Archive for the ‘Starting new flower bed’ Category

New Flower Bed 4

Got some plants  that I started from seed this spring added to the bed.  I enjoy starting plants about as much as anything in gardening, and a lot more than a couple of things..  In went a dozen foxgloves (Foxy), and a couple of dozen dahlia coccinea.  It was breezy, so the foxgloves are all lying on their side now, but they’ll perk up someday soon.  The dahlias were tougher.

The big project was putting black edging around the bed, which I should have done before I started putting plants in, but I put it off because it’s just not a fun job, (unlike starting new plants).

First, a trench

First, a trench

Then unroll the edging.

Then unroll the edging.

Fill the trench back in

Fill the trench back in.

Black plastic is not the world’s best-looking edging, but I think with time, grass will come up to and hide most of it.

New Flower Bed 3

Still digging up perennials and moving them to the new bed.  I have way more lambs’ ears than anyone needs.

Digging lambs' ears

Digging lambs’ ears

Stachys, liatris, achillea, and Japanese maple

Stachys, liatris, achillea, lilies and Japanese maple

There’s now some veronica in at the other end.

Veronica, baptisia, and catmint

Veronica, baptisia, and catmint

Unless I think of something more, that’s probably about it for perennials.  The rest will be filled in with annuals that are waiting in the greenhouse.

Almost ready.

Foxgloves, coleus, dahlia coccinea, and gomphrena

Zinnias, snaps

Zinnias, snaps, and cosmos, plus a few other things

I’m hoping that our frosty nights are behind us, but I’ll be cautious and wait a few more days to put these in.

New Flower Bed 2

I’ve made a start at moving perennials into the new bed.   There’s a baptisia at the far end, some heliopsis in the middle, and yarrow with liatris around the rock at the near end.  Also a little Japanese maple that I’ve raised from a seedling.  It’s just behind the rock.

It's a start.

It’s a start.

It takes a while to do this stuff when you have to work around rain, grand kids after school, and other instances of life happening.  Still waiting to be moved are veronica and stachys, plus a couple of hundred assorted annuals.

New Flower Bed

The big news here this year is that I’ve stopped growing flowers for market.  It was fun, but a lot of work and a time drain for a fairly small amount of money.  The balance between work-and-time and fun-and-money was definitely tipped too far away from fun and money, so I quit.   Now I have time for other things, for example, a new flower bed  just for fun.  It will be a mixed bed with annuals and perennials this year.

Day 1:

I did the well-known garden hose layout to come up with what I thought was a fairly pleasing bed shape alongside the driveway.

Your basic kidney bean shape

Your basic kidney bean shape, sort of

Taking the sod off is the worst part of the job, unless you rent a power sod cutter.  I don’t exactly have one of those, but I do have an excellent John Deere tractor.  With an hour or so of very careful bucket work, I was able to get the sod off.

Beats doing it by hand

Beats doing it by hand

No more sod

No more sod

I spent quite a bit of time trying to lay the sod I took out over a bad patch in the yard where we had a lot of nasty grub damage this year.  The sod was not very uniform in thickness so I got sort of a hummocky job, but I think that I can level it out with rolling and top-dressing.  It’s too ugly to show here.

Day 2:

The topsoil around here is nothing special so a couple of trips to the county recycling station for $20 loads of compost gave me this:

Looking better

Looking better

Doesn't that look nice and rich?

Doesn’t that look nice and rich?

Ya gotta love a tractor-mounted rototiller for making short work of blending in the compost.

Churning the dirt

Churning the dirt

I wanted the  bed to be raised in the middle, so I added a few loader buckets of topsoil and mixed that in too.  The blended soil and compost looked kind of pale and pathetic at this point, so I  followed up with three buckets of year-old horse manure, courtesy of my good neighbor.  I may regret that, because I’m sure there are weed seeds galore in there.

Horse poo

Horse poo

A final tilling and some raking gave me what I hope is a good flower bed.

A done deal

A done deal

A little cleanup work, and I can start on the fun part.  Annie thinks this is the fun part.