easy to care for perennials in townhouse patio beds

mams99March 30, 2009

We have lived in VA for 4.5 years and this is the 4th year we've been dealing with our raised flowerbeds in our patio. 3 years ago I planted several perennials, but some got choked out by an invasive ground cover (I've gotten better about managing that) and my two climbing roses were sickly and I had two rose bushes with one being sickly and the other not growing as the container said it would (not up at all, just out) and that was a problem for using the patio.

So, this weekend I took out all four roses. This is what I have left in the beds.

One bed is 2 feet wide by 20 feet long with a middle section that is 4 feet by about 5 feet. The 'beds' go: Sage plant, removed climbing roses with some Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagreb in front of it. In the middle I have a small lilac push surrounded by that invasive ground cover, on the other side of that I have two cat mint plants and at the end is an older rhododendron bush.

The other side is 20 feet by 3 feet wide. Again, I start with a sage plant, 2 purple chrysanthemum plants, the removed two rose bushes, another chrysanthemum and at the end it widens and has a Japanese maple and Lenten roses underneath.

Around the patio I have several pots that I fill with annuals for more showy flowers.

Right now I feel (even before I took the roses out) a terribly boring patio. I don't really like the cat mint or the sage and I'm "eh" on the chrysanthemums... I can't start over and I hate killing plants for no reason, but I need some help.

I want to put climbers on the fences (with the aid of a trellises), but I don't want it to be overly invasive and not damaging. And it can't be anything that will go "ouch" to kids playing on the cement patio.

Thanks for suggestions!

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I should add that this is west sun exposure and we have no problem with moisture.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:15AM
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I'm experimenting with the perennials too. This is my first year and I don't know much, either. I do know lavender is tough to keep alive where I live. Are you looking for shrubs like hibiscus or hollyhocks or did you want more flower types?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:41PM
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DWA in AZ Sunset zone 12(9a Tucson AZ)

You could have repeat-blooming daylilies underplanted with daffodils and wood hyacinth. That would give you bloom starting mid-March, and the daylily foliage is attractive when it's healthy. What you choose sort of depends on whether you want lots of blooms during the months you use the patio, or are trying for year-round interest. Annuals are the best choice for constant summer bloom. With perennials you mostly have to try to plan for succession bloom.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:27PM
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You could always grow veggies on your fence, like peas in the spring and fall :) Their flowers are so delicate and pretty, and they're delicious to boot!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:27PM
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