redoing north bed... how to?

Karen JurgensenJune 21, 2006

hi all,

I have a burning desire to pull apart my north bed and redo it. The only thing I really like that is there right now are the ferns... I have a huge hosta border and leggy shrubs that I'd like to remove along with a few mystery perrenials that have me utterly underwhelmed.

What is the smartest way to go about removing my undesirables, while keeping the ferns (which are pretty much planted in the back part of the bed)

I'm thinking of adding in some osrich plume astilbe in back with the ferns for color, along with a few new, fragrant blooming shrubs (cleome maybe?) artfully throwing in a few of my favorite shade perrenials, like columbine and heuchera, and finishing off by lining the front border with sweet william.

So how do I get the oldies outta there?

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Get a good hold on 'em and yank?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 10:07PM
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not sure how much effort you might want to put into this project, but you could pot up the ones you don't want and trade em off at a swap (perhaps the next gw one this fall) or put them on your "have" list. even tho they're underwhelming to you, they could be the very thing another rabid gardener is lusting after.....(grin) Also, if you are able to take pics and post em on the "whats that plant" forum, its a cinch that someone would know what they are.
Don't know how close you are to me, but I'm by Minnehaha Park and have lots of empty pots I could offer you if that's of any help....
I know of at least one person (I won't mention Julie by name) that might be interested in shrubs.....
If you're gonna try and pot up the rejects, be sure to try and get enough of the root ball to support the plant.
If it's a shady bed, cleome might not get enough sun....
Dont know if any of that was any help, but good luck with your re-do ('s a great chance to dig in any ammendments to the soil in those empty spots, if your soil needs improving )

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 7:44AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I am in South Mpls near Lake Nokomis and if you aren't far I could bring my husband and a spade to take some of the hosta off of your hands.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 8:01AM
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cheri_mn_524(zone4 -MN)

Filipendula is a great shade plant and it spreads like the ferns, Jack in the pulpit is cool, foxglove,japanese fern ands ligularia are some of my favorites. What kind of hostas and misc. do you have and where are you located? I like zenpotters idea.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:31AM
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Karen Jurgensen

hi guys,

I'm in hastings.

The hostas in the front bed are a non variegated, plain old green, most boring of boring variety. If you like a mass of plain green, they'd be great! I'm very picky when it comes to hosta varieties, and most of the ones that were planted before I bought the house, I don't like. The mystery shrubs have a leaf similar to my snowflake mockorange, but I'm not sure that is what they are... there has been no sign of any bloom. I also have some sumac like shrubs (a ferny leaf with fluffy white flowers, not astilbe, smells sort of cheesey) I want to replace with ligularia on the east.

As for the mystery perrenials, I'm not sure what any of them are really... the ones I've been able to identify(lily of the valley, jack in the pulpit, hellebores, something I think is trillum possibly), I like... it is the ones i don't like that i can't figure out...

One has pom poms of purple flowers, finished blooming in mid may, larger leaves and stems.

the other is driving me crazy, blocking out my baby mockorange that I put in on the corner.. diminuitive yellow flowers, long leaves, and a rampant growth habit. last year it ended up looking like lace it was so eaten by bugs before we finished closing on the house.

the north bed does get about 2-3 hours of afternoon sun each day. I'd love to put a rugosa or two in there, but I just don't think it's enough light...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:00AM
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lazyweeder(z4 MN)

As for the hostas the link below would work for removing them. The bushes I'd give the tow strap treatment. Wrap a tow strap around the base and attach it to your trailer hitch and let the car or truck do the work. For the rest dig them up as best you can and cover it with cardboard and layer your compost etc over that for a nice new bed.

Here is a link that might be useful: dividing hostas

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:13AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Well I will pass.

You may want to offer them free on Craig's List. I have gotten things that way and I even dig them out under the woman's direction. Or you could put them on your curb with a free sign. I hate to see plants go to waste.

Here is a link that might be useful: craigs list

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 5:44PM
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