View Full Version : The plant serial killer tries to garden
02-28-04, 04:40 PM
I am ^ what title says. It is so beautiful out today, I'm working on the lawn.
This lawn hasn't been gardened for maybe 4-5 years, thsi house was vacant and uncared for for a long time. So it's all dirt and weeds.
I want to plant a very beeautiful garden with LOW MAINTENANCE vegetation (I like wierd looking plants and herbs that grow really big!) and plants that keep blooms for a long time. I like the gardens that look kind of overgrown.
I have never gardened before, aside from clearing a patch of dirt and dumping the contents of a box that says "wild flower Mix" and crossing my fingers. I have another box of that stuff, but most of them won't come back the next year. I don't want to have to do this every year!! I am so lazy like that, but maybe that's not realistic to what I want out of this ugly yard!
I need low-no maintenance plants because I seem to kill all of my indoor plants no matter what I do.
Some help sites on the internet make it sound way too complicated. I guess I'm looking for some innovative suggestions. I'm not sure how to start, never tried this before. Maybe the dirt is bad and should be checked of have something mixed with it, I don't know. But I can't buy whole plants, just seeds. I have a narrow strip of yard in the front, and a big dirt yard in the back. Very sunny in the back yard most of the day in summer. Strip in the front is shady by noon. This is KY, lots of humidity and heat. Need plants and grass, Thanks!
02-28-04, 06:04 PM
Give me about three hour's till hubby get's home then I'll have ton's he used to do yard "whatever you call it" professionally...He'll have ton's of easy to do ideas. Because, of him I now have surviving plants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What do ya know you can teach an old ADD new tricks lol.
02-28-04, 07:15 PM
You mean we plant killers can be reformed??????!!!! :D
02-28-04, 08:31 PM
yes, yes, yes - first of all, plant bulbs - tulips, daffodils, irises, crocuses - they take care of themselves. I also have bleeding hearts (old and new fashioned) that come back every year. and poppies - they don't like to be moved, but they cover stuff really quick. i also found a weed that is beautiful - spiderwort. really tall and purple. (my take on gardening is, i only want to do it once.) verbena only needs to be planted once.
my garden out back is overgrown - i started it 3 years ago with the stuff i mentioned above.
you want perennials 0r biannuals. none of the annuals.
02-28-04, 09:19 PM
Somehow I missed the point of your post futs, yes that would be awesome if you would ask- thanks!
Thank you Pembroke, those are neat plants (I found pics!); I love poppies, didn't know they were so easy!
I completely cleaned out the yard, no sticks or debree of any sort. I don't know if I need to build beds or what.. It would be cool if I could use cement blocks and build flower-towers :D By making little hills by filling and packing them with dirt all around (to hide the blocks) and having plants grow around the sides and on top. But then the rain might wash them down. I'll think about it.. the yard is so flat!
02-28-04, 09:23 PM
i used fencing to keep the garden seperate from the yard, but the beds were still raised a bit ( i had put manure and top soil inside of the fencing before i planted). so, you can use bricks, railroad ties, whatever, to make raised beds.
02-28-04, 11:46 PM
Doug said the blocks will work just use planting fabric to cover so rain does not wash it away ( don't ask me). Ask your Earl May guy what kind of grass grow's best in that area but Doug would go with Fescue it does not take much watering and is low maintanace. How thin is thin in the front? Would a rock garden with some shrubbery for color intermixed work in this area? Anyway's there are some ideas. Good luck and YES we can be reformed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
02-29-04, 01:12 AM
I think I have some bricks laying around too. Yep, I thing some serious manure will be needed. I checked out the dirt and it's more red clay than anyting. Thanks!
cool, I'll have to see what that fabric is (and use func. unfixity to find a ghetto alternative). I just did some research on grass, and remembered how there's such water shortages here from people watering lawns in the fry heat of summer; found out that CLOVER is excellant. It's hardy in droughts and wetness, replenishes the soil with nitrogen, doesn't need to be watered, stays green through most of the winter, and rarely needs to be mowed. I'm sold. The front is about 5' X 15'; say rock garden and I am there. Thank you!
I don't know which I'm looking forward to more; being able to chill out in a no maintenance garden when needed; or going ape digging huge holes and stuff I am so excited, I'm starting during the spring break coming up soon.
There is a really cool site I found called Strat's place; it seems like these guys are gardening fanatics and they have really good photos of their plants up with info on them. I'm trying to post some of the pictures but I have to figure out how to make the file sizes smaller, for anyone who is interested.
02-29-04, 01:27 AM
Cool we just bought this house and find working on making the outside look nice more fun the working on the inside. EXPLAIN THAT ONE lol
02-29-04, 06:30 PM
Here's a cool one, Spider Flower. no maintenance, blooms most of the summer, great for cuttings
02-29-04, 06:33 PM
bleeding hearts, I think I've seen these in my area before
02-29-04, 06:37 PM
I was surprised to hear that Giant Lotus is almost no maintenance, in a big pot if you bring it inside in the winter. I think this bloom is almost as big as my head
02-29-04, 06:41 PM
this was the seller for me on the spider flower, I hope it can grow in my climate. A little strange looking, but I like it!
02-29-04, 07:10 PM
I love spider flowers! Mine were scrawny because I had nothing but shade where I lived. Also, believe it or not, some giant onions plants get weird, sci-fi flowers on twisting stems.
I am intrigued as well with *xeriscaping* (zero water and almost no maintenance). Grasses figure prominently. Like the idea of clover as a ground cover. I'd go out and roll in it.
You've got the bug, Subtle. Itchy fingers every spring from now on.
02-29-04, 07:40 PM
LOL Roll in it! I'll get some goats too, and they can keep it cut. Itchy fingers you bet, not only that, but I'm photosensitive which makes my hands and fingers break out itchy- so that has double meaning. But I'll deal with it for the sake of having more than this red clay BLAH all around. I really love plants, I think they are fascinating... when I don't kill them :(
I also read that pennyroyal is great for groundcover too, but invasive. And corsican mint.. that it smell very strongly minty when you walk on it! But I don't think that will do well in my area. Clover sounds really beneficial and easy.
I like onions, sounds good to me. But I don't think I'll want to eat anything out of this garden for about a year, let the plants clean the soil out.
02-29-04, 07:44 PM
Flying Dragon Mockorange, that's kinda wild, I like the zig zags. It becomes covered in bright green leaves in the summer
02-29-04, 07:48 PM
EEEowza! Mock orange grows up here, so it's probably pretty tough as well.
02-29-04, 08:02 PM
Darn! Yes, there are a few species of mockorange that are known to grow here but I can't find out about this one. I'll have to find better sources, I've heard that we can be surprised sometimes
Wanna bet I'll end up with just the wild flower mix again? :D
02-29-04, 11:38 PM
My hands are sensitive also,,,just wear gardener's gloves you can get them at the dollar store.
03-06-04, 03:14 AM
I found something unexpected while digging.. A brick pathway! It goes through the length of the backyard. This place is full of surprises.
Working on this project in tiny spurts has been a great outlet for excess energy, very calming. But it's been raining most of the week...
03-08-04, 05:23 AM
Heh, here's something I didn't think about ahead of time...
Seeds grow soooooooo slowly. Yawn..
Grow! Grow! Grow! arg I swear I'm peeking at them almost hourly... Watching paint dry is like the olympics in comparrison.
2 sprouts came up today though. uh, happy birthday? Earger little dudes
This is going to be one of those lessons in patience, this was a bad idea LOL
03-08-04, 06:17 AM
NO it's a good idea that may just need a ton of miracle grow. lol
I know i live in a different climate but this is what i did for part of my garden. I made a rock garden in the narrow strip at the front. I dug into the ground and inserted pots flush with the ground for some plants. Then i planted other low growing plants in the ground as borders and then used rocks to make the rock garden.
My back yard has sun all day and so i planted sunflowers in the backyard. They start to grow fast and it was cool watching them grow. I can look out my bedroomwindow and see the plants. Thou you would need to grow these every yr.
I also planted some herbs in my front garden,....thyme and mint and chives. These are mixed in with bleeding hearts and lillies and chinese lantern plants.
The first fall i was here my friend dug up a rose bush from her garden, gave it to me and said plant it, water it, trim it down. I guess i trimmed it down to much,...lol, its been 2 summers and nothing so i finally dug it up last fall and threw it away.
03-09-04, 10:31 AM
I have mini rose out front in pots...they take pretty much take good care of themselfs...trim off dead branches occ. & pluck off yellow leaves, & give them a little miracle grow as suggested by the box (if you remember/ i forget).
We are gonna put them in the ground in front of the house as they did so well in the pots. They have been ignored all winter.
Roses are soooo pretty....