Wednesday, December 7, 2016

GARDEN FLOWER BEDS ALMOST DONE

Another project to check off the 2016 list of things to do and with just a few weeks left, ha.  Well, I guess since they aren't filled with soil and flowers, they are only HALF done so I can't check it off COMPLETELY just yet, it will have to roll over to 2017's list.








This is the front side of the fenced in garden area. We have been wanting to put in some flower beds along the front of the garden like I did LAST YEAR at the front corner of the house.  Since I'm off the Zen Machine (riding mower)  this time of year, and in the last weekend before the rains of the last few days, I decided to tackle this project.  











Here they are finished.  They are 16 feet long each (so 32 feet total) and about 2 1/2 feet wide.  I got them all leveled and dug in, that's always the hardest part, especially making them level so that from a distance, they look right.
Flower beds on each side of gate
I need to put some cardboard in the bottom and add some good soil/compost mix in there and they'll be ready for some flowers by next Spring.  We're thinking of some knockout roses spaced apart (though not sure if the roses will get too big) and inter-planting with annuals like marigolds and snapdragons.  We don't want anything that will get too big and out of control, we definitely would like to keep it simple but colorful, looking to some of our past inspiration photos for, well, inspiration!

 This might just be the last project I can get done before the end of the year.  Slowly but surely, it's coming along! 

Any suggestions for plantings for next Spring?  
Would 'mint' be too invasive?  
Perhaps some perennial herbs like rosemary?  
Thoughts?


38 comments:

Colleen said...

Mint can be very invasive. To keep mint in check use a deep barrier or plant in container. https://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-mint/

You can plant bulbs now for early Spring blooming.

Zinnas are also a good flower to plant besides your marigolds, etc..
Whatever you decide to plant just make sure they have all the same water requirements as well as lighting.

https://www.google.com/search?q=summer+blooming+bulbs&sa=X&biw=1536&bih=802&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0ahUKEwip6--Bt-LQAhXhjVQKHU-YAAAQsAQI0AE

Anonymous said...

Ooh such potential!!! Woo hoo!!!

Elephant's Child said...

Looking good.
Mint is thirty - and invasive.
Standard roses would look good, and you can plant things under them too.
And a gardeners work is never done.

MargaretP said...

Great job, almost ready to put to bed for the winter freeze.
Roses need good air circulation or they get black spot so be very careful what you plant around them.
Herbs not too far from the kitchen are a good idea, rosemary can grow to quite a big bush and take up an area of about 4feet. There are a few different types of rosemary so it might be good to put in a couple and see what you like if it is a favourite herb used often.
I tried a herb called "year round basil" to use making pesto, I really didn't like the taste at all but it may be ok for cooking, I left it to grow as it is loaded with small purple flowers nearly all year and the bees loooove it.
Have fun deciding what to plant, sometimes you can get good strong healthy plants at a farmers market rather than a nursery or a store.

Sharon in Surrey said...

Beware of a lot of the herbs - once planted, they will escape & grow EVERYWHERE. I like that but many don't. Beware of Fennel, Mint, Lemon Balm & all perennial Italian spices such as Oregano - once planted, it will take over the neighborhood. If you want small & colorful, most Annuals do well - I love Coleus with it's rainbow leaves, Marigolds, Pansies, Impatiens - even Spider plants grow well & fill up the area. You can either take them in for the winter - my Mom did that with Begonias - or snip cuttings or babies to be planted next year. Is your spot sunny all day or shady in the afternoon?? If it's shady in the afternoon, you could add a Hosta's colorful foliage or bush fuchsias. I have both on the west - HOT - side of my yard. They're in large containers against the BACK of the covered patio where they get direct sun after 5 in the summer. I love the colored foliage - one is BLUE!!

donna baker said...

Mint will take over the beds and will be hard to get rid of. Roses will be beautiful with lots of sun. Myself, I like edibles but lavender and roses, well, you can't go wrong.

Anne in the kitchen said...

Lavender is fantastic, but it can grow very large. I have a huge lavender plant and a gigantic rosemary that is on the cusp of becoming a small tree. Don't waste your garden bed space on either of these. I adore zinnias but they can become tall and leggy unless you cut them regularly, but they do make splendid cutting flowers. Marigolds are nice and require little care but are not as great for cutting. Snapdragons are just downright beautiful, and I am personally fond of tall sunflowers at the back of a bed. (Next spring we are planting them and training green beans to grow up their stalks. Might work and might not but we are going to give it a try anyway) Cosmos is another pretty and hearty grower. You also have that fence which would be beautiful with morning glories and moon flowers covering it. And for an old fashioned look you can't beat 4 o'clocks. I need a farm!

Vkl said...

Are you familiar with Flame Acanthus? It's a native wildflower that I've had great luck with. We live in the country and garden on deep black clay. I've used flame acanthus straight into the clay and I've used it in raised beds with mushroom compost. I've got them in large pots...
Hummingbirds and butterflies adore them. They bloom from late spring/early summer until the first frost hits them. I'm north of Waco. They make a nice bush about 4 ft. They are extremely drought tolerant. Pretty much no fuss plants. They will make seedlings but I just keep spreading them around our 3 acres. They look great planted in mass. Check them out at the Lady Bird center. Just type in Flame Acanthus. Maybe this link will get you there.

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ANQUW

Vonne

Linda said...

I'm crazy about Hollyhocks, butterfly bushes (these get BIG), peonies, Black-eyed Susan. Winter Pansy's, Spring crocus...sigh. Not sure how well the bulbs will do in TX.
PS> Dug out my Christmas stuff this weekend. Here is a link to those Okra Santa's I was telling you about :) https://www.flickr.com/photos/128328271@N06/30655042174/in/dateposted/

1st Man said...

Thanks for this info and the links. I forgot about mint being invasive. Hmm, might keep that in pots. Bulbs would be good when I get the dirt in. Zinnias were something my Grandmother LOVED to plant every years, she called them her "zeenies", ha . I will just have to do that!!!

1st Man said...

Thanks, yep, lots of potential but so many decisions, ha.

1st Man said...

Thanks for the info, I never thought about under plantings on roses. And yes, so so true, work is never ever done.

1st Man said...

LOL, so true, finish it in time to put to bed, ha. We have a rose here called Knockout that is supposed to be very easy to care for, we'll see. I forgot rosemary can get that big. I never thought about the farmers market, thanks for that!! We'll see what happens. It'll soon be like a blank canvas.

1st Man said...

I may not do herbs, we have an herb bed and plenty of room inside the garden for herbs so yeah, maybe flowers and other plants. Coleus is great, I totally forgot about that. Thanks. That will be sun all day, full sun. So yep, it has to be sun loving. And oh how i Love blue plants and flowers.

1st Man said...

Definitely some roses of some sort. Yeah I think I'll bypass the mint the more I think about it. Thank you!

1st Man said...

Lavender is indeed beautiful but it doesn't grow that well here. I wish it did. I have some growing as a test in another flower bed (pictures soon) but love zinnias and never thought about snapdragons, great idea, thanks!! Oh, and cosmos and 4 oclocks, I'm remember my grandmothers flowers.

1st Man said...

I am not familiar with that. Wow, we have lots of clay I am SO looking for that. Did you start them as small plants or just sow seeds into he soil? If they can grow in Waco they should grow at the farm we're not that much different in climate. Thank you so much!!!

1st Man said...

Thanks for this info, I will research those. I love a list to check out.

And the okra Santas are AMAZING. I am SO doing that next year!!! Thank you!!!!

Colleen said...

Might also want to think about plants that will reseed and those that come up every year. When Spring and Summer is over and moving into Fall you could plant a few mums and pansies for color during them late months of the year.

Margaret said...

What lovely flower borders those are going to be! I'm hoping to add a few more borders to the garden as well, specifically in front of our hilltop fenced in area. Even though my priority is veg, whenever I add a few flowers to the seed starting schedule, I always enjoy them so much; I'm excited to try out some new varieties next year.

Little Julie said...

I have to agree with your grandmother. There is nothing easier, prettier than a patch of zinnias. We had taken down of row of ugly, prickly bushes/trees & were left w/tall stumps. We just tilled around them, threw a whole bunch of zinnia seeds down, covered them w/a seed starter mix and were rewarded with a beautiful hedge of colorful flowers, constant waves of visiting butterflies & a bumper crop of seeds when they died in the fall. They're tough & won't die if you forget to water once in awhile. They're super easy to just pull out at the end of the season too. And since they're annuals, you can change your mind if want something permanent. Oddly enough, I picked up my zinnia seeds at the dollar store w/low expectations. What a shocker when they turned out plentiful & gorgeous! Great for cutting a bunch to put on your table as well. I emailed a couple of pics. Grandma always know what's best!

Laurie Brown said...

Keep mints in their own containers- they'll even choke each other out. I lost my poor little ginger mint to the rapacious orange mint- that one eventually even choked out the peppermint, which is pretty invasive itself. Separate pots!

Zinnias, sunflowers, hollyhocks, coneflowers (not the yellow ones- they'll take over), daylilies, petunias, ornamental grasses (not fescue; invasive), salvias both perennial and annual, veronicas..

Anne in the kitchen said...

Thank you so much for posting the okra Santas. They are adorable

MargaretP said...

There are many types of Lavenders, I am sure there will be a few that will do well at your place, most people think rainy, cool Britain when they consider lavender but the French Lavender is from Mediterranean conditions so it is worth some research and trying a few that should do well

Sandy said...

1st Man,

I'm thinking some great herbs for medicinal purposes. My favorite is Borage, it has this beautiful flower color is between blue and purple.

Vkl said...

I've been planting only natives for over 30 yrs, so I used to travel to nurseries that carried natives. I bought my first flame acanthus in a 1 gal container and it was already at least 10 to 12 inches tall. If I'm planting directly in clay I like a bush that's pretty good size. After that I never had to buy another one. I dig up the seedlings in the spring, pot them up in 1 gl pots then line them up on the east side of my shed.
When they get to be about a ft tall I transplant them pretty much anywhere, ha! They thrive in north, south, east or west sun. I have them in galvanized stock tanks, clay pots, large plastic pots, inground.... In winter you can cut them down to the ground and they'll come back more bushy. If you don't cut them back they're more airy with tiny leaves and look great paired with spineless opuntia. I have pics but I don't have a blog and I'm not that tech savvy but if you can tell me how to do it I could send pics.
Anyway, to answer your question, if you have a native plant nursery you should be able to pick up flame acanthus. It we lived closer you'd be welcome to some of my seedlings. :)

julie p said...

to save on compost costs, that is a lot of area to fill, perhaps make use of the copius amounts of manure being produced over the fence. As you are not likely to be planting until spring, you have a good few months to start building the soil. Good idea to put cardboard down, then just add manure and grass clipping on top, if you have some weedcloth left over just cover the beds in that and I bet by spring you will have a lovely friable base to top up with bought compost.

1st Man said...

Thank you for this info you are very kind to share your knowledge. And such a sweet offer of plants. We'll see what we can do to find some here next Spring and creating our own supply. Stay warm this weekend it's cold here, I can imagine much colder up by you.

1st Man said...

Aren't those wonderful?!?!?! They are definitely on a list for next year!!

1st Man said...

Oh yeah, I never though about that. And I love pansies. Such happy flowers, in the middle of freezing cold weather.

1st Man said...

Brilliant idea, thank you!!!! Yep, PLENTY of manure just over the fence lines, ha.

1st Man said...

Oooh, we have been toying with the idea of a medicinal herb garden, good idea to use this as a start. I will looking into borage. Love coneflowers too. Thanks sweet Sandy!

1st Man said...

That's funny you mentioned this, I have planted one lavender plant in another bed and I believe it's listed as a Mediterranean variety best suited for our area. I am growing it sort of as a test to see how it does for us. So far so good. I will do some more research, thanks again!!!

1st Man said...

I'm hoping they come out in real life like we imagine in our heads, ha. The area behind the fence is all garden so we can spare some flowers. After all, we all need a little beauty in our lives too huh? ;-)

1st Man said...

She did love them. Probably because they were so easy. You have inspired me to try this out. I love the idea of just turning the soil, throwing some seed and covering it and seeing what happens. I LOVE that. Hey, I might have to try some dollar store seeds too, nothing wrong with that, ha.

Just saw your pics, WOW, just WOW! Thank you for sharing them, your yard is beautiful.

1st Man said...

Thank you so much for the words of wisdom (that come from experience, ha). I'll save your list of flowers and see what we can do.

Texas Rose said...

You did a great job on your garden flower beds! They will really dress up your garden area. The knockout roses are a good idea - low maintenance and nearly year-round color. You might also include some antique roses - their scent is heavenly. I really love Belinda's Dream - it is a cross of 2 antique roses. It smells wonderful, has sturdy stems with beautiful blossoms for cut flowers, is low maintenance, and grows to a height of about 5 feet. The Antique Rose Emporium outside Brenham is a good source. The ARE is also a great source of inspiration - they have many landscaped areas with great ideas, especially beautiful in the Spring. https://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/roses/2017/belindas-dream

1st Man said...

Thanks, I will look into the antique roses. You know I used to be on their mailing list years ago (before we had the property) and I totally forgot about them. Thank you!!! And you know I love inspiration!!!