request suggestions for cinder-block gardening!

sharon_zone7March 25, 2009


our new raised bed will be lined w/cinder blocks. not too crazy about the look of it... it is a bed for tomatoes & peppers for the most part, but can anyone suggest tough flowers or perhaps flowering herbs that can be planted inside the blocks, take full sun & will trail over the side? Bed will have drip hose, but blocks may not get watered as regularly. Annuals or perennials, I'm not picky... having researched it, all I can find is trailing verbena... interested in any suggestions u may have.



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What about thyme? I have a patch that has thrived for several years in a slightly raised herb bed. It is creeping over the stone. I think HD sells it in the groundcover section.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Hi Sharon,

I have the same set up for my veggie beds. I haven't tried too many things in the blocks yet but Portulaca, aka Moss Rose, did really well for me last year. I bet sedums would do well too.

I look forward to hearing other's suggestions as well. :)


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Oh, keep an eye out for fire ants. They love the areas where cement block and soil touch. Very aggravating!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 10:25PM
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Maybe clove pinks, rosemary, lavender or lemon balm?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:24PM
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about improving cynder block look, planting thyme or other
year around greens can help. but you would need hell of a lot of thymes.
If your raised bed is just a block high, you can back fill
the outside. so you wont see them. But for higher raised beds, (3 or more) filling would be difficult. Maybe you can paint them green?
I prefer myself CB over treated or untreated lumber.
Stone would be best choice but in Georgia they are hard to come by and too expensive to buy.
I make my rased beds with fallen off/ dead pines tree trunks. they are free and who cares if they rot.
To me , they are natural part of the landscape and blend in well.
happy spring!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:45PM
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Hey, thanks for your thoughts! I thought I had set up this up so the comments would be emailed to me, but apparently had not... anyway, I think I'll try several different plants & see what is most successful. I am leaning towards a mix of thyme, sedum, portulaca & dianthus. We have rosemary & lavender in the yard & they grow into bushes, so I would like to stick w/smaller plants. Also the lemon balm is already an escapee from another bed!

Not sure yet how high blocks will be... it's been so rainy, I haven't had a chance to hang out in the yard... Cyrus, why don't u innoculate the sides of your pine tree beds w/mushrooms? That way the entire bed is working for u!

Thanks all,

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Thanks for the fire ant warning! They have gotten into one of my beds before...


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:35PM
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Hello all,

In Kansas now where it is snowing! Wonder what that will do to the peonies and poppies popping up my grand fathers garden...

There are a lot of different low growing sedums that can take a ton of sun a require little to no maintenance at the blink of an eye. They grow densely and prevent weeds, they come in different textures and bloom colors and times. See link.

Love sedum but don't have the sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: google search

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:25PM
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Another thought is Phlox subulata, creeping phlox. Known affectionately as "thrift". Currently available in nurseries in a variety of colors - I just saw it at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Delosperma (iceplant) will cascade and bloom all summer. Trailing rosemary might work also.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:53PM
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I appreciate all of the ideas! Most of the blocks are now filled w/portulaca, but a friend from work had given me a variety of small sedums, so those went in too. Also some basil & some very tiny lobelia seedlings I started... they are supposed to be the variety that trails. I have both iceplant & phlox creeping around the yard... I may transfer some of it. I'm way too lazy to plant annuals in all of those small spaces every year.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 5:08PM
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