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Need super low-maintenance flower-bed solution

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:00 pm
by groovia
Hi-

We moved into a house (zone 7-8) about a year ago on approx. 1/2 acre. There are flower beds EVERYWHERE, and apparently the owner before last was an avid gardener and even a professional landscaper.

We're a young and busy family and we're not interested in spending every weekend on yard work. Hubby has already spent more than $400 in mulch and has only done 1/2 of the flower beds. I'm fine with having beds on the perimeter of the house, but the ones in the middle of the yard just have to go.

So I have 2 questions:

1) Is it a feasible idea to remove old flower beds and plant grass, or will there always be a "difference", like puny clumps of grass or something?

2) I'm posting a pic below (from April when everything was tidier. Now it's all weeds). This is part shaded woodland/part sunny. There's kind of an island of trees with this raised flower bed area. How could we best manage this? We're totally inexperienced and are not "gardeners" by any means, but we do want a nice looking property. This area is huge.

Mulching could be expensive and time consuming (to put down and then weed all year) and a ground cover of some kind might attract snakes (we have copperheads in our area). Fallen leaves also tend to collect in this area.

[img]https://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i9/kgerstenberg/DSCN1356.jpg[/img]


Thanks so much for any advice!

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 4:56 pm
by cynthia_h
Look into Square Foot Gardening. Mel Bartholomew wrote the book in 1981 and has recently (last year) released "The New Square Foot Gardening," which is the one I found.

It works for veggies, herbs, and/or flowers.

Have fun!

Cynthia H
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:54 am
by cheshirekat
It would go against my nature to encourage anyone to plant grass unless it's an ornamental grass, so I'd recommend something like Roman chamomile or speedwell that are low growing and perennial. Then you can add a flowering bush or berry bush to enjoy the birds or other wildlife or two and maybe a patch of perennial flowers of your choice to create a simple garden that wouldn't be a lot of work. There are a ton of perennials to choose from, and many different bushes and low growing plants to keep the weeds out. You could even create a small rock garden that has just a few plants and a bench or pergola.