Gardening 101

8 04 2007

This year the gardens are up to me.   I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to put into the garden, and I’ve been told I can’t just “plant” rocks.

I’d really like some suggestions.  I need stuff that is hard to kill, and Ideally stuff that will grow back every year (meaning my gardening for years to come is trimming, weeding and watering only)

My garden has pretty much full day sunshine, and my favourite little flowers are violets.
Hellllllp.

IVillage  Easy to Grow Top Ten

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3 responses

9 04 2007
fracas

Hi Joey. Eight years ago we bought a house that was re-done on the inside but the yard was the epitome of what anyone’s vision of a haunted house yard might look like.

We hauled out huge dumpster bins of garbage and dead stuff we had to hack down just to actually find the patio and get the fence up off the ground.

The vegetable garden was full of irises and there was no flower garden anywhere. The lawn was just weeds and ants.

Today, we have brick paths, perennial beds that make the property look like a park and a vegetable garden that can be used for vegetables… all dug, done and planted by moi (with some elbow grease from the Mr. Fracas who hated that stuff and mostly leaves it to me).

Though we live in different growing zones, you shouldn’t have any trouble growing what I can, it would be the other way around since I live in the colder province and am therefore more limited than you. So, some perennials that have worked well for me are:

Blue Fescue: Really great architectural effect when planted with other more delicate foliage

Pink Yarrow: I love it while others think it to be a weed. It’s lacy and beatiful in bloom but is one of those that spreads like wild. If you keep on top of plucking out the new growth when it’s small, it’s easy and you can contain the plant to bush-like clusters. If you want it to fill in a large area, just let it go and it will. Trust me on that.. I’ve shared with tons of neighbors since it really does grow like wild.

White anemone: I love these. Some older ladies call them buttercups but they’re not. They too, spread but can be contained if you choose. I keep mine in little bushes. I love them because they give great blooms early in spring and then you snip the blooms (and stems) away and are left with really great bushes of bright yet dark green foliage to backdrop annuals later.

Bugleweed: Great low, ground cover with flowers

Irises: Great for spring color and architectural interest later with the green spikes. Don’t get the earlier and shorter growing varieties though because they tend to die off before you really want them to. Siberian irises are great.. the purple or purple/white ones. Tall foliage, long living.

Hostas! Gads, I have Hostas that the neighbours ask about. Choose the right one for the right spot and they’re a showpiece.

Daylillies: Mine are huge. I’ve separated them and they just keep getting bigger. Great foliage again, to backdrop for annuals you can add for show.

Strawberry Dianthus: It sometimes is sold as a biennial, but mine came back year after year. Be warned though… slugs love this plant and you will have to battle them to keep your dianthus in foliage.

Shrubs I like/have: Diablo Ninebark, Purple Leaf Sandcherry, Honeysuckle, Boxwood, Cotoneaster, Variegated Euonymous, Chokecherry(or Chokeberry), Saskatoon Berry, Lilac, Snowball Bush, Rose Weigelia

If you’re looking for annuals to fill in for show (you kind of have to since perennials as a rule don’t flower all season, you have to choose ones that flower during different times to have color all season), remember that slugs also like petunias. I learned that the slugs didn’t care for my impatiens and if you get this certain pale pink color, at night they almost glow in the dark and are just stunning.

So.. I think I should have a garden page at fracas. Thanks for prompting the idea. I’ve got pictures somewhere too.

9 04 2007
Joey

OMG, THANK YOU THANK YOU Fracas!

Awesome list. . . . .I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thank you again!!!! Wooooooooh

9 04 2007
fracas

Oh, oh, oh… (arms flailing wildly) I forgot about one shrub that’s just the best thing ever! It’s called Barberry. I have one called “Rose Glow” and it’s so damn cool. The new growth is pink and then as it becomes old wood, the leaves are burgundy/purple. It’s a showpiece that you can use in a spot where you don’t want flowers but want color. There’s a “Cranberry” version with a bit different coloring in the leaves… more reddish than pink.

And… I love my Cranberry Cotoneaster to bits. We have a 6′ hedge (between us and the neighbours) of the regular cotoneaster but I found a cranberry cotoneaster and it’s the neatest thing. It’s a dwarf version and it gets little (not edible) berries on it that look like cranberries. The shrub grows in such a knarly kind of way that it reminds me of a bonsai tree. I love mine.

I’m sure I’ll think of more and I’ll pass it on as I do. I have a huge yard and tons of different plantings. I’m cheap though… It’s taken me all 8 years to get it all since I wait until stuff goes on sale later each season and buy then. But… the good thing is that having done this over years, people stop now and admire because to call landscapers in and do it all would be just thousands of dollars. No one in my neighbourhood has money to spend that way.

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