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pinksand
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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

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applestar
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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
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pinksand
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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
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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.

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LeaSmea
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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.
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pinksand
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Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

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

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applestar
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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.
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pinksand
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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

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LeaSmea
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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."
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pinksand
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Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

Some overdue photos...

New mailbox up but the garden was a mess
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Poor dead Gardenia :(
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After
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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

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sweetiepie
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Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

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

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pinksand
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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

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applestar
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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: )
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pinksand
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Re: Mailbox Garden Ideas

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

Allow me to introduce...

Cousin IT!
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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
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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.

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pinksand
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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

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pinksand
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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.
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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

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pinksand
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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

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applestar
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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)
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^^^ 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....)

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2-Acres-NorthWest
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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.

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