Raised beds... some displays...

idiothe(4 MN)July 19, 2013

Some of you have been very flattering about our displays... here's the entry to our gardens/home... some ideas of raised displays.

All the displays are treated lumber... some 2x ... 2x6, 2x8... even a 2x12... and some 4x5 timbers...

The entry to our home/gardens from the driveway...

walking closer to the entrance

a two leveled bed...

Another two-leveled bed...

Looking back along the sidewalk...

a single-leveled bed to display Blue Mouse Ears family and assorted goodies...

another two-leveled bed along the sidewalk and garage to display smaller guys... blitzed a little by recent divisions...

the pyramid... 4X5s... calculated to use every inch of the timbers... actually works better for smalls than minis - and the north side is very slow...

2x12 scrap let me show off the Vanilla Cream family right next to a pathway and below a shrub.vine planting...

On a bigger scale... 4x6 timbers build a mutlilevel alternative to a retaining wall, displaying lots of hostas well from both above and below...

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Don B.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Beautiful....no wonder why Janann and Sheila didn't want to leave!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:38AM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

Nice set up with those raised beds. Those are some lucky hosta to be in your yard. Beautiful. And so many of them!

In your other post you brought up the saying,
To lead someone down the garden path ,

Etymology: based on the idea that a path in a garden is very pleasant, so someone who is brought along it can be deceived without noticing it.

Hostaholics wouldn't notice anything while drooling over all those beautiful plants.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:11AM
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bragu_DSM 5

The paths look awful wide.

Think how many more hosta you could squeeze in there.

Good looking stuff. Feel a trip to minn. coming on.

^_^ --~


    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:32AM
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gogirlterri(5 IL)

Very, very nicely done. Living in the Ozarks, good top-soil rarely existed naturally and the "only" way to have decorative gardens on sloping ground was to terrace raised beds. Fortunately, from a wallet standpoint, rocks were available (not so fortunate from a legs and back standpoint).

I welcome your photo shoots any time.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:53AM
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Beautiful! Marg

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 8:01AM
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I love the way your raised beds look...such interesting shapes. And that Blue Mouse ears is amazing!!! I remember your railroad tie fence from an old post on the Hallson board and still think that Is the coolest fence ever!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 8:57AM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Wow is all I can say. Miter joints and pocket screws makes me think. May I ask how old is your garden?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:07AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Wow. Those look terrific!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Such a great use of space and as in the other pictures , just beautiful

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:18AM
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How very inspiring. What a nice thing to wake up to. I loved the clever Blue Mouse Ears curved planter. I also noticed the red/grey garbage can(?) planted behind. What a perfect touch. Take us around the rest of your garden sometime. Thanks, Myrle

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:28AM
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idiothe(4 MN)

Thanks for all the kind comments!

Dave - the "wide" paths is an illusion... wide angle lens! Many of my pathways are completly covered. Victory alone is going to make me cut treee branches and move a group - I'm sure as heck not going to try to move the monster.

The miter joints are all just hand-cut with my circular saw... pretty rustic... and deck screws... Age? We put in our first hostas 35 years ago. I think the pyramid is probably going on 20 years now... at least 15. The other raised beds are mostly in the last 10 years. As Theresa talked about, we also had lots of depleted soil, so the raised beds let me put the little ones, which are more vulnerable in our very harsh winters, into good soil and monitored locations. Heck - I even kept an Uzo No Mai alive for, I think, four years!

What an eye for detail, mctavish! The rust-red-orange-grey thing is a galvanized metal bushel basket that's been painted a few times... not sure if it was actually used or if it was created as an ornamental... at least 40 years old, anyway. I always had a hosta growing out of a stump at that spot, but this winter the stump disintegrated, so the old basket came out of storage and I just happened to have a spare chunk of Captain Kirk that needed a home.

Thanks again - it is kind of fun to post these - sometimes we get so discouraged about all the stuff we can't get done we forget about all the good stuff we have done!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 11:49AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Wow, I'm impressed that you did all that with a circular saw. The fit of the corners is really good. I read this post earlier this morning and then had work to do. Came back to comment and ask if you used a table saw or a radial arm saw.

Thanks for sharing. I have really difficult and heavy soil. That may provide a way to get some of my hosta out of pots. A five gallon pot of hosta is about all I can manage.

Thanks again. Your hosta are gorgeous. I hope my Victory does as well as yours. I know it doesn't mind the heat. Whether it will thrive in a pot is yet to be seen, although Mocc's seems to be doing well.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:58PM
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It is doing fairly well, I think, BK. I had 3 separate eyes, purchased 2 for $20 from Solberg in 2011. I potted them separately last year, but quickly realized I had more pots to deal with than I needed if I did all of them that way. Then I repotted the three eyes in one container, spaced around it in a triangle. They had some really tall scapes, and now they have set seedpods. I'm so hoping it is fertile seeds.

But the raised beds are right up my alley. I can no way dig in this ground here, with all the roots. Even with no rocks at all, it is a lost cause. I have a premium on shaded spaces, trying to create little oasis all around, using umbrellas and some tall container plants (my ficus benjamina is next to serve as a shady oasis), so things do not sun burn. I had to rescue Bette Davis Eyes yesterday from being in the sun just part of one day, her leaves were scorched, although her flower scapes are still nice. I will probably set up a misting system for that hot end of the Back40, the part with the blueberry bushes and the pink pirogue.

Jim, do you lay anything down to keep tree roots from invading your raised beds? Or is that an impossibility? :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Your gardens are beautiful! All your beds are pretty, but the pyramid bed is particularly so (not to mention clever). Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 3:34PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

Can't wait to show this to my DH and see what he says. Our whole garden is hilly, so those raised beds could be a perfect solution.

BTW, I'm a big fan of wide paths. The main hosta bed has ones big enough to wheel a yard cart around. Makes spreading mulch a lot easier.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:03PM
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wow hostas envy right now. need to get rid of my rodents to try getting some hostas. Amazing and beautiful beds

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:55PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Jim, I've been studying your bi-level displays ... you can accommodate so many more hosta in a contained area in this fashion. You've given me an idea that would really work in one area of my garden specifically...

When you were building your pyramid, and you completed layer two, how did you continue in the centre of the rest of the structure? Is there soil dumped in there all the way to the top or....? I was thinking I could manage something similar with three tiers perhaps..on a smaller scale..also for minis and smalls.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:18AM
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Like Moccasinlanding, I'm curious about underlay material as well. Did you use spin out fabric?

If using spin out, I also am curious as to how deep the planting area needs to be for small and medium hosta.

The pyramid and big one off the deck are getting my creative juices flowing. Nice to know that treated lumber, when in contact with soil, can last so long.

Thanks for any info and terrific ideas. Your raised bed pics are wonderful!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:56AM
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idiothe(4 MN)

I didn't actually use any underlayment for any of the raised beds... none of them are in areas of invasive roots. And I just filled them with good soil/compost mix and mulched with pine bark fines, which keep contributing to the soil.

If I had the pyramid to do over again, I'd save on soil by throwing in some place-holders... rocks or pop cans or whatever... in the middle... really no need for more than a foot-and-a-half of soil for small hostas... and I'd compact it better... my top level has been replanted several times as the soil continues to sink...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 3:38PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Thanks, Jim! I use crushed water bottles for the bottom of large pots to save on soil and am glad I asked the question because that'll be the filler of choice.

I've been doing my hosta stomp to compact the newly worked-in soil for a few years now. I learned the hard way when I dug a new bed, lay all my lovely bag upon bag of triple mix, raked it beautifully, threw a few stepping stones to hop around on, planted plants, watered, and....yup, they didn't just sink...I had lovely wells of mud all around the crowns....what a mess...had to yank them the same day and get more soil....I must have at least 300 30-litre bags min. worked into the garden soil and my yard is small. Good thing is....I virtually have no weeding to do...the odd one flying in here and there.

I'll post a pic sometime when and IF my wanna-be-pyramid looks passable to admire..LOL
Thanks again for the advice. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:26PM
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Time to bump this one up.
Hope Jim returns to the forum soon.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Angie Kaylor

Holy Hosta Heaven!!! There is a lot of gorgeousness in these pics!

Thanks for bumping it up...I'm new & this was some nice eye candy. :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Glad you enjoyed the bumpup, TN......and welcome to the forum. What part of Tennessee? East or west?
Start a nice thread to tell us about your garden space and what you hope to do with it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:25PM
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Angie Kaylor

Moccasinlanding, I'm in SouthEast TN. I don't really have a garden...I'm just now getting bit by the Hosta bug. For some reason, I can't post a link, but search through the threads for the one titled 'Hosta Identification' and that's got a few little pics from me. :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:03PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Here it is Mocc, I'm happy to post links...which I learned with help from Bkay and Ken :-)

Tn...I'm a tablet user predominantly now so where I 'tap' with my finger, you would use your mouse...

... Open your thread
... Tap or click on address/browser window
... Select all text and tap/click copy
... Go back to your previous post and insert link which you just just copied into the URL field and click 'paste' or tap your finger inside the field and follow with 'paste'
... In field below call it what you want, ie., TNsunshine pics
... When you preview your message, the Optional Link URL will be highlighted - you can tap on it to check ....I always check as today I almost pasted something other than what I intended, lol

Here is a link that might be useful: Tnsunshine's thread with pics

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:03AM
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Angie Kaylor

Thank you, Jo. That's what I thought I did, but it kept telling me the link was invalid...or maybe my tired eyes were missing something last night. :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:52AM
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TN, it happens to me sometimes too. What I wind up doing is clearing the URL field completely and starting over. Somehow a stray letter is typed in that box, and makes the whole thing invalid.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Well, I guess anyone who thinks you need companion plants in your hosta gardens (like ME) hasn't seen THESE hosta gardens...HOSTAGASM!!

Hey, where the heck are you, Ludi??

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:54PM
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Me, I don't look for companion plants per se. What I look for is something that will provide SHADE.

All of my potted palms died this winter. One of my huge 9' market umbrellas broke its pole, so I am repairing it with proper diameter PVC pipe. And hauling out the 90% shade cloth to put up after the bluebirds vacate their nestbox.

I miss Ludi also.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 4:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Isn't it strange how you miss someone who drops off the forum? Ludi is great fun and has lovely hosta. I thought for a while that he was going to give Mocc a run for her money in acquiring the most hosta per year. Everytime I see a post from Les, I wonder how he's doing. Teresa isn't back yet either, or we could ask. I also wonder about FranknJim, although I doubt we'll ever hear from him again.

Great folks. I expect Idiothe, Teresa and Ludi to be back, though.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 7:06PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Not sure if Idiothe (jgh) is back from Africa. He has been posting his adventures in Tanzania on the "garden bench" forum at Hallson's. Don't know about the others. Sometimes life interferes, even when you grow hostas.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 7:50PM
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