Last spring I started a new flowerbed out by my mailbox. It was a lot of work, but a simple procedure that you can follow HERE. Some plants worked, some plants died, but as a whole, it has turned out very well.
But as typical of any gardener, this year I wanted to extend the flowerbed and make it more prominent.
There are many reasons to start small with expense being the main one for me. Plants can be expensive.
When I created this bed, I purchased 5 small shrubs and 5 blooming plants and 5 foliage plants, which all cost $80-$90.
Then there is the compost and manure to amend the soil, which was about $30-40 for this bed. It would have cost more but I had a wheelbarrow full of homemade compost that I used also so that didn’t cost anything.
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Finishing the bed with an edging of some kind can be another expense. I used bricks that I already had for the edging so that didn’t cost me anything.
Mulch is another expense. Raised beds will dry out much quicker than one that is not raised and mulch will help keep moisture from evaporating as quickly.
- Over the past year of looking at the new flowerbed in all seasons, it became evident that the proportions are not right. This small bed that I created was lost in a wide expanse of yard and many people never even saw it there. It was so easy to look right over.
- This bed really needed something of interest during the winter, so I am on the lookout for an appropriate evergreen.
- The main thing that will help with the proportions is to add some height. I do already have a camellia planted here and one day it will add some much need vertical interest, but more is needed.
Can you even FIND the flowerbed in the above picture??
You can see the low growing flowers on the right which is the front of the bed. There are also some low growing fringe shrubs. And on the left of the photo you can see the three green shrubs that I just planted, which will grow to a medium size of 3-4 feet tall.
To continue the addition of height I will be searching for some evergreens that will grow to 10-15 feet tall. Adding several in the back should make this bed stand out and be a focal point.
Most of the time when I need plants, I just go shopping to see what is available. Unless you get your plants from mail order, the selections will be limited to what is blooming at the moment. Local stores usually only carry seasonal plants because that is what sells the best.
On the day that I went plant shopping, I decided to get some gardenias to plant at the back of the flowerbed. This would add some green during the winter months and eventually some medium height. I purchased the smaller variety that will only get 3-4 feet tall because my goal is to have low growing flowers in front, with medium height plants behind them, and then taller evergreens at the back.
Having graduated heights of plants will create a front and a back to this mailbox garden and will make it more substantial and prominent from the road, which is my goal.
By adding these 3 shrubs at the back of the bed, I extended it approximately one foot in width. You can see where the color of the soil changes. The brick edging was originally to the right about a foot from where it is now in the above picture.
Another view showing the addition added to the back of the flowerbed.
When planning new flowerbeds, don’t be frustrated that you can’t do it all at once. You can plan out your final “wish” list and then break it into manageable stages. Or you can do like I did and just start small and add on later.
Which method do you use?