8 Flower Beds, what to do with them?

rolacoySeptember 12, 2010

I have been building a flower garden in my backyard for the past three years. I have never planted flowers before. I can build stuff, but growing flowers, time will tell. Also I may call some of them by the wrong name or spell them wrong.Last Winter I built a greenhouse and planted hundreds of seeds to transplant into my garden this last Spring. It was nearly a total failure. Most of the "Hardscape" is completed so this next Spring and Summer I hope to learn enough to have some plants grow and flower.

This may be too much to ask but I will thank you for any help. I have turned the soil about 6" deep, mixing in peat moss and potting soil. I amso added a sprinkler system this Spring. I have posted pictures of the garden layout and the 8 flower beds that I have with a link below.

#1, my mother-im-law gave me about 150 Surprise Dazes that are planted in this area. They do not last long, I need something that grows about 14" high that will fill the bed with flowers a longer part of the year. It only gets Sun for 2 hours a day. I want to leave the soil alone back toward the tree, because I don't want to hurt the tree. I could maybe add some soil to the front and not hurt the Surprise Dazes.

#2, This bed gets about 4 hours of Sun. I will add a couple of 2" of good dirt this fall. I planted several types of plants this Spring, but the only one that grew is Snow in the Summer and it has not bloomed.

#3, This bed did pretty well, it gets about 4 hours of Sun. My daughter gave me Shasta Dazes and Cannas. I wanted the cannas to hide the greenhouse and they did well.

#4, gets 4 hours of Sun on the South part but the side along the 5 windows gets almost no Sun. So far, in three Summers nothing has grown, except a few Dahlias that I grew from seeds and since they get so toll it is not a good place for them.

#5, is a bed that we have just planted with odds and ends. It gets about 2 hours of Sun. The soil is about 4" of planting soil that I bought, but it does not hold any moisture. I plan to mix in some good dirt this fall and replant the whole thing. I want plants the grow about 6" tall in the front and behind the heart I would like something 24 to 36", maybe even a bush.

#6, Around this tree is planted Ficus, it has been slow getting established, but I think it will just about fill the bed next year. The potted Split leaf Philadandrum has done will here in the shade, no direct Sun. I don't want to add any dirt here for fear of hurting the tree.

#7. this bed gets at least 4 hours of Sun and is doing pretty well. A friend gave me a start of some kind of Ivey ground cover and by next year it will have filled the bed. Behind it is Pampas grass which will block the view and stop anyone from walking thru there. That is what I want. I understand the Pampas grass will try to take over.

#8, These are twin beds that we walk between on the West side of the Pergola going out to the garage.

We recently made a trip to Michigan and stopped at two botanical gardens. I have put pictures of some of the plants that I would like to have in the garden. I really like the Hostas and Cone Flowers. I understand this a lot to ask, but if you have suggestions please offer them.

Here is a link that might be useful: 8 Flower Gardens

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You've done a great job laying the groundwork for what I think will be a beautiful set of flowerbeds!

I'm not familiar with what grows in your zone, but I would be very surprised if you had much luck with daisies or coneflower (echinacea). Both of these like full sun, and the foliage of both is nothing to get excited about -- so they'll look sort of straggly if they're not getting enough sun for good bloom. The same holds true for most daylilies; they want full sun as well. But some people like the grassy look of daylilies even if they're not in bloom; if you're among them, they'd be worth a shot in your sunnier beds.

But you've taken photos of some excellent choices for shade -- just think foliage rather than flowers! I have many coral bells (heuchera), brunnera ("Jack Frost" looks much like your photo IMG_8257), lungwort (pulmonaria), and bleeding heart (dicentra) in the shady areas of my garden.

Most of these are spring bloomers so I drop in annual impatiens for summer color, but the foliage remains attractive all season, especially the heuchera. There are many dozens of different cultivars; I hope that someone from your area will respond with tips on how they do in the south.

Ditto hostas; there are many to choose from, and they're all great in shade/part sun. I can't grow them due to the neighborhood deer, and slugs love to feast on them, but in the right setting they're lovely.

If you're concerned about the pampas grass getting out of hand in #7, would a shrub rose serve a similar purpose in keeping people from walking into the flower bed? I've had good luck in the past with shrub roses planted where there's a half-day of sun.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 10:35AM
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