Sunday, January 29

Landscaping Plans

Since I'm cheap, I'll be starting perennials again this year. The plan is to grow some of the more simple items that I would normally buy for $3 to $5 each. Since I already have a seed-starting bench, lights, and heating mat for the vegetable garden, the additional cost is negligible.

I mix my own potting soil from sand, peat, and compost. The peat is relatively inexpensive if purchased in bales. I'll use about 1 cubic foot for all the seed starting, and another for transplanting, re-potting, and improving beds. If weeds are a problem, I soak the offending mix in boiling water.

What I'll be starting from seed this year:
  • Woodrush
  • Pony Tails Grass
  • Pampas Grass
  • Hare's Tail grass
  • Fountain Grass, cream and black
  • Sea Oats
  • Rock Cress
  • Daisy
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Coneflower
  • Phlox
  • Liatris
  • Dailia
  • Columbine
  • Cleome
  • Wild Strawberries
I have three areas I'd like to improve with perennials:

bed obscuring electrical box from view.

The biggest challenges here are a proliferation of weeds that sprout every year, and the property line a few inches from the box itself. I must also keep access available to the box for the electrical/phone/cable companies.

rock retaining wall
This is the ongoing project, along the left is the side of the house, at the top is the drive. The retaining wall from house to tree is about 20 feet long, and the height is about 9 feet. The rocks were placed a few years ago from those found in the pile (to the left of the tree). Each tier has a few feet of planting room. Herbs fill the left-most section of the wall, being the part with the most mid-day sunlight. The rest of the wall is a combination of creeping phlox, strawberries, creeping thyme, and spring-flowering bulbs.

I've had great success thus far with the 5 creeping phlox plants I purchased 3 years ago. They have completely filled one tier of the wall and cuttings have rooted well. The cuttings are in the second year (rooted last spring), and will be planted this year after the bulbs have faded.

bed along the wall of the house

This area is a new bed, not even planned completely yet. A flowering peach tree and flagpole are the primary anchors, with a few large boulders from the aforementioned rock pile. A hydrangea was added last year. The bench, walkway, and mulch finish out the plan. The rendering is from Broderbund Landscape Design software.


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