User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Mailbox Garden Ideas

As Winter is settling in I'm finding myself making plans for next season to get me through. I have about a million plans, but one that I actually hope to bring to life in 2013 is a garden to keep my lonely mailbox company. The location is currently grass and what may be Pennsylvania Smartweed.

Prep Work:
I've been saving all the newspaper I can get my hands on and will be laying that out next month and covering it with a layer of soil and compost (purchased because mine won't be ready for quite a while). I've heard it can take 4 months for the bed to be ready. Is this the case in the colder months as well or will it take longer? I was hoping the garden would be ready for Spring.

Growing Conditions:
The site will receive full sun since it doesn't have anything around it to provide shade. The mailbox is at the bottom of a hill so water tends to pool there when it rains, but dries quickly due to the exposure.

What to Plant:
I planted a Confetti Abelia at the top of the hill that I just love and was thinking that if I can track down another, this might be a good choice due to the 4 season interest, and small stature. I don't want anything with too much height that will obstruct the visibility pulling out of the driveway, but I also want a variety of shapes and sizes. Maybe some Russian Sage or lavender for height? I have ranunculus bulbs I would like to plant there in the Spring. Do you have any plant recommendations? Since I'm starting with a blank slate I'm hoping to have some fun! I'd also like to plant a flowering vine the climb the mailbox. My only concern is that it may take over and engulf the mailbox. Any suggestions? I've been looking at the obvious clamatis, but also red cross vine, or annuals like hyacinth bean vine or Thunbergia (black eyed susan vine). I don't have experience with any of these so any advice would be appreciated!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

gbronner
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:21 am
Location: Chicago Illinois

Russian Sage

Be careful using Russian Sage it can be very aggressive but more important when it blooms it can reach 4 to 5 feet high . This may pose a visibility problem.
The Best Time To Plant A Tree 20 Years Ago The Next Best Time Today!
Glenns Garden

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wow missed this thread completely. How's the prep work going?
I've planted as early as one months after cardboard/paper treatment.

My mailbox area is the driest it can get especially during drought. One thing it has going for it is the golden honey locust tree which provides modicum of shade but not much since its on the north side of the bed and provides N-fixing roots which is really only source of fertilizer since I don't do anything for that area. Oh that and the neighbor's dogs. :D

FWIW surviving/thriving plants in my mailbox area are German bearded iris, lambs ears, grape hyacinths, wormwood, and tulips plus some red clover and black-eyed Susan's. Clematis did not survive -- I suspect not enough shade and too dry. Catnip didn't make it there either, and not because neighbor cats were bothering it either. Even though it hang on through each summer, it was SO wimpy and sorry looking due to lack of water after three years that I took pity on it and moved it elsewhere.

Volunteer oaks, Callery pears, and crabapples as well as eastern red cedar/juniper are also growing there now. I've been pruning the fruit trees into stepover-border fences surrounding the bed. DH keeps threatening to pull the oak but I want it to grow there and eventually move the mailbox, I'm planning to dig up the two junipers and stick them in pots for "wannabe" bonsai. :wink:

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I agree that Russian sage will rapidly get way too big for a mailbox garden. But in your climate, the lavender would be really nice. In warmer climates, lavender will also get too big and bushy, but in colder winter climates like yours and mine, lavender dies back in winter, so never gets so big.

And then you will have lavender, which you can harvest and use! :)


I love purple and yellow as a garden color combination that really pops. So for me a nice thing to grow with the lavender is coreopsis. It is a very hardy, drought tolerant, long blooming, yellow flowered native wildflower.

And I agree with you that clematis will also get too big and overwhelm it, so you couldn't find your mailbox. Cardinal climber is a nice annual vine that hummingbirds really like. Hyacinth bean vine or scarlet runner bean have pretty flowers and then edible beans.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

I took some pictures of my mailbox garden
1) because the yellow iris is in full bloom
2) it's getting overgrown -- didn't do anything with it last year
3) every time I want to work on it, I find poison ivy :x This way, I can look at it and plan.
image.jpg
image.jpg
Do you see the poison ivy? I wanted to trim the stepovers, and cut down that tall volunteer in the middle....
Do you see the poison ivy? I wanted to trim the stepovers, and cut down that tall volunteer in the middle....
image.jpg (33.98 KiB) Viewed 11361 times
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Posts: 9147
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Looks fantastic! :)

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Looks good.

All I used to plant by my mailbox was a single mammoth sunflower. It was the only place where it had the space and sun all around it. It was great to come home everyday and have it be the first thing I saw. It was also fun to watch it follow the sun.

I also like sweet alyssum, nasturtiums, wave petunias and iris around the mailbox. The iris for height. Nasturtiums and petunias have short vines. They fill in like a ground cover but will also climb up the mailbox post. Alyssum works with any border and grows from seed to bloom in 6 weeks and lasts a long time.

Sometimes flowers attract too many bees and so it might be nicer for the postperson if you planted things with colorful leaves instead like coleus. It can also be cut back to control the height. Or you can select flowering plants that won't be attracting bees like four o'clock which does not bloom until the evening.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

catgrass
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Lantana would be a good choice, I think, if it survives in your area. Daylillies, maybe, or butterfly bush.
zone 9 Southwest La.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

So I swear I wrote a response to this thread months ago! Oh well

Applestar, besides your mailbox garden looking beautiful, I love your mailbox! It has so much charm.

I never ended up following through with this project because I took on the front and side garden space https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=58318

I have the room to plant a substantial garden around my mailbox, like an ornamental tree, some shrubs etc. I just have so many other spaces I'd like to work on and too little time and budget. If I do anything I'll probably just do something small... maybe an annual vine and some perennials. I do love Lantana catgrass but it is an annual here. I might take it on as a fall project! I can always expand over the years.

RGB, purple/blue hues and yellow/orange are my favorite color combo to work with in the garden! I love the idea of lavender and coreopsis since both should thrive in those conditions. I just found some cardinal climber seeds I'd gotten at an exchange last fall and thought I'd lost. It's too late though right?
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

I finally jumped into this project after our neighborhood plant exchange and started digging up my grass around the bed. I was concerned about smothering the grass like I have done with other spaces since this would raise the bed which seemed problematic.

The situation is a bit unique because our driveway is so steeply sloped that visibility isn't a huge issue. Obviously I can't plant a 10' tall shrub, but I could definitely add 5' without much visual obstruction as we back out. My biggest hang up is that I'd like something evergreen and structural to ground the space so it isn't a patch of dirt in the winter. I was considering a dwarf mugo pine. Any other suggestions for something structural yet smallish and evergreen?

Here is what I have for the space (none of which are yet planted)...

3 gladiator alliums
2 Guara plants
1 Coreopsis
1 Artemisia Silver Mound
1 Aster
1 Northern Sea Oats Grass
(All free!)

I might also add lavender because I think it would add some nice texture.

I'll probably also get some early spring blooming bulbs to get the party started. I'm considering adding a simple black trellis panel behind the mailbox (black because the mailbox is black). I was thinking of growing an annual vine there, either cypress vine (suggested by RBG above) or annual black eyed susan vine. Several of my neighbors have trellises behind their mailboxes and I've always loved them!

Any thoughts on something for structure or thoughts on the specific plants I've listed?
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Can you post some pictures of the area?
I'm having trouble visualizing the "behind the mailbox" concept -- maybe because mine doesn't have that.

I can tell you sea oats can get pretty big clump and freely reseeds.
I'll go grab a picture in a minute.

...
Can I show my stepovers? I think they are starting to take shape. 8)
Attachments
image.jpg
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

image.jpg
In the picture on the right, the small clump in the front that is yellowing and browning first is the original little clump I planted here next to and a little to the front of the American Hazel shrub.

I had some raspberries that were escaping from the inside of the fence to this side and for two years, were harvesting from the extended patch and was even thinking about how I wanted to continue the raspberry "hedge" into the front yard edible landscape, then this year, the sea oats and hazel started to push back and claim the space all the way to the fence!

I had to rethink my raspberry hedge idea. :roll:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

We don't have sidewalks in our neighborhood so basically my mailbox is to the left of my driveway at the bottom of my front lawn.

I ended up planting the garden last weekend and in typical fashion most likely over crowded the space... especially after seeing your sea oats! I'll try to remember to get a photo. I can always expand the space over time and spread things out more.

I ended up planting everything above with the exception of the alliums, although it's about that time to get my bulbs in the ground! In addition to that list, I planted...

1 penstemon ($1 on clearance so not exactly sure of the specific variety)
1 double echinacea ($3 on clearance)
1 lavender
1 Klein's Hardy Gardenia
1 dwarf mugo pine (Pinus mugo var. mughus)
4 plugs of angelina sedum

So basically a hodge podge of random free/cheap plants. I'm really hoping the gardenia will truly be hardy. I wanted it for structure and thought the scent would be nice for people walking by. It will probably crowd out the penstemon as it grows... assuming it survives the winter. I'm a little nervous about the mugo pine... was it a bad choice?
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

tomato boy
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:31 am
Location: central New Jersey

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

If you build a small raised box plant a moon flower some snap dragons and chrysanthemum it gives 3 seasons of interest

User avatar
LeaSmea
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: USA, Zone 6a

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Love all the inspiration on here. :) Just thought I would share my brand new mailbox garden.

I had this old trellis lying out in the shed and couldn't find a place I wanted it for, then I started poking around the interwebs for ideas. I have a Ramona Clematis that I am training up it and the bushy plants at the base are native tickseed. I thought the contrasting blooms of purple and yellow would be lovely. The tickseed blooms continually from June till frost and the Clematis is a reblooming variety, so hopefully I'll have some awesome visual interest this summer. This was my project last weekend and already I've had several neighbors compliment it. The rocks are from a local river bed and the mulch was left over from my back gardens so I only invested $30 in it. :mrgreen:
Attachments
10425430_10153225751430960_27030105550130556_n.jpg
"If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears."
-Isaac Hayes

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Your mailbox garden is beautiful LeaSmea!

So after all my planning some lovely person has plowed their car through it about once a week since early March and my mailbox is currently at about a 45 degree angle and broken :( I'm pretty sure I know who it is and it's clear they're turning around in our driveway based on the angle of the tracks. Last week they drove about 5 feet into my garden... grrr! Their back tire took out one giant allium and the front tire swiped through the remaining 2 giant alliums. My blood was boiling!

As a solution, I have invested in a 150lb rock! It's a beautiful little boulder that should also be functional in protecting my garden. I've also realized that I will have to build a dry river bed since the lowest point has been very soggy so far this Spring. I bought a trellis online but it arrived damaged so I've decided to get creative and make my own trellis. I'll post a photo if it works out. I also think I lost the gardenia over the winter... this poor failure of a garden :( On a positive note, my lavender has now survived being run over by the car twice now so apparently it was a good hardy choice!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Hi Pinksand! You know I would actually love to see the progression as you bring your mailbox garden back from the damage inflicted by the stupid neighbor. ...also, as I was reading your description, I was also thinking "Rocks...she needs rocks there that are big enough to damage that car...." (like minds, eh? :twisted: )
-- But whatever you decide, I'm sure it will turn out great! :cool:

@Leasmea -- that is adorable! Please take pictures when they start blooming :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

I keep forgetting to take photos applestar! My husband and I replaced the mailbox this weekend so now I'll never have a photo of the poor old slanted one. My next step is the trellis.

So here's my trellis plan... My husband and I are both mountain bikers, and he works at a bike shop. He's collecting old wheels for me to stack in a staggered fashion behind the mailbox. I'm going to spray paint them black to match the mailbox so that it all looks like one piece and still looks classy instead of tacky. I feel like the mailbox garden is the first impression people get when walking by, so I think it will be a fun way to represent us. In case you can't picture it, something like this https://www.kvpermaculture.org/blog/wp-c ... ellis1.jpg only the first wheel would be buried half way and they'd be stacked in a staggered fashion instead of in a row. We have 1 wheel and 2 more to find so that we'll have a total of 3!

Once the trellis is installed, the dry river bed will be next! I'll try to take a photo when I get home from work.
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Sorry to hear about your garden being run over. I think the rock is a good idea.

I only have issues with people parking in front of my house and leaving their garbage on my curb or stuck in my hedge.

I used to grow mammoth sunflower (only 1) next to my mailbox. It was the best place for it where it did not have competition and it would face east (the road). The only other place I could plant it was in my veggie garden but sunflowers are a bit aleopathic and they don't allow much near their root.

It would get about 8 ft tall and it would follow the sun up until about noon, then the head would drop for another day. It was fun to watch. Those were the days before cardinals and bird seed mixes with sunflowers. Today, the birds eat half of my sunflower heads.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
LeaSmea
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: USA, Zone 6a

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Thanks for the compliments, I was very excited about it. It's our first home and we've been there less than a year. We put in a brand new mailbox last year since the one that came with the house was literally falling apart due to rot. It brightens up the whole front of the house.

@Pinksand, I would have been so upset! Great thinking with the boulder, I would have gone the more passive route with a couple strips of tire spikes. :twisted: lol

I absolutely love the tire idea! Talk about bringing personality to your gardens. Please post pictures when it is finished!

@Applestar, my clematis began blooming! It's gorgeous, however I think I made a rookie mistake and planted it before it was hardened off properly. My leaves are looking quite sunburned. :( I'm hoping it will bounce back.
Attachments
11027444_10153266060950960_7317195489303249643_n.jpg
10989113_10153266061115960_8914570090287640328_n.jpg
10297748_10153266060685960_1244930780920761232_n.jpg
"If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears."
-Isaac Hayes

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Your clematis is stunning LeaSmea!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Looks great @LeaSmea :D

Clematis likes the roots to be cool. They love it when their lower parts are shaded by other plants so it will help once those other plants grow up. You may also want to mulch heavily. This will help conserve moisture out by the mailbox area (typically not and sunny) too.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

The mailbox garden is officially complete! I'm waiting for a good rain to wash off all the rocks in the dry river bed before I take photos but I promise to actually post photos. I did finally end up taking some pre-trellis and rock photos so I'll post those as well.

From my original list, here's what I ended up with...

3 gladiator alliums - Only 1 survived being plowed over by the car multiple times (I'll plant more in the fall)
2 Guara plants - Only 1 survived the crazy driver
1 Coreopsis
1 Artemisia Silver Mound
1 Aster - This has spread to a a good little clump
1 Northern Sea Oats Grass
1 penstemon
1 double echinacea
1 lavender
1 Klein's Hardy Gardenia - Sure enough this guy didn't make it through winter so it's been replaced with a midnight wine weigela
1 dwarf mugo pine (Pinus mugo var. mughus)
4 plugs of angelina sedum
Variegated ajuga torn out from another section of my garden
Cardinal vine seeds planted

It's a total hodge podge but I'm really happy with how it turned out. The silver leaves of the lavender and artemesia are a nice contrast to the dark leaves of the penstemon, guara, and weigela. The variegated ajuga has both the silver color and purple/burgandy shade together and the angelina sedum is planted throughout for a nice bright contrast. I can't wait for everything to fill in! I ended up having to swap around half of the plants because they didn't work spatially once the rocks were in place but it seems to have come together... I promise that photos are to follow!!!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
LeaSmea
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: USA, Zone 6a

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Sounds wonderful, can't wait for the pics. : ) Several of those plants were new to me so I googled them and now have more to add to my list of things to plant. :D
"If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears."
-Isaac Hayes

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Some overdue photos...

New mailbox up but the garden was a mess
Image

Poor dead Gardenia :(
Image

After
Image

Image

See the baby Cardinal vine seedling growing at the bottom of the trellis? Image

Image

@Applestar - Do you think the Northern Sea Oats will be problematic there? I didn't even think it had made it because it took a while to show up and then got run over and crushed into the mud. I just didn't have the heart to move it since it looked nice peaking out of the stone. Will it go nuts there?
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
sweetiepie
Green Thumb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: York, ND (Zone 3b)

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

That is so great! I am not very artistic but what you added made it all come together. :D

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Thanks Sweetiepie! I wish I'd taken before pictures when I had the old mailbox and just grass and again after the mailbox got plowed over just so you could see the full progression. Oh well! I'll try to remember to post photos at the end of the season when everything has filled in and recovered from being transplanted and/or run over!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Looks great @pinksand! I think the sea oats will be fine, especially with the rocks anchoring the roots from getting washed away. They should grow to as tall as the mailbox and then arch over. You will have volunteers unless you cut the seedheads and prevent them from falling on the ground... (But the birds love the seeds so you may have a dilemma. :wink: )
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Well, the season is winding down and I figured I'd post an update.

Allow me to introduce...

Cousin IT!
Image

The ajuga has thrived in this difficult spot between the street and boulder. and I'm in love with this coreopsis! I got it on clearance and didn't know what color it would be so this was a beautiful surprise. It has bloomed non-stop since maybe July. Any ideas as to the variety?
Image
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dgiles
Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:16 pm

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

If your wanting a climbing type flower/vine for your mailbox "Confederate Jasmine" does really good in dry soil in direct sun light and growers quick!!! Or there are several other Jasmine a pink color flower can't think of the name. I live in Alabama and the jasmines take the heat and drought like conditions very well.

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Just a note that Confederate Jasmine is only hardy to zone 8.

I decided the cardinal climber was a bit too unruly last year so I've planted a clematis 'Crystal Fountain.' I'm guessing it will be pretty unimpressive this year but hopefully it will start to take off next year.

The ajuga didn't come back this year so I've planted a silvery variety of sedum in it's place. The other sedum I have in the garden has thrived so I think it might stand a better chance. Oddly I lost a lot of my ajuga over the winter... I'm not quite sure why since they're all in different areas and had been thriving. I similarly lost all of my guara this year. The one in this garden has been replaced with agastache.

Everything else in this little garden seems very happy this year and is filling in nicely!
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

I wanted to provide an update as my mailbox garden has started to fill in nicely.

It turns out the ajuga did come back, but reverted to the dark leaves. The poor sedum I planted got taken over so I moved it to a safer spot this spring.

I also lost the agastache I'd planted in place of the guara... I'm beginning to think the spot is cursed. I actually think it may just be too moist so I've planted cardinal plant (lebelia cardinalis) in the hopes that it will appreciate the moisture and thrive in this spot. In the photo you'll see it's the bare spot just behind/left of the rock.

My favorite thing about this garden is that everything takes turns blooming... first the daffodils, next clematis, then the weigela, next the pensetmon, hopefully then the lobelia, coreopsis, and cone flowers. This variety of cone flower is just the cheeriest! It's a double pink variety and seems to bloom forever! Then finally the aster blooms and the northern sea oats put out their seeds. I've just been really pleased with this garden!

Also, this clematis is so stunning and visible from very far away, which was my goal.
Image

Image

What started out as such a hodge podge of random sale plants has become one of my favorite beds. When neighbors ask which house is ours they always say, "Oh you're the mailbox house!" The wheels have tiny solar string lights on them and look nice at night, illuminating the lavender blooms of the clematis.
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
pinksand
Greener Thumb
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Since none of my photobucket photos are showing up anymore, I figured I'd re-post a photo directly on the forum.

This photo is from earlier this year so the clematis is now climbing the top wheel and the flowers are done. The deer kept eating my asters so I didn't get much chance to enjoy them this year. I'd like to replace them with another fall bloomer in the spring. Other than that, everything is still doing well!
2017Mailbox-sm.jpg
This clematis blooms the best in spring but puts out a few blooms here and there in the summer and another little wave of blooms in the fall! It seems really happy in this spot.
Clematis-CrystalFountain-sm.jpg
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27795
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

I have an on-going attempt to train/prune stepover espalier around the mailbox garden —

Subject: Mailbox Garden Ideas
applestar wrote: ...
Can I show my stepovers? I think they are starting to take shape. 8)
Image
^^^ that was from 2014. I decided to venture out and assess what needs to be done for the mailbox garden and discovered to my delight that some of the stepovers are starting to bloom — I Think maybe for the first time unless I posted elsewhere that they bloomed last spring? (I can’t remember....)

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

2-Acres-NorthWest
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:03 pm

Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

We planted a lot of sedum cuttings and sempervivums in a planter by the mailbox. The planter is just a stack of curved, scalloped edgings meant to surround trees, The sedum cuttings were ones we had in other places around the yard. I just cut off stems about four to eight inches long, made holes in the soil with a stuck, and stuck them in 1/2 of their length. The sempervivum were from my dad's house, he got them from his parents who got them from their parents, so they go back a century. So they are kind of the ultimate pass-along plants.

With no special care, they grew, filled in, and bloomed. These get no water at all now. I chose different colors of sedums for contrast. This is one of my favorite things to do with containers or limited area groundcovers.

Image

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”