Need help,not sure what to plant (pics included)

suz9601January 21, 2014

Hi guys. I am about to landscape down the side of my fence and am not sure what I should put there. I am fairly new to gardening (have a couple of years under my belt) but feel overwhelmed at the blank slate I have. I was wondering if you all have any ideas. The area is about 35-40 feet long. The middle part is about 3-4 deep and around the tree and at the other end, maybe 5-6 feet deep from fence. I am looking for shrubs and perennials mainly. Thanks for any ideas. I really appreciate any help. The area gets full sun. I hope you can make out the area I have marked with the extension cord in the pic.

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Close up of one end of the garden area.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Close up of other end of garden area.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:33AM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

First kill the grass with 3 layers of newspapers covered with mulch.
Some easy and beautiful plants include Goldstrum rudbeckia, tall grasses along the back, sedums, daylily,
spring bulbs. If you look for shrubs, Virburnum has many varieties, many are fragrant. It looks good to find an easy
edger plant that flows along the front of your border bed.
Lambs ear is easy and pretty.
Good luck with your new border garden. Sharon

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:20PM
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I prefer to use a flat or two of Salvia in red to draw the hummingbirds as an edger

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 12:49PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Suz-- you're so luck to have such a big space in full sun.

Here's my suggestions:

1. Work out some sort of curve that's pleasing to the eye. Use a hose or paint to mark it out. Curves are much nicer than straight lines, and you get varying depths that way.

2. Use a few evergreens throughout to create a structure that will look good in both winter and summer. Put a tall evegreen (eg Spruce) at each corner. Use a couple of smaller evergreens (eg hollies) app 6' high in the middle somewhere. Put at least two sets of three small evergreens (like boxwood) in the middle somewhere.

3. Put a beautiful small tree near each end.

4. Then go to town with whatever bulbs, perennials etc you like. Use larger areas of one color for a really lovely show.

5. Repeat things. eg big clump of shasta daisies-- use two of them.

Check out a mail order catalogue like Bluestone Perennials for more different kinds and sizes of plants so that you get highs and low spots. These vendors also offer plans for whole gardens of differet types, worth studying.

I have deer and rabbits in my yard, so I favor things that they don't eat. I also try to plant what is vigorous and blooms a long time, and what hummingbirds love.

I have had great luck with these:

Daffodils are wonderful. They're poisonous, so nothing eats them.

Agastache 'Ava'. Tall pink hummingbird mint. Hummers like it. It gets app 5' tall, long spikes of small pink flowers. Three together makes a 5 x 5' show. Plants in spring, you will have flowers this summer. Bees love this, too. In high summer will have 4 or 5 different kinds of bees in it, all sizes from tiny to big.

clematis would look beautiful climbing on that fence, and won't pull it down. Needs sun for bloom, but put a stone over the roots to keep roots cool. Later other plants can shade the roots.

Shasta daisies. I love these for cutting, for the clean whiteness. Big clumps are great. You can get them from 12' to 5'

Monarda. Hummingbirds love. Red or pink balls. Very vigorous. Anywhere from 18" to 5' plants, your pick.

Coreopsis. Yellow and gold. Vigorous, self-sow all over, but really pretty. Everywhere from 30" to 12".

Daylily Stella D'Oro. This is the gorgeous short gold daylily you see all over. Vigorous, beautiful. Will get a flower or two the first year, a real show from then on.

Catmint, nepeta. This is a low spreader, tiny blue flowers. Blooms first year, bees love this. People walking by stop to ask what this is.

Saponaria. Spring blooms, bright pink. Very lovely-- makes big droopy clumps. Big spreader. Doesn't bloom all summer, but does bloom more than 6 weeks.

Dianthus Bath's Pink. This is a wonderful plant. Spreads beautifully, very vigorous. Blooms long, and lovely scent that wafts. Blooms at least 6 weeks in spring. This beats all the other hardy pinks for showiness and vigor. A lovely pink that shows up a long way. Foliage is blue.

Lavender-- does well if you cut it back hard each spring.

Rudbeckia Goldsturm. Gold with brown centers. Looks like velvet. Stunning. Blooms about 6 weeks in July.

Any of these make a great show, are vigorous and spread out. Only the daylily is susceptible to critters eating it. But with your fence, I don't think you have to worry.

Enjoy all the planning.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 3:50PM
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