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Garden bed ideas


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#1 *Marty*

Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:45 AM

Looking for ideas, I really dont know where to start.  We have two raised garden beds either side of the front door - about 8m long and abot 1.5 wide.  We have low windows so dont want too much height (althgough could put a tall tree in the gaps between windows  - about 3 each side).  I am after pretty and a little on the formal side.  Not lots of low shubs.  For my style of house pepole usually have standard white roses in a row.  Its pretty and I love roses but dont want to be like everyone else.  We are regional, hot hot summers, frost in winter.  The beds would face west and have nice morning sun, more intense afternoon sun .

#2 tenar

Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:55 AM

How about growing a low hedge of lavender?  I have one that's been flowering for several months and still going strong.  It's beautiful.

#3 Charli73

Posted 26 October 2019 - 10:30 AM

I was going to suggest lavender also..

Edited by Charli73, 26 October 2019 - 10:30 AM.


#4 eponee

Posted 26 October 2019 - 10:34 AM

I have felicia growing in my front yard in raised garden beds of about 3 metres in length.  It has a small blue daisy-like flower and small green leaves.

I rarely, if ever, water it and it is frost tolerant.  A little goes a long way - it spreads a lot.

#5 can'tstayaway

Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:21 AM

What’s the structure of the raised garden beds?  Is it brick/stone or timber?  

Not low shrubs...is it because you don’t like the maintenance or look of them?

West facing but gets good morning sun... does it get clear northern light?  How many hours of sun does it get?

With the frosts, do you actually get frost next to the house?  Usually, the thermal mass of the house plus eaves can shield the plants close to the house from frost damage which allows a larger range of plants to choose from.

Low windows... are the windows set low or do you mean they go down low?  What’s the view from inside out those windows?  As in, if it’s a living room you might be on sofas looking up and out compared to a kitchen where you’re likely to be standing and looking down and out.

My first thoughts of pretty, formal but easy maintenance for a front yard would be:

Small blossom trees at the windows flanking either side of the house to give a symmetrical formal look. They could be ornamentals or fruiting but deciduous to create summer shade and a cool microclimate for breezes before they go into the house. The blossoms are very pretty in spring and the autumn colour is gorgeous. The bare branches in winter allows light and warmth in and are a sculptural element.  Cherries, crab apples, peaches etc are all lovely and they are not too big or intrusive.

I like layers so in front of the raised bed I would have a low box hedge. If you don’t like pruning, go for a slow growing variety. It will take longer to establish but require less ongoing maintenance. If you have lawn in front, I’d put a barrier between the hedge and lawn to make mowing easier and stop the grass growing through. If you don’t like the formality of a hedge, go for something softer like liriope, agapanthus or lavender. It just softens the harsh edges of a man made structure.

If you don’t want anything in front of the raised bed, maybe some weeping rosemary or gardenia that April’s over would suit. It still softens the structure but within the confines of the bed.

With the bed, I would have some bush roses but a variety that has regular flushes. In my area, roses can flower for 10 months of the year. Much better than an ugly thorny bush with just some occasional beautiful flowers. I’d either have them in one colour like a backdrop right up against the house or different colours dotted throughout the bed.

Under those to fill in space, I’d have things like lambs ears because I like their colour and texture. In the other gaps, I would have annuals for pops of colour and I could change as I feel like it.  Delphiniums look great and can add height.

At the windows, under the trees towards the house side, I would rotate some pots with interesting plants. Bulbs like tulips and daffodils work well in pots. That way you’re view out is pretty but you don’t have to worry about getting things to grow well under the trees or to match the sun/shade requirements. If you don’t like the pots idea, you could try snap dragons, cosmos, pansies, impatiens , hellebores, irises, violets, snow drops, lily of the valley or anything’s like that.

I can’t find a picture to illustrate but the top picture here is a formal version of what I’m thinking. I know, it’s not the front entry to a house but it demonstrates the underplanting with blossom trees.

https://en.m.wikiped...use_Rose_Garden

Most importantly though, is to build up the quality of your soil before planting. Put in some irrigation pipes at ground level for ease of watering when the plants are establishing. I like the weeping/dripper types to minimise humidity and disease issues. Have the mulch over the top to minimise evaporation and water loss.  Longer, less frequent watering is better than lots of frequent little drinks.

#6 gettin my fance on

Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:22 AM

Geraniums - lots of colour throughout the year - loves sun and not a lot of water.  So easy to propagate too, snap of piece and stick it in the ground and water.

Lavender

Dietes (I think the iridioides and grandiflora varieties are the prettiest).

Salvia - lots of varieties, I've recently bought 'Hot Lips' - like little cherry red butterflies bobbing around on the end of fine stems.

#7 Ivy Ivy

Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:36 AM

Herb garden?  They look lovely when they're formally laid out.

#8 *Marty*

Posted 26 October 2019 - 12:44 PM

Thanks so much for the ideas - you are all on the money in terms of taste - love the lavender hedge idea, I have plans to put a lavender hedge along another path way; I have felicia already!  along the side of the house.  Dietes are beautiful.  Not what I want at the front, but I have a place in mind for them!!!

cant stay away, to answer your questions:

sandstone look blocks, Ix high with capping, so about 20-30cm raised.


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Not low shrubs...is it because you don’t like the maintenance or look of them?
Single story brick house, I am open to some shrubs but think it needs height, otherwise it is just bricks.  The house has a wide frontage.

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does it get clear northern light?  How many hours of sun does it get?
The beds get later morning sun as the house blocks the sun in the morning.  A couple of trees out the fronts so a bit of dappled protection from the harsh son.  Prone to wind


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With the frosts, do you actually get frost next to the house?
Good point, house would probably protect plants from actual frost here.  We do get frost on plants on the other side of the house though


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Low windows... are the windows set low or do you mean they go down low?  What’s the view from inside out those windows?  As in, if it’s a living room you might be on sofas looking up and out compared to a kitchen where you’re likely to be standing and looking down and out.
sitting room, dining room and bedrooms have views outside - don't quote as identifying - we are on acreage so the views of a lake and stunning countryside/hills, so view is important.  Windows are  about 40cm of inside floor and ceiling, don't mind some plants being visible from the bottom but nothing big or blocky

I like your suggestions - we have an all of those fruit trees and more growing - but you have really given me inspiration.  I used to have a small Japanese maple growing so maybe something along those lines.  Love box hedge but am thinking of correas as there is a similar leaf but native hence more tolerant and less thirsty - what are your thoughts?  Husband despises agapanthis - I love them!  Dont like the liriope for this area.  Not a fan of lambs ears and want to avoid annuals if I can because I am lazy - hoping for set and forget if I can (will have a watering system).

I adore Delphiniums but a bit to cottage-y for the look I am after (I absolutely love cottage gardens and hope to put one in somewhere just not out the front)

Circular drive way in front of the garden beds (and house)
Forgot to add, we are on water tanks!

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If you don’t like the pots idea, you could try snap dragons, cosmos, pansies, impatiens , hellebores, irises, violets, snow drops, lily of the valley or anything’s like that.
Love, love, love.  We have a path between the windows and the garden beds which is not used, I have been thinking of putting pots there - actually, was thinking of something like a pencil pine in pots between the windows with some other pots around, your suggestions would be perfect.

Thank you for the link.  I really like the garden and see what you mean.  I do like the blossom trees.  The under-plants are beautiful but I think too much work for me to maintain.  Will be buying new soil and will follow your suggestions, thanks so, so much

Edited by *Marty*, 26 October 2019 - 12:47 PM.





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