Boy we had a busy Labor Day weekend! Last week the weather suddenly went from hot and dry to cold and rainy. The temperature dropped 15 degrees in two days! Of course that meant I could officially plant my fall shrubs. So we dropped everything and went to buy the dwarf conifers I began researching back in January. I originally wanted to plant them in the spring but we didn’t have the flower beds prepared and planting shrubs in the fall is easier since they don’t need to be watered through the dry summer.
When we bought the house the front flower beds looked like this:
I don’t have pictures of them in the summer but the weeds would get to be 3′ tall! The north flower bed had fabric and rocks laid down at one point but no edging. Because the yard was higher the area was filled with dirt over time where weeds could grow. The south flower bed (between the sidewalk and house) was also too high but luckily didn’t have any fabric or rocks. It was a serious mess. So the following spring we dug out the top 6″ of the flower bed and removed the weeds. Having never gardened in my life I wanted something quick and easy. The only plants I kept were hostas so I broke them up so I had enough to fill the space. Then we laid down fabric and rocks. I planned to add additional plants later.
When I look at this picture I think it was the most boring flower bed ever! Seriously, rows of hostas…and not just any hosta the most boring, typical, everyone has them hosta. Then add some predictable river rock and you have a 30′ x 6′ flower bed no one will ever notice! Luckily we never got to the north flower bed because I couldn’t decide on what type of edging I wanted. I’ve just never liked that black plastic stuff everyone uses. So we just lived with the weeds and pulled the tall ones when they began to block the windows.
Fast forward to a few months later and we decided to finally dig out the also messy rock wall flower bed and I realized that I’m going to have learn something about plants unless I want flower beds full of hostas. So I started reading up about gardening online and at the library. Then one night I saw a flyer for a Garden Club meeting at the library where they meet. I was super intimidated but I went to the next meeting where I didn’t know anyone. Turns out they were some of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met! Granted they were all my mother or grandmother’s age but the generational gap didn’t seem to matter when we were talking plants.
In August we finally got to installing a brick edging and retaining wall for the north flower bed. Next we tore out the boring hosta bed spending a weekend on our hands and knees picking up thousands of rocks by hand. Fun! Last weekend we picked up mulch from our county waste site ($5 for a trailer full), bought all of my dwarf conifers from two different nurseries, and picked up some mulch. And here’s how it looks now:
Don’t mind the dirt embedded into the sidewalk and the multi-colored mulch. I know it looks pretty sparse right now but I plan to fill in with more perennials next year and the conifers will fill in slowly. I think it’s a good base of unique plants that will look good all year round even covered with snow. So what do you think?