Ah, mid winter. The season best for planning your landscaping for the next year. By now, the gardening catalogs are out and you are probably sitting there looking at pictures of flowers at their summer best.
This is when I go over my gardening journal and try to decided what to change for the next year. I like to keep what works, work on what could be better and decide what to scrap.
All gardens are works in progress. So I compiled a list of some ideas for various areas in your yard
This is for all of those people with a mailbox standing on a post. If this is the case, plant flowers and a vine around it! There are even containers you can buy that fit around the post so if the ground there cannot be planted, you can container garden. A bright colorful area will probably cheer up your postal worker as well as make you smile as you pay your bills.
For the container garden, go with annuals that you like. I tend to do themes, pink and purple pansies…..or red and white pansies with a lobelia center (it’s bright blue). Once I just sprinkled wildflower seeds and let the riot of color take over.
For the ground, plant an ivy to crawl up the post and then plant according to light. My mailbox is shaded so hostas and caladium worked well.
One year I had trick or treat pansies (they are orange and black) and put them out in early October along with a few jack be little pumpkins.
Have fun with it.
You can ignore them. You can light them. You can even garden them. I prefer a walk with small plants so it doesn’t become crowded and lighting. Along the walkway you can place solar lights, roughly one every 3 feet. For plants, I went with bulbs and balled mums. The bulbs are tulips that bloom and begin to die back as the mums leaf out. The mums are a beautiful deep green all summer and then flower late. I alternated orange and red because of the proximity of their bloom time to autumn in my area.
Eye Candy and Ease
You knew it was coming. Burning bushes. Ok, so they are without a doubt my favorite shrubs. But few shrubs are as beautiful and yet require so little work as a burning bush. I went with two dwarf bushes on either side of my walkway. Dead center in the front lawn so they can grow to their maximum height and width: 5 feet by 5 feet. Deep green in summer, they flame red in autumn. Once established, they require no work. None at all.
A Three for One Deal
Have a damp basement or crawl space? How about an empty corner near the house that needs “something”? Maybe you want to up security around your window? Plant yucca.
Yucca may be a desert plant but that just means that they can survive under harsh conditions. They drink water like crazy so placed outside in a wet area, or an area that you know is causing water to leak into your basement or crawlspace and the problem is solved.
Yuccas are also sharp plants so planted near windows means that you can sleep safely without worrying about intruders.
Yuccas are beautiful as well. The best part is that you can plant them near a house. Yuccas have a single taproot so there is no problem with spreading roots into your foundation. The taproot grows straight down.
I actually know people who plant them along their walk. Herbs look beautiful and smell wonderful. I prefer to plant them in a circle outside my kitchen door however.
Which herbs you plant are based entirely on what you use. I planted a sage plant in the center. It’s a balled plant that grown to about 3 feet in height. Then in wedges around it I planted the rest of my cooking herbs, I have basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, catnip, mint, marjoram and dill. All are planted in equal amounts. No, I didn’t forget rosemary. I have rosemary planted on either side of the door. I use a lot of rosemary.
Once planted, herbs tend to take care of themselves provided they get enough water. What could be easier?