Sunny Border Plan

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Sabine, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Sabine

    Sabine Active Member

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    Ok, so I have been throwing out questions here and there, but this is kind of a lot of those questions put together. I am trying to design a border that will be about 12 feet wide and 4 - 6 feet deep (curved) that gets full sun (except for the very West side which receives a bit of afternoon shade from a fence there and a bit of dappled shade from a young dogwood that is farther southwest around the curve of the border. I live in Portland OR in zone 8.

    I went a little crazy at Swan Island's Dahlia festival in August, and I ordered 11 dahlia plants, which are arriving mid - april. I am a first time gardener who wants to do it herself, and I am trying to design my yard and not hire a landscaper. I can't draw at all, so I made this shabby little photoshop thing to try and plan out where the heck I am going to put those Dahlias, and what I am going to put with them.

    Nothing is set in stone except the compost bin/path, and the dahlias have to be there, but in whatever order. The bed is currently set up with the tallest plants (4') in the back, with the very shortest (the heuchera and marigolds) in the front (8" - 1'). Middle is about 2 - 3 1/2'.

    I would love suggestions or comments, and I can answer any questions if something is not clear. I have never grown any of these plants before, so any helpful hints on them would be grand as well.

    It may not be obvious what all the plants are, since some of them I could not get a good picture so took whatever close up I could find and then made it about the shape of the plant. If anyone would like, I can put up a list of the plants?

    Thank you!
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    In order of flowering daffodils, peonies and daylilies are good companions. Allow adequate spacing for full plant development and working among them. Install stepping stones to avoid stepping on emerging or underground shoots and compacting soil.
     
  3. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    The plan looks lovely. Please post pictures when you get it finished. I'm not sure if you have enough space for all the dahlias though. If they're standard size they need to be spaced 2-3 feet apart. If you overcrowd them they will be shorter and produce fewer blooms in my experience.

    Les
     
  4. Sabine

    Sabine Active Member

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    Thank you for the replies!

    RonB I had been thinking of daylilies, I am just running out of space! Daffodils and tulips I was going to tuck in between plants and stepping stones - they are not in the picture since they will bloom at a completely different time. I guess you could say this is a late summer view of the garden? with the exception of the irises on the far left which will bloom June-ish. Notice I took some of your examples with the penstemon and the abelia? :)

    Ihuget, I will definitely post pics when it is finished! So expect them sometime this fall :) I am concerned about space, I have not got out there with my measuring tape and some graph paper quite yet, but I will shortly. 3 of the types (5 plants total) are miniature sized, between 18" and 2.5', but the rest are standard size.
     
  5. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    That will work wonderfully then. I find the border/container dahlias perform well with 1 foot spacing as long as they aren't overshadowed by neighbours and get their 5-6 hours of light.
     
  6. Sabine

    Sabine Active Member

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    I have a question about spacing - when you say "1 ft spacing" do you mean that when I plant them I should plant them 1 foot apart, or that I should plant them 1 foot plus whatever their eventual size would be? Does that make sense at all? I have not been able to find good info on how wide my dahlias will get, I am just trying to recall from seeing the dahlia fields in person. I am guessing 2 ft at most? No clue.
     
  7. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Spacing is for how far apart to plant the tubers. It also depends on how wide you want your dahlias to be. I keep the size of my standard size dahlias down by pinching off all but the best sprout from the tuber. I also freely remove lateral stems to keep them to their space. Note: they don't need trimming for shape but do need staking. I don't trim the border/container dahlias at all. There are many articles on trimming and disbudding etc. on the websites of the state dahlia societies and American Dahlia SocietY. I like this one from the Colorado as a quick reference.
    http://www.dahlias.net/dahwebpg/CultureIndex/Culture.htm

    Les
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Daffodils contrast well with the new shoots of herbaceous peonies and should be planted in front of them, rather than between. Tulips don't mix as well with other kinds of plants, although certain combinations are certainly successful - the most familiar usually involving smaller flowering plants such as forget-me-nots and pansies being planting among the tulips.

    Planting design and garden plant combination books show all kinds of exciting effects that can be tried. New titles appear at intervals, on my shelf I have a whole section of different ones that have come out in recent years. Most are British in origin, skillful and inspired combining of garden plants seems to be more characteristic of British gardening than North American. You can often tell which side of the Atlantic a picture of a garden scheme comes from before reading the caption.
     

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