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It’s a jungle out there folks. Like literally. Our poor neighbors are probably hating us by now because of our poor mailbox landscaping. Fortunately we live close to the cul-de-sac so not very many people pass by our house.
I find it helps to see the bright side in these situations; however, the few who do drive past probably don’t see it in the same light.
Anyway, I remedied the ugly, overgrown jungle at the mailbox this week.
It took an hour of ho-ho-hoeing to get all the weeds out. The ground was like concrete and the roots on those weeds were tenacious, but I was more stubborn and I won that hard fought battle.
Dreaming about our old garden…
I would like to point out that we were great gardeners at one point in time. People would stop in front of our old house and take pictures of our landscaping and we frequently had comments from walkers and runners passing by.
As you can see, we have fallen far from our pretty landscaping days…
We always planted pansies in late September and they would last until May the following year. I can guarantee the hubs picked up these pansies at the garden center. I always have a color theme going on and this didn’t fit my scheme…but they’re still pretty!
Back to reality…
After going to the gym on Monday, I stopped by the local garden center and was met by this…
Just look at all the pretty blooms. I was in heaven and wanted some of each!
Annuals vs. Perennials
From my previous gardening experience I knew I wanted a mixture of annuals and perennials. The annuals are cheaper. They will bloom profusely for one growing season only and then they die, but they provide lots of color during that one season.
Perennials cost more, but will come back up the following year so you’re really getting more bang for your buck. Some perennials have a very short growing season though so you need to be aware of that if you are wanting blooms all summer long.
For the mailbox landscaping, I wanted perennials and annuals that were long blooming, could tolerate full sun, didn’t need frequent watering (drought tolerant), and could stand the heat of our hot southern summers.
I also wanted to stick with a pink, white, and purple color scheme.
and salvia, zinnias, and Endless Blooms hydrangeas (not pictured). I saved some space for purple cone flowers and yarrow which won’t be at the garden center for a couple more weeks. By the way, these are great plants for a butterfly garden!
Time to plant…
I placed the flowers in the flower bed to get correct spacing. I had to work around a big stump and its roots, but I think the areas around the stump will camouflage it once they fill in. After placing the pots, I realized I needed lots more verbena to fill in around the front edges of the bed.
How about those pesky weeds???
After getting everything planted, I decided I should’ve put down landscape fabric so that the weeds wouldn’t take over again. Who wants to spend a ton of time weeding in the 90 degree heat? So I messaged the hubs and I asked him to pick some up on his way home along with some pine straw for mulching.
Day 2: I added some Osmocote timed released plant food and then I started laying out the landscape fabric. I probably should’ve done the landscape fabric prior to planting since I was starting with a clean slate, but it wasn’t difficult to cut holes in the fabric where the plants were. Anyway, next time I might do it opposite and see which way I like best.
Make sure your strips of fabric overlap so that weeds can’t get through and use landscape staples to hold the fabric in place. These are the products I used:
The picture below is an in-process picture, but you can get an idea of what it should look like.
After I tacked down the landscape fabric, I put down a good layer of pine straw to help keep moisture in. It looks fluffy at the moment, but the straw will flatten shortly.
Remember to water your new plantings for about a week to help their roots get established in the ground.
It’s probably looking a little skimpy to you, but in the next couple of weeks the plants will get bigger and will fill in some of the empty space. I’ll update the pictures after the plants grow a little more. It should be a very pretty butterfly garden this summer and one which my neighbors will approve!
If you are new to gardening and are looking for some resources, I suggest checking out some of my favorite landscape books. We’ve had these for years and they are well-worn from us thumbing through them.