imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

I gotta ask first where you are located. Your zone may indicate what plants will do well
What direction does the bed face. Does it get sun all day
If you are not a consistant waterer, consider putting in some kind of irrigation system. For that kind of bed, even soaker hoses on a faucet timer will work.

Make sure that you prepare the soil in the bed before you plant. Add in compost and some fertilizer. Compost will help to loosen the soil and keep it moist longer. After planting mulch the bed to cut down on weeds and hold moisture in.

For plant selection, I suggest a drive around the neighborhood. If you see a plant that you like and a neighbor can grow it you can too.

I would pick long blooming plants that do not require a lot of maintenance.

My picks
for a sunny spot and does not need a lot of water once established: Rosemary (makes a great hedge and edible too) has blue flowers in summer. Needs care the first year but can live on little water after it is established. Lavender augustifolia (zone 5-8) Lavender dentata (3 ft mounding shrub blue flowers) and can handle more heat, Indian Hawthorne, Rhapsiolepsis indica, great hedge but you need to start with large plants as is grows very slowly, prune to shape twice a year. Sundrops, yellow flowers in the morning. Reseeds itself, and plumbago. Any of the sages make a good border plant. Low bordering plants could be gaillarda, blue daze, or daisies.

Other plants: penta, geraniums, desert honeysuckle, butterflyweed, echinacea (coneflower), coreopsis, black eyed susan, and daylily.

I would still throw in some annuals like alyssum, marigolds, cosmos, and dianthus pinks for added color.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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watermelonpunch
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Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

@ rainbow... yeah I was thinking of prinmel's super dry well draining rocky soil when I said sundown watering.
Doesn't sound like there's much danger of fungus there, quite the opposite.

I hadn't thought of it as "controversial". But then everything is controversial on the internet isn't it. LOL ;)

And also my experience last year was that it was just far too dry in Pennsylvania.
Also, I have rocky sandy soil in much of my yard... only about 6 inches deep under most flowerbeds... and probably it's under everything.
I live in what was once an employee house of an anthracite coal breaker industrial site, that was cleaned up during the housing boom when they thought maybe it could see some development.
It's now a field basically a sparsely growing meadow with drought tolerant wildflowers & some tall grass... they put a thin layer of topsoil over basically coal processing junk. The winds come off that field into our yard are rather unusually strong & sustained for this region. And it's Some of my flowerbeds and along the border of the field, I find pockets of 50 year old coal ash.
In fact, I think the one giant flowerbed is basically set atop an old coal ash heap.

Come to think of it... wouldn't people's yards in eastern Washington have some level of volcano ash in them from the eruption in the 80s?

At any rate, I think the sundown is probably easier to do than the crack of dawn, regarding most people's busy schedules... which I think is probably the #1 reason most people would have a perpetually or habitually dry flowerbed in their yard - no time for watering.
Which would also mean if someone was doing watering... they would probably not be watering enough when they do water.
I know that was something my MIL warned me about. She got me a sprinkler attachment for the hose, because she said, "Most people don't water long enough."

Though I can easily see your point and the great advantages to watering very early in the morning.
I wish I were a morning person. LOL
imafan26 wrote:If you see a plant that you like and a neighbor can grow it you can too.
That's exactly what I've done.
I've looked around the neighborhood, and in the field I live by... and I find out what the things I like are, and I've planted them.

Of course you have to be careful about looking to neighbors who have extremely landscaped yards with gardens. Because then sometimes it could be they go through extra expense & effort to grow certain things.
Northeastern Pennsylvania
USDA zone 6a bordering 5b, Sunset Zone 37 bordering 42
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prinmel
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Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

Watermelon, its funny, my yard (according to my neighbor who has been living here since the late 60's) is over the top of a dump from the late 1800's so just rocks and fill dirt. My gladiolus are starting to come up and I water quickly twice a day. Once in the morning after taking my daughter to school and once when I pick her up. I'm trying really hard this year to water! :0) There are places that have ash from Mt. Saint Helens, but I can't tell if I have any in my yard or not. People shoveled it away like snow in the days following the eruption. My parents have some in a jar though that they kept all these years.... kinda neat :0)

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watermelonpunch
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Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

Interesting about the dump!
You wonder if 200 years from now someone will be setting up an archeological dig in your back yard! LOL
That's what I always read or see in documentaries... the archeologists are always fascinated with the ancient garbage. :)

I realize now that our yard is a bit different than a lot of yards in the U.S. In that I live in an old city, and the vicinity was once very different during the olden days. In old cities, things have been built, ripped down, rebuilt, changed over so many years. So the soil might not have much in common with someone in the same zone just 5 miles away where it was never developed other than some light residential.
Where I live has been settled & developed & changed for 200 years now.

Anyway, since you mentioned the gladiolus I decided to look them up. And boy oh boy, I'd get ready for some hummingbirds in your yard! They look like they were made for hummingbirds. :)
I may think about doing them in a pot at some point.
I'm doing dahlias in a pot for that reason.
Though with these gladiolus bulbs... it doesn't sound like it would be too big a deal to actually just dig them up for the winter from a narrow flowerbed.
Northeastern Pennsylvania
USDA zone 6a bordering 5b, Sunset Zone 37 bordering 42
I'm brainwashing you with this signature block.
watermelonpunch.com

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

Yeah, the back of my yard was apparently used as a dump for a long time. The surface layer was all the modern stuff - air conditioners, sinks, beer cans, tires, etc. But having cleared all that, everywhere I dig, I find stuff like old glass pharmacy bottles, with company and place names stamped/embossed in the glass, some with dates in the late 1800's. Mostly broken though, so I don't think they have a lot of value. I've saved a few pieces, one that was stamped with Cincinnati, OH (where I am).
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

prinmel
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Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

Just wanted to update on my flower bed. I have been so good about watering and my lavender is blooming! Turns out all you have to do is water it and it will bloom :0) The gladiolus are coming up nicely... on the one side of the flower bed, not yet on the other side.

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watermelonpunch
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Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: Help! What in the world to I do with these flower beds?

prinmel wrote:Just wanted to update on my flower bed. I have been so good about watering and my lavender is blooming! Turns out all you have to do is water it and it will bloom :0) The gladiolus are coming up nicely... on the one side of the flower bed, not yet on the other side.
Fantastic!!! :)
I'm so jealous.



I've been keeping track of stuff I plant and when it sprouts in different areas...
I can't figure out any rhyme or reason to it.
But things tend to come up within a few days of each other if they were planted the same day. Longest I've had to wait yet is about a week. But I wouldn't worry until 2 weeks difference.

I've also had tulips come up in different areas over a week apart. Yet somehow they wound up all bloomed at roughly the same time.
Northeastern Pennsylvania
USDA zone 6a bordering 5b, Sunset Zone 37 bordering 42
I'm brainwashing you with this signature block.
watermelonpunch.com



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