GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

My planned plant layout, critques welcome!

I ordered a large order of goodies from BlueStone and Garden Crossings. They arrived Thursday and I just can't seem to make up my mind how I want to place everything.
A good preface would be that I am completely new to the gardening world, and after buying my first house alittle over a year ago, I've decided to clean out the neglected flowerbeds and plant new stuff.

Here's what I have.
4 Hydrangea's; Abracadabra orb, Vienna, All Summer Beauty and Rio
6 Violas; 3 Rebecca and 3 Etain
13 Astilbe; (lots of shaded areas) Amethyst, 3 Pumila, Ostrich, 2 Lilliput, Deutschland, Peach Blossom, White Wings, Sprite, Taquetti and Rhineland
6 Veronica; 3 Royal Candles and 3 Red Fox
5 Hosta; 3 Loyalist, 1 Fireworks and 1 Patriot
3 Helleborus; Onyx , Berry Swirl and Peppermint Ice
1 Dicentra; Burning hearts


And after much debate, heres how I think I will place it all. I need to order afew more violas, veronicas and 2 more hydrangea (reg Abracadabra and Mars) to meet my plans.
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/FlowerBed_3.jpg[/img]

Red= Hydrangea
Yellow = Astilbe
Blue = Veronica
Grey = Helleborus
Purple = Viola
Brown = Hosta
White = Dicentra

The hydrangeas are what I consider the focal point. 3 Shorter hydrangeas infront with, 3 larger ones along the back wall. Each bordered by astilbe's, large astilbe's around the larger hydrangeas and shorter astilbe's around the shorter hydrangeas. The two that are really close together will be a Abracadabra and Abracadabra Orb, I'd like for them to grow through one another if possible. 3-4 flagstone stepping stones will be placed in the open middle area.
I'm debating on removing the large hosta area and replacing it with a Coreopsis and Gaillardia combo.

What do you think?

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Hmmmmm
Which direction does house face? If facing East, may be OK
Hydrangeas grow, and grow, and can be kept under control to some extent. I would have them spaced in back.
The veronica looks like the only sunny one, and others would be AM sun.
Violas usually planted in fall for fall-winter-spring color. I have some in pots on south deck, and they are getting a bit iffy now with warmer days.
Instead of interspersing, try a plan with groups in front of your shrubs.

Just some thoughts
Have fun!
Susan

GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

Susan W wrote:Hmmmmm
Which direction does house face? If facing East, may be OK
Hydrangeas grow, and grow, and can be kept under control to some extent. I would have them spaced in back.
The veronica looks like the only sunny one, and others would be AM sun.
Violas usually planted in fall for fall-winter-spring color. I have some in pots on south deck, and they are getting a bit iffy now with warmer days.
Instead of interspersing, try a plan with groups in front of your shrubs.

Just some thoughts
Howdy, fellow Memphian
The house faces North, with the left side of the house being East.

Here's another one of my AMAZING picture examples.
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/HorribleDiagram.jpg[/img]

What is interspersing?

Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Interesting is a mild comment!
I still suggest keeping your Hydrangeas on the back, with space.
On the little alcove by the door, shade. Do you want evergreen? What was there before?

Hey, fellow Memphian! I did work Stringers several years (midtown) then Trips Midtown, both gone now.
Have fun!
Susan

GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

Susan W wrote:Interesting is a mild comment!
I still suggest keeping your Hydrangeas on the back, with space.
On the little alcove by the door, shade. Do you want evergreen? What was there before?

Hey, fellow Memphian! I did work Stringers several years (midtown) then Trips Midtown, both gone now.
Do you suggest the hydrangeas in back because of their large size? I'd prefer them in back but I'm not sure if there is enough light.
I did order the Cityline series of hydrangea for the front parts of the bed, they are listed as 'compact hydrangea' only growing from 1-3'.

I have no clue what was in the shady area before, some type of bush. Here's a pic from before I gutted the beds.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_7952.jpg[/img]

Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

I would suggest some annuals in your sunny area. That would give you on going color. One of my faves, and it often makes it through the winter is Victoria Blue Salvia. Grey-green leaves, blue spike flowers. Easy!

I would also suggest making a trip to Dan West garden center, either on Poplar-East Memphis, or Hi 64. Bring pics and your sun/shade outline. Someone can give you advise on the alcove area, and the over all plan.
Have fun!
Susan

GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

Susan W wrote:I would suggest some annuals in your sunny area. That would give you on going color. One of my faves, and it often makes it through the winter is Victoria Blue Salvia. Grey-green leaves, blue spike flowers. Easy!

I would also suggest making a trip to Dan West garden center, either on Poplar-East Memphis, or Hi 64. Bring pics and your sun/shade outline. Someone can give you advise on the alcove area, and the over all plan.
I have been to Dan Wes, Good Winds, and afew other local nurseries. Good stuff. And helpful folks.
If I do any annuals I have to do Begonia's, my mom asked me to have her a begonia section, but since they were annuals I decided to avoid them. I prefer preennials, so I won't have to replant every spring.

I'm really in trouble for now, I tilled the main flower bed, adding lots of manure and removing lots of clay. That was a major plus, and had me ready to plant...... The problem became clear this morning after our powerful downpour. I didn't grade the land properly. AND NOW I HAVE A KOI POND!!! *sigh* I am the king of mistakes...

I'll have to regrade and maybe add a small swale along the outside of the flower bed, originally I think the bed was higher than the yard causing it to drain into the yard, for now it is the reverse, the yard is drainging into the bed.
The flowerbed wall has areas of missing morter between the retaining wall bricks, I think this was done to drain OUT of the beds, currently it is draining IN to the beds. What doesn't normally go through the bricks would usually come across the driveway, at the foot of this picture.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_8058.jpg[/img]

I'm looking for a quick solution as my plants are still sitting in the garage.... I bring them out to get sunlight. But who knows how long they will last in their containers.. -wall-

With the way the weather is looking, and the fact that the main bed is mostly shade, I'll have to wait several days AFTER the rain stops to rent the tiller again and regrade the flower bed so that hopefully water exits and does not enter. -wall-

Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

All I can say is you have a situation.
Rather than bags of top soil, may look at truck load. Just for fill and well draining, I go for bags of Evergreen (Lowes/HD) $1.25. Then add amendments. (I don't have accommodations for truck load)

Other than that, you have a plan and I say try it.

Perennials are not always cheaper/easier than annuals. Trust me!

Look at your house, curb appeal and what you are looking for. As this is front, figured your looking at curb appeal, something pretty to set off the house.

Trial and error. I am great at both!
Have fun!
Susan

GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

Susan W wrote:All I can say is you have a situation.
Rather than bags of top soil, may look at truck load. Just for fill and well draining, I go for bags of Evergreen (Lowes/HD) $1.25. Then add amendments. (I don't have accommodations for truck load)

Other than that, you have a plan and I say try it.

Perennials are not always cheaper/easier than annuals. Trust me!

Look at your house, curb appeal and what you are looking for. As this is front, figured your looking at curb appeal, something pretty to set off the house.

Trial and error. I am great at both!
Situation is a friendly understatement ;)
Trail and error doesn't work for me, I seek perfection on the first attempt!! And then get terribly frustrated when perfection isn't acheived. *sigh* I think it requires that thing called patience.

I also used the Evergreen brand top soil, potting soil and manure compost. Add some Black Kow manure and that's what I tilled in to make my new bed mixture.

I guess I'm going to have to wait till Saturday or Sunday to retill and fix the grade, the forecast is NASTY....

I'm really hoping the $350 worth of plants I have sitting in the garage can hold out that long. I watered them today, and put them outside in the partial cloudy sun for afew hours.

GrenDeL0501
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:39 am
Location: Memphis, Tn

Well the rain stopped, and the flooding kept on going....
I finished planting about a week ago, I ordered some extras (achillea/yarrow) to fill in a leftover gap and finished planting those today.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_8293.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_8295.jpg[/img]

Even without any blooms it looks so much better than before.

My only problem is that the portion of the bed against the house gets more light than I thought it did. Some of my Astilbes are burning on the leaves and may have to be moved if it gets any worse.



I'm currently working on putting together a irrigation system (soaker hose and sprinklers). Its funny to spend all this time on drainage for the wet season, just to have to work on irrigation for the dry.....

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v449/Sj_Grendel/IMG_8292.jpg[/img]

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