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#121951 Sep 1st, 2007 at 06:56 AM
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KAT2007 Offline OP
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Just moved into my friend's house, and the front yard really needs work~especially since the garden on the left (tenant's on the other side) is absolutely gorgeous!

#1 Challenge: Convincing Trish that we should roto-till everything under and start over after last frost in the spring~or now? I can't tell the weeds from what is dying because there was no time to tend the garden. (Trish owns the house by the way.)

#2 Challenge: 15'x15' full sun plot...but there's a gigantic sunflower here there and everywhere...it looks like a jungle! The rose bush looks pathetic next to 3 ft tall Susans...strawberries never came up (after years of being there), but the Morning Glories are propagating to the tenants side of the porch!

#3 Challenge: She's had what flowers she could cut 3 or 4 places around the house. Echinaceas look great; Susan's are dropping seeds all over the shelves~~She knows some of what she planted, but not all.
Trish loves flowers (she wants them here and there in the yard between future veggies!) There is only 110 sq feet in the back that gets full sun for veggies.

My goal is to have flowers all over the place, but there are bare spots in the front because the flowers do not bloom at the same time! So, I'm trying to design the front so that it looks more like Scranton and not the Southeast jungle.

Any ideas on how to start? yikes kat

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Do you know what is planted already? I never like to kill and re-buy if there are good plants there and all they need is for the soil to be improved and buy some additional plants to make the garden complete.

Roto-till everything I would not do. A lasagna bed would work. Lay some newspaper and put your compost on and let it start working at least if there are spring bulbs or summer bulbs you would not kill those by Roto-till and not knowing what is there.

That said I would start in a corner and work an area at a time.


Do what you can where you are with what you have.

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i agree with cinta, i hate to toss out good plants,
if you feel you must rotatille then i would dig every thing up n replant em, the best time is in fall
also make a list of plants n when they bloom to plant here or there. with this n that, it would help with the bare spots,
like up my drivway i have a line bed,
daffodils,tulips- for spring bloom
iris -for early summer bloom
daylilies- for summer bloom
i plant annuals were the spring bulbs are for summer to late summer blooms.

this way theres always somthing bloomin in that spot:}
good luck with redoing your garden:}


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Thanks, Cinta, I wanted to get this thread going because I am so frustrated. I don't want to toss everything (trish wouldn't let me anyway!). i really like starting in a corner idea. kat

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sibyl, i love the planting on top of bulbs idea for constant growing...could you explain that a little more? why i hate the front yard is because it's so spotty. When I had my home there was no barespot anywhere....even the trees had impatiens and dusty millers! thanks, kat

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4 season gardening takes a lot of planning but when I look at my garden that is what I want to see. And it is definitely what I plan to work on with my new place.

First I have to figure out what beds will be in full sun, part sun, and full shade. Because that is the first catagory of plants I need to identify for each bed.

In one of the full sun beds I'll be planting crocuses (early spring), Daffodils (spring), Tulips (spring), feesia, (early summer), Blackberry Lilies (Summer), Gladiolus, (Summer) and some of my annual miniature zinnias (summer & fall) because they don't develop massive root systems.

In the other full sun bed I'm thinking about using a burgandy hibiscus as one anchor plant and a sunset hibiscus as another, with mums, marigolds, dalhias, full sized snapdragons and such interspersed throughout the bed.

I have a fence so I want to put climbing roses along it. I want a profusion of different colors in mid-sized roses. Not tea or cabbage but inbetween. And those should bloom from late spring through fall. I think in front of them I would like to have the peonies. They would bloom just before the roses and I think that would be perfect. Plus the climbing roses would give some protection from the wind for the peonies that are very fragile.

In the shade bed I have plans for putting my dwarf evergreens at the 4 corners as anchor plants. And then the hosta spread out in the bed with the dark green one towards the center and the two varigated ones toward each end They bloom in mid summer although have interest from spring to the beginning of fall. Sprinkled among the hostas will be the variegated ornamental grass that blooms in the fall. Towards the front will be the miniature snapdragons for early spring color. Behind them will be the columbines for spring and possible some fall color. Interspersed with the ornamental grass will be the peacock orchids and the lillies of the valley. The orchids for late summer color and the lilies for spring color. I will also plant the jacobs ladder and see how that does. The lentil roses for winter color didn't work for me from seed so I may see about getting a plant or two to try. The new one with the pink spots looks very interesting. I'll also add some Malva to the back of the bed and see how that goes. They were really small the last time I tried to plant them in my clay soil but the soil over at the new place looks like it will be better.





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WOW!!! That certainly sounds like some plan!

I have to thank tkhooper because she always takes the time to spell it out for us. I got wonderful ideas from that really info-packed post. I love Columbines~esp. the blue ones~and Joey and Toby's hibiscus really make us look like an abandoned lot (they are the tenants on the other side).

I saw the new pocket-grown strawberry system & thought I'd try that. If clematis grows well in 5b, I'll plant that on part shade side of porch. We have hostas with bug holes in the leaves, which is why I wouldn't plant them again. kat flwr

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I do egg shells around my hosta and scratch in a fair amount of compost around them at the beginning of the growing season. The egg shells keep the slugs away that love hosta and the compost helps the hosta stay super healthy. And the healthier the plant the more tolerance to pests and diseases.


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