

Next spring, I'm hoping to start my own alyssum, so I can put in under just about everything. It really keeps the weeds down and the little beneficial bugs love it :)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 6:14PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Oh I'm exhausted reading all about these plans! I have barely recovered from this past gardening season I haven't thought too much about next year. I know for sure I'll be adding a lot of perennials to the backyard but other than that I really think it's going to be a year to putter a little more than usual and enjoy the scenery. Maybe I'll plan to visit some new, different nurseries next season!

Woody, you had mentioned your manual before and I think that is such a good idea. Especially since as you said it make you really "look" at the plants and think more about them. That's quite an undertaking. Are you cataloging plants at the same time or just putting in maintenance info on the plant material that needs some? Are you writing things like:
"Dear New Home Owner, Please don't ever cut down the beautiful Chinese Wisteria as it will give you years of joy. Sure, it may require more maintenance than you may expect, but a showpiece such as this is worth it!" "And Oh yeah, please don't cut down the Heptacodium as the monarchs will surely miss it during their migration. The little creatures deserve a nice rest stop on their way to Mexico."

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 7:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm also still in recovery mode from this year's garden. I normally do spend time planning next year's garden in the fall and reviewing the previous gardening season in my journal, but I've been pretty busy with other things that thoughts of the garden are considerably rare these days.

Everything in the garden is done for the season. We had a fairly large bin of compost that was emptied and spread to make room for chopped leaves. The bin is 2/3s full of leaves already. We extended the front garden by about 4 feet, covering grass with lasagna layers that are waiting for spring. We finally got around to pulling out grass and weeds from an area on the side of the house, that has developed a nice large patch of moss, moved a shurb there and put another lasagna layered area around that for further planting in spring. Added three new shrubs this fall and barely a couple of dozen new bulbs, etc., etc.

So I guess I have general plans but I don't like to invest in the details yet, because it's a long winter and you know the old saying 'the best laid plans of mice and men....'

In general, the back yard is going to need adjustments. I will be moving things around as usual. The front yard should have the lion's share of any major work. I have overgrown shrubs to come out and I'm 'this close' to mulching over the small patch of lawn that's left and extending the garden bed that is there already. There is a large Maple that I'm hoping to fill in under it with epimedium, hostas, ferns, tiarella, etc. It already has a very good stand of crocus in the spring and I may add other small bulbs next fall.

But I'm looking forward to a break this winter as I always do. I want to add more houseplants over the winter, but I won't be giving that a thought until January. A little winter sowing, maybe. I collected a good amount of seed from my favorite Hostas and hope to have seedlings to grow on for the front Maple.

As soon as the holidays are over, I'm sure I will be counting the days until spring too. [g]

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 3:42AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

This has been weighing on my mind as well!! I will be saving this winter to replace my chain link with that new white fence that never needs painted. I hope we can install it ourself, because im not paying to have it done! Thats my major project. There is a forsythia hedge that gives us privacy from the neighbors that needs to be removed also. Maybe a limelight hedge in its place? I need to edge my front beds too, i removed the scalloped brick border to expand but it needs something to define the beds.
I want to add some new hydrangeas to the back, and i have some large rose wish lists as well! After the holidays ill be itching to get started. Cant wait!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 5:59AM
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Did someone say plans? Boy do I have plans. I call it my ten year plan for the garden. I moved-in in 2008 and I haven't stopped yet lol.

So far I have a little bed for blueberries. I've lined the driveway with fruit trees although there is still room for a peach and apple or maybe fruit salad tree. I've moved the irises to the newly created driveway bed and made room for lots of yellow orange and red perennial and annual flowers for the foundation beds. The sidewalk bed is full of flowers that should bloom from early spring to late fall.

The Tree Bed that is half full sun and half dappled shade is full of peonies, primroses, columbines, lily of the valley, and different herbs. I also have a garden bench underneath the trees so I can stop and enjoy the garden.

The veggie bed is still under construction since I am making raised tiers that level out the slope. I've got almost two tiers finished.

After all of that gets finished I'll be working on select cutting the trees on the property and adding nut and flowering trees in the wooded areas. Right now it's 95% chestnut oak and cypress lol.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:06AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

thyme - no, I'm not cataloguing the plants because I have three large binders of plant tags, sorted by the major garden beds, that I refer to in the manual as the place to go to identify the plants. Not all plants had tags (none for seed-grown plaits and some tags got lost along the way...) but most of them are there. Because I'm including pictures in the manual, the key plants can be identified through the pictures. In the introduction I say:
'If this manual is being read by a subsequent homeowner, I suggest that you:
⢠not be intimidated by the size/complexity of the garden;
⢠live with it for a year, attempting to maintain it as per this manual;
⢠after one full garden season, assess what parts you liked - or didnâÂÂt like - and what was too difficult for you to maintain.
Having made that assessment, then modify the garden to suit your taste and ability. Everybody needs to make their own garden but your garden will look more mature and âÂÂfinishedâ if, wherever possible, you can retain good quality existing plantings, particularly trees and shrubs.'

I really don't expect this garden to survive past our tenure here - at our previous house, the front garden was largely torn out and replaced with evergreen shrubs and bark mulch (and is now an overgrown mess!) The only things that survived the cull were a redbud tree and the bridalwreath spireas. I'm not sure what happened in the backyard there because it's not visible.

I will certainly be pointing out the pros and cons of the wisterias and the stellar show of the heptacodium when I'm writing up the front garden section (I haven't started that yet). I'd expect the heptacodium to survive a subsequent owner but, if they don't maintain the wisterias, I'd expect them to be removed - and my name to get roundly cursed for planting them! :-)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:22AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Woody, LOL about the wisterias! The binders with plant tags sound like a great idea. Maybe I'll put that in my plans for next years garden. To finally get organized!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 4:08PM
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Yes christin, I plan to enjoy my garden more next year and not make any more huge new beds. I will add some roses, and a very very few daylilies or iris. I, like lavender_lass, love the look of alyssum at the base of plants, especially the roses and plan to sow more next year.

I'm sure I will plant tulips again in the fall, but my major project will be to plant around the new shed. Also, I plan a new seating area under the big oak tree, near the shed so I can sit there and enjoy the birds, the butterflys, and my garden.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Kay- That sounds beautiful! What a wonderful place to enjoy your garden :)

CMK- That's a great idea to put tomatoes and peppers in the sunny area of your garden. They'll look pretty with your roses. Are you thinking about getting some more roses? (LOL) I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 6:47PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Already started with the changes this fall ... added a few shrubs ... a camellia and two oakleaf hydrangeas. Moved a lorapetulum. Drew up plans for modifications to one of the larger beds. Hoping the agastaches make it through the winter. I'd love to add a lot more next year.

Compost bins are almost 30 years old and need to be rebuilt. Dh has mentioned doing it for the past two years. I patiently wait. ;)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:27PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-woodyoak, that is such a good idea to have a binder like that.

-Kay, that sounds like a perfect spot to have a place to rest. Will you put a bench there or something like a bisto set kind of thing?

-LL, thanks! Hopefully the bed won't look too bare as the veggies get growing. Two of the peppers have unusual foliage (one has black/purple foliage and the other white streaked foliage) that should give some interest out there. I actually got the idea from Nancy J. Ondra's blog Hayefield. You would like her veggie garden- it has lots of purple in it! ;-)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:04PM
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