need suggestions for flowerbed

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by redster, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. redster

    redster Active Member

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    im looking for suggestions on something to plant in the flowerbeds in my front yard. the pics are of petunias and impatiens, something i just threw together last year. i was looking for a small bush or shrub to go with some annuals that will give me color year round or close to it.
    my biggest problem is trying to find something that will work around the light post i guess, it cant be too big without covering the whole bed. the main colors i want are mostly red and white, maybe a little pink or purple. at least for now the fur tree has to stay and im trying to slowly phase out the pink azeleas, ive got 13 more of those bushes around the rest of the house.




    thx

    red
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Visit a garden center or three and look at their shrubs, see if you find something there that fits the bill. That way you have seen it for yourself and know it is something you can get without sending through the mail. The "meatball" at the corner of the house looks to be a juniper, rather than a fir (note spelling).
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You could look at the variegated climbing Aroids - something like a Philodendron or Anthurium that would climb the light-post and add visual interest and colour. However, if you want something with really showy flowers, these won't do it for you - they're showy leaves. However, the type of Anthurium you normally see at Wal-Mart, the one with the showy red inflorescences, will be hardy in the ground for you, and the leaves add interest.

    For flowers, you could train climbing roses - one plant of each red and white. For the main bed, check out Nicotiana, Fuchsia (which will be a perennial with your mild winters), or even Lobelia. Sticking with the red and white theme, you can also try Verbenas (there is a low-growing cultivar with pale lavender blooms that fade to white over time, and smell like honey. I have no idea what it's called, but I plant it extensively) and the red-leafed cultivars of Coleus and Pepperomia.

    And closer to the house, why not replace one of your Azaleas with a Banana? You've got the climate for it - and they can normally be had in big-box stores for about $5.
     
  4. redster

    redster Active Member

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    ron i have been to a few places, but looking at a plant thats 6 inches tall just leaves something missing you know? figured i could at least get some names to look up and see what i like.

    lorax, most of your ideas are ok to me, but my wife didnt like any of them lol(big surprise). after looking them up, i came across a few that i would really like, mainly caladiums, or the other really big elephant ear plants, and ive always liked coleus just didnt know what they were. i think the rose idea could work too, i just would need something to compliment them.

    theres no way im planting anything relating to nightshade. im a veggie gardener and i dont need anything else attraching caterpillars to my hot peppers. and also a big no to the banana idea, i wouldnt mind them in the back yard as a barrier but i can just picture one sitting in my livingroom for the first hurricane that blows through.

    this is the rest of my front yard, just so you see how much work i have to lose the azeleas. im almost tempted to just replace the pink with red varieties to save the trouble of finding new plants. then theres the gaint palm i have to work around also.
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=37790

    red
     
  5. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    there are many clematis that come in white or red or a mix as well as pink and purple varieties. there are some that bloom at different times, as well, so mixing a few types could work well on the lamp post and keep that in flower for the majority of the time from spring to fall.

    what are lighting conditions? full sun, some shade, full shade? what about soil - constantly moist or very, very good drainage?

    do you prefer to plant it once and just maintain from year to year or do you want to always be planting something new each year? or a mix of both?

    what zone are you in?
     
  6. redster

    redster Active Member

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    well thats a bit better, at least the wife liked this plant lol. if i can find one in a nice red shade, it might work.

    its full 8 hours of sun, it doesnt need drainage because the sun will evaporate any water in hours here in louisiana. not sure what zone i am, 9 maybe 10?

    but to answer the last question, i watered my petunias like every other day in the summer heat, it was a lot of work, and they barely survived some days. yes, i want something i can plant and leave there, maybe water once a week or less is better, then prune it like once a year...i can always add a few annuals or something to spruce up the look...



    another question? what about bulbs? are there any that are cheap enough to fill the space around the light that might bloom more than once a year? i love amarylis but they are just too expensive to fill that space completely in one shot...
     
  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    it might be too hot there for roses and clematis also - there might be a couple varieties of either/both that would do in your zone, though.

    you could put a couple/three yucca in - they get to about a 3 foot spread and send up a flower stalk after a few years (and then bloom every year, i think). they can take dry conditions and they love full sun. can be kind of boring though when not in flower. (i have some pups i can send you, if you want.)

    bulbs generally bloom once a season and that's it. you could do a variety of them that bloom at different times so that you (almost) constantly have something blooming from spring to fall. some iris bloom twice - usually mid or late spring and then again in the fall...so, that leaves a big chunk of time where there's nothing happening. you can fill in with annuals though.

    petunia's require lots of water - even up here. and especially if they're in full sun for the majority of the day...add the hotter temps you get down there and it must have been a LOT of work to keep them going!!

    hmm.

    black-eyed susans...very nice yellow flower and there are three types - one is an annual, one is bi-ennial and one is perennial. most of what is sold is the bi-ennial type (it grows leaves the first year and blooms the second and then dies...it re-seeds VERY freely, so it can seem like it's a perennial). they would do well in that spot. once the blooms are done, you can dead-head and that will cause the plants to bloom again, so you can have them going most of the summer...just leave a few to go to seed so you get the re-seeding going. once established they are very drought tolerant. they get a couple feet tall.

    also, coneflower...lots of color varieties these days - whites, pinks, purples, green even! and oranges and yellows, too. another one that blooms on the second year and every one thereafter. also re-seeds itself. another one to dead-head to get repeat blooms through the season. another one that is very drought tolerant - AFTER it's established...right after transplanting, they do need frequent watering to get the roots going well - after that it can deal with anything! they can get to about three feet tall.

    zinnia's will give you really nice splashes of color. they're annuals here (dunno about down where you are) and they reseed very well, so it's almost like having a perennial. there are dwarf types and full size (don't get higher than a couple/three feet) and a huge variety of colors.

    daisy's and asters and mums are some others. none get all that tall (about two feet). mums might not work since you have pretty humid conditions, generally, and they are prone to powdery mildew.

    i need to think a bit more - will add on later :)
     
  8. redster

    redster Active Member

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    wow that is a lot more options. you sure are helping out a lot, thanks.

    i like the yucca, i guess because im a fan of aloe vera and its relatives, but that seems to me more of a pot plant. its definately not what im lookng for out front.

    i actually thought about the iris' as i was writing the last message. its definately the easiest option but down here they grow like a wildfire. it might actually be more work than i had before lol.

    all the flowers you mentioned remind me of daisys. of them all, i think the mums and coneflowers are the prettiest but the zinnias are the closest to what i want. i need a flower thatll seed well and leave minimal work and $$$ needed for replantings. once i get the wifes opinion, one of them is definately going to be planted.

    so do you have any of those planted? what do you use to compliment them? and have you come up with any more ideas yet ?


    red
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Outlets here stock shrubs mostly in larger sizes than 6" tall.
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    in the one bed i have hydrangea, rose bush, clematis, cinnamon fern, shasta daisy, another type of daisy (i forget the name), cranesbill geranium, mums, aster, tulips, black-eyed susan, grape hyacinth, 'pinks' dianthus, stonecrop sedum.

    the bed across from that has vinca vine (DON'T plant that in your zone, it'll completely take over!!!), regular hyacinth, aster, sweet william (type of dianthus), a tree i'm not sure what it is (supposedly it's a chinaberry yet i don't think that's right), yucca, bearded iris, daylily with a few lily of the valley mixed in, hens and chicks, verbena (that might not come back as it's been really bitter cold and that spot is pretty exposed to wind), prickly pear opuntia (also might not survive the winter even though it is hardy here - planted the starts too late in the season, i think), liriope, campenula.

    out back i've got one lllllllloooooooonnnnnnnngggggggg bed that has a lilac, 5 roses, 2 clematis, black eyed susan, lots of coneflower, peony, 3 types of daylily, 2 types asiatic lily, bearded iris, hydrangea, 5 types of stonecrop sedum, coral bells, purple sage, phlox, 2 types hens and chicks, sweet william, spiria and i let the violets grow (nice for ground cover and i save on mulch costs). there's also a dogwood tree in that bed.

    across from that is a small bed with yucca, daylily, purple coneflower and hens and chicks...also planted a clematis there - late last season, so that might not make it (it was a trade i did late in the season).

    at the end of the yard there's another small bed that has yucca, daylily, coneflower and lilac.

    as you can see, everything is some type of perennial and is very low maintenance as i like to plant it and forget it. i do throw in some annuals though to brighten things up and that will change from year to year (i always have seeds for something and do trades for different things, too, so i have a good amount to choose from). the hardest part of it all is dead-heading the roses...two are ramblers and have canes over 50 feet long so they get hundreds of blooms!

    it's too bad that spot is full sun - the coral bells would be perfect for around the lamp post...they need shade though.

    iris would also do very well there - as you already noted, they'd take over in no time though. and, you'd still need something else for when they're not in bloom.

    i knew there was something i'd forgotten earlier! stonecrop sedum!!!

    that is absolutely perfect for the conditions you have and the tallest gets to only about 2 1/2 feet, so that pole wouldn't be completely blocked.

    autumn joy is the most common one. i've been picking up some other types the past couple of years though. in case you didn't realize, i LOVE purple...these new sedums i'm seeing have purple tones to them. LOVE them!! although the leaves are nice they bloom in fall, so, you'd need something else to offset them until bloom time. the bes or coneflower or a daisy would be good.

    dahlia's might be just the thing. you'd need to find one that doesn't get too tall (heights range from 1 to 8 feet). dead heading keeps it blooming all summer. and, you wouldn't need to pull them up in the winter (as i would here), so that's a plus.

    any of the dianthus would be good - there are quite a few different types and they range in heights, so, you could mix the shorter types in front of taller things. i've had sweet william for years and only learned last year that it's in the dianthus family...it's fabulous and comes in a variety of colors.

    other things would be brugmansia (it's a tree and should be perennial where you are, might still need to take it in in winter and/or take cuttings to root for the following year) and datura (annual that will reseed) - if you have dogs that like to chew plants or small kids, i wouldn't put them as they are poisonous if ingested. the brug's have a FABULOUS scent though!!

    i'm still forgetting something...i'll post when i think of it!
     
  11. redster

    redster Active Member

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    i feel like i hit the jackpot with all the great options you gave me this time. it took me an hour to go over all of them, but i definately have enough to work with now. i just have to come up with a nice pattern to plant them in.

    i know how you feel about purple, im the same with red. im your typical blue eyed redhead and that color for flowers is hard to beat. my grandmothers favorite plant was always amarylis and i loved those candy cane strips. i also love a good deep crimson red flower, thats pretty much what im going for and most of the plants you gave should fit the bill in one way or another.

    brugmansia is interesting, my wife actually called it the drug plant lol. ive seen them around, but even i didnt know people use them as a recreational drug. i was actually debating oleander also, but i know its poisonous too. i dont have dogs or kids yet, but one day soon hopefully. no sense planting something ill end up digging out...

    anyway thanks for the help and if i get nice results ill send you a pic for your hard work


    red
     
  12. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I think your problem is in situe, get rid of the unsightly lamp post! That is an eye sore for a flower bed and its' location makes no sense. It is truly unsightly, your plantings will not mask or improve the landscape with this unnatural garden feature. This may be my own view, others may strongly disagree. But it doesn't look like a very eco friendly feature for a garden. Alternatively, paint it back, and allow a slow creeper to overtake the pillar...
     
  13. greenboy

    greenboy Active Member

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    Greraniums. I am a "frugal" person so I love the geraniums because I can save them for the next year....
     
  14. redster

    redster Active Member

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    i debated taking out the post, but the wife wants to leave it there. she likes putting those stupid decorations on it that i cant stand. otherwise i dont think its all that bad, we just have to work around it. maybe painting it black would help out with hiding it though.

    geraniums dont even need to be saved down here, they just go nuts year round. i would definately be doing a lot of clipping to keep them under control. having said that they are a decent option for large space taking.
     
  15. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    there are two types of 'geranium'...those that are annuals up north are pelagorniums (not geraniums, actually) and those that are perennial up north are the true geranium (aka cranesbill).

    i'm sure the lamp is there to light a walkway and it's just not shown in the pics...so, removing it would not be the best idea. painting a color that is different from the trim on the house would actually make it stand out MORE.

    personally, i love lamposts with some pretty vine clambering up and around them! for your area, trumpet vine would work, you could also do passion fruit or honeysuckle (just make sure to get native honeysuckle and not one of the japanese types which are invasive).

    oleander, as lovely as it is, is never a good idea - very poisonous!! the brugs aren't as bad.

    amaryllis is definitely something you can put in. there are some beautiful reds, too! dahlias also have some lovely rich reds.

    another one that most people don't think about is daylily...yes, that one that is orange that is ALL over the place...there are now tons of hybrids and i've seen some really pretty reds!

    please post pics after you transform the spot!!! i'd love to see what you end up doing with it!!!
     
  16. charlienana

    charlienana Member

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    I have had good luck with Clematis. This plant has a wide variety of colors, season lengths, zones and flower sizes. The larger flower varieties (4 inch) tend to have a shorter flowering season. They can be vigorous growers, but usually do not flower in the first year. Do some research to establish what would work best for your taste and zone.

    Also, walk through your local garden center every 6 weeks or so. They will showcase the plants for that time of season in your particular climate.
     

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