Springtime, When a Young Girl's Fancy Turns to Pernicious Snit

Monday, March 16, 2009
I was a good little homeowner this weekend. I cleaned out the flower beds and edged the lawn, and prepared my planters for the spring planting.*

While I was out digging around, I made some more progress on cleaning out the flower bed that was the site of the War on the Pernicious Snit. I decided last fall to do something new this year with this particular bed, mostly because I was bored with the bulbs I had planted there seven years ago. So at the end of last season, I pulled out what I could find, added some peat moss, and waited for spring.

Yesterday I noticed leaves poking up through the ground, so I got out there with my spade and dug up as many bulbs as I could find. Those little suckers multiplied in the years since we moved here. I think I dug up hundreds of them.

I'm sure I've missed some, so I'll continue to keep an eye on things until about Mother's Day, which is when we typically plant around here. First we need to restain the fence, then it's decision time.

What do I plant here? I was originally thinking I would plant new annuals each year, so as to have some variety and flowers all summer long. But since I know exactly jack-shit about gardening, I'm not sure what to select. The bed faces directly east, but the house shades it from direct sunlight for part of the morning, and the fence shades it in the afternoon. Whatever ends up there has to be able to stand being watered as often as the grass (every three days or so), as that section of yard is covered by the sprinkler. It should also be hardy enough to withstand the attention of Boogie and Demento Dog, both of whom run through the bed when they're running the fence in conjunction with the neighbor's Australian Shepherd.


I'm open to suggestion, Smart Men and Hot Chicks. But remember - low maintenance is required. Partly because I still don't know jack-shit about gardening, but also because I'm a profoundly lazy git when it comes to this stuff.


*I then went out and spent $100.00 on those honking huge skeins of yarn - on sale at Michael's!

9 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

Well... Hmmm...

You're not going to have a lot to choose from with those restrictions.

You need something part-sun, drought tolerant, and not delicate (what with the dogs.

Have you considered something semi-permanent for the middle bed and then annuals for the side beds?

If it were me, I might consider a rose bush (NOT hybrid tea roses, but a bush. There are many low maintainable varieties available. I've got one that thrives on benign neglect and no water.

They're generally slow growing and flower all season long. And they might discourage the canines from tearing through the bed. Maybe.

Otherwise, hmmm... I love pansies, but they die out by mid summer around here.

Oh! Echinacia (purple cone flower)! That doesn't need much attention at all, comes back year after year, and in the winter provides food for birds.

Also coreopsis (tickweed) is very hardy, doesn't require watering, and comes in several varieties. I love all the varieties I've planted.

Four o' clocks might work if you like pansies, Plant the four o' clocks in the back of the bed, pansies in the front, and by the time the pansies are wilting from the heat it four o' clocks will start blooming.

Day lilies are a particular favorite of mine, as they come back year after year. Some breeds flower multiple times a year, some don't. They're also perennials and will come back year after year, and you might be able to find someone who needs to thin their beds and give you some for free. (If you want rebloomers, you'll want stella d'oro.) You'd probably want to plant some annuals in the same bed, like coleus or something else. But I'm having a hard time of thinking of hardy annuals right now.

Mmm... let's see, yarrow is very hardy, but I'm not extremely fond of it (I've got some in the back of the house and pay no attention to it and it gets bigger every year).

If you were closer I could give you daylilies and irises as my beds all need thinned, but NO you have to be ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

:)

Oh. Black eyed susans do well in low light environments.

Nathan said...

I, too, was stumped by your restrictions. I'm left with plastic flamingos, a little concrete grotto, a sheet-metal nun, some Star Wars figures, and a rock.

These should be artistically arranged.

You're welcome.

Janiece Murphy said...

Michelle, I have lots of iris in the front, and they do very, very well.

I have a tea rose in the front, I may consider one for the middle bed, as you suggest.

I think I'll go to a local nursery and ask for some help on the sides...

And if they can't help, then it's on to Nathan's suggestion.

Janiece Murphy said...

I meant to say that I would consider a rose bush for the middle bed, as I like the tea rose in the front...

Random Michelle K said...

I think you should consider day lilies before plastic flamingos.

:)

Random Michelle K said...

And check out the coreopsis. I think they're beautiful, and require little attention.

Here are some of the species of coreopsis I have.

neurondoc said...

Nathan -- I'm with you. Gardening scares me.

Keith Wilson said...

How about plain and simple artificial flowers. Just store over the winter and never need watering.

Oh, and a plastic flamingo.

Janiece Murphy said...

Keith, you and Nathan are both a tremendous help. Thanks a ton. Really. :-)