Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Log In

A valid email is required.
Password is required.
Posted: 8/2/2001 11:02:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2001 8:16:17 PM EDT by sgtar15]
Growing flowers is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. No I am not gay, I just feel it will help me stay busy and stay relaxed instead of focusing on my current back injury condition.(Which actually did quite well today[:)]) So anyway, here is what land area I have to work with. It's not much[:(]. [b]1. 8'x3' area along side an eastern facing wall. Area gets partial sun from dawn till about 11:00am due to large tree partially blocking sunlight. It currently has ivy in it which will have to removed. 2. 10'x3' area along side eastern wall below windows. This area gets direct sunlight from dawn till about 1:00pm.[/b] Also has ivy. Know I know how to get rid of the ivy and also how to prep the ground for better soil. I live in Northern California were summers run 95* highs and 62* lows, winters rarely get anywere close to below freezing. I would like to have an assortment of various colored flowers along with other year round green leaf plants. I also like roses and small pines. What would be some good plants to try in these two small areas? [b]Any ideas---seriously,[/b] this is something I realy want to do. Not just for my mental healt but I also thing it would be a great way to spend quality time with my two kids. sgtar15
Link Posted: 8/2/2001 11:10:50 PM EDT
i dont know about the condictions at all, but maybe consider some vegtables. not as purty or flowers, but kinda more rewarding, at least if you like to eat um
Link Posted: 8/2/2001 11:16:28 PM EDT
No, no vegies---except maybe hot peppers sgtar15
Link Posted: 8/2/2001 11:32:39 PM EDT
I have earned most of my money for college working as an arborist and doing landscape construciton. But this is all in South and Central Texas where the weather is quite different. I don't think that as far as sun light the two areas you described should be considered separately. Salvia farenneciae (sp ?) which grows up to 4' when not trimmed is an excellent idea. Also try Turk's cap, which can reach 5' is a great flower. Both handle dry conditions. My ranch has some of both in bloom now and we have not had rain in 30 days. Our highs here are about 102 and lows of 73. These are plants that you never have to change out (unless they die) and require little water. Look into some landscape sites. Sorry I don't have any but mine are all for chainsaws etc. Chida66
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 2:37:26 AM EDT
Deep, dark secret: I too enjoy working in flower gardens!! I’ve recently retired after 30 years in LE and military and, frankly, I’m ready to let the young guys (and gals) work weekends, kick doors down, root through dumpsters, do reports, consume caffeine in excess, and all that. I want to relax. (Shooting an AR-15 obviously also falls in the relax category.) I’m no expert on flowers, plus what works here in Virginia may not work in your area. However, I can make a few observations. The first deals with your back problem – I suspect you’re going to have factor this into how you do things. Working with flowers can really be hard on your back. For example, I like annual flowers because of their vivid colors, but they have to be replanted every year. To avoid this, you might be better off with perennials, which last several seasons. Also, consider the types of tools that you’ll be using. A wheelbarrow with wheels on either side might be better for you than one with the single wheel in front. A small stool to sit on might help. A local nursery can help you with what works in your area. Typically, they only sell plants that do well in their area. Your lack of sun is an obvious issue. Many flowers won’t do well without a lot of sun. In particular, you may have problems with roses because of this. However, there are some flowers that do ok in partial shade and a few that like deep shade. Check the little tags that come with the flowers for this. Impatients work great in shade in this area and are one of my favorites; however, they are annuals. Also, like other annuals, they’re going to be more expensive than perennials since you have to buy bedding plants every year. Also check the tags for the size of the adult plant; sometimes cute little plants grow into great big monsters. (My community has many houses with bushes and trees growing into the house, driveway, each other, and everything else.) Obviously you don’t want to plant tall plants in front of short plants. You didn’t mention drainage but don’t forget it, it’s important. Also, think about any animals you’ve got in the area. I’ve got deer, which have totally destroyed my roses. I’ve replaced the roses with salvias and marigolds, which are deer resistant and are working well (though I think the marigolds could use a bit more sun than they’re getting.) You’re apparently already aware of the importance of initial soil preparation; do this right - don’t get in a rush to plant. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change if things don’t work out too well. It can take several years to figure out what you like and what works well. Also look around and see what your neighbors are doing. WARNING: If you want to put a lot of money and work into a flower bed and then have it totally fail, then just don’t water it for a while. Been there, done that! Wish you all the luck in the world – don’t get in a rush, don’t hurt yourself. Remember, the real pleasure is in the travel to where you’re going, not in the arrival.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 2:47:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 199: Deep, dark secret: I too enjoy working in flower gardens!![/b] I knew I wasn't alone! [/b]The first deals with your back problem – I suspect you’re going to have factor this into how you do things. Working with flowers can really be hard on your back.[/b] Problem solve!! Son=14 years old,6' tall,195lbs. [b]A local nursery can help you with what works in your area. Typically, they only sell plants that do well in their area.[/b] Great idea there--------thanks. [b]You’re apparently already aware of the importance of initial soil preparation; do this right - don’t get in a rush to plant. Wish you all the luck in the world – don’t get in a rush, don’t hurt yourself. Remember, the real pleasure is in the travel to where you’re going, not in the arrival.
View Quote
Nope, this is going to be all about relaxing and spending time with the kids. That and finding a way to keep myself busy. Thanks for all the great info!! sgtar15
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 4:07:27 AM EDT
I, too, am a closet gardener. Since I am only familiar with what grows well in North Texas, I'm not certain what can be grown well in your neck of the woods. Go to your local nurseries and pick out something that you think will work in these two areas. It's all gonna be a matter of just seeing what does well anyway. What I would suggest before anything, however, is careful bed preparation before you start planting anything. If the bed ain't done right, then you will always be trying to make it right in the future. Go to a nursery that is 'organic' or 'natural', which shouldn't be much of a problem in Kali! I have been doing organic gardening for about six years now and, boy, does my yard look good! It takes awhile to get started, and the initial cost is sometimes more than what you would encounter in the 'chemical' approach, but in the end I think you will be pleased. No chemicals, no pesticides, just put down what nature would have put down before you got there! Pest control is just finding another critter that will take care of the pest that's bothering you. What you're looking for in pest control are 'meateaters' i.e. bugs that eat other bugs, and not the plants! Like ladybugs, praying mantis, wasps, etc. Don't kill wasps and spiders unless you absolutely have to! (or [u]if[/u] Miz Joyce insists![:D]) Compost, compost, compost! It's a lifelong project, and one that seems to promote a long and healthy life (especially if you're not using chemicals!). Eric The(DoctorOfDirt,SortOf)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 5:23:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 5:34:38 AM EDT
I like Hostas in the shade. When they bloom the flowers are awesome. Till in some composted manure into the soil to "fix-it-up". When you get roses I'd recommend a watering once a month with 1-2gallons water with 1 cup of epsom salts dissolved in it. It really makes them grow! I amso put my banana peels (Potassium), egg shells (calcium), and used tea grounds (minus the bag) beneath the plants for fertilizer. It works!! Get 2 books, Roses for Dummies and Gardening for Dummies. Amazon carries both. They are great reading!! Also check out the roses and gardening forum on www.Gardenweb.com Lotsa info and people will swap cuttings and seeds with you!
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 5:45:49 AM EDT
I'll jump in here. I prefer some perennials that remind me of the mountains. My favorites are Bee Balm (monarda), Black-Eyed Susans, Echinacea, and Day Lilies. These require almost no care other than weeding. I like to compost the soil with a few inches of Plant-Tone. They come back every year and are favorites of bees and butterflies, have very bright colors, and as they propagate you can divide them and plant them in other areas. Another easy grower is Liatris, which gets tall, in the 3 to 4 foot range and has a tall spike of purple flowers. When they go to seed, just strip the seed off the heads with your hand and throw'em whereever you want'em to grow and they'll come up the next year. Herbs are popular as well such as mint, rosemary, dill, and others, and smell great. I always enjoy finding wild herbs in the woods. Just dig a hole and start planting. After you do it a few years you'll get the knack of it, and don't get to bent out of shape if something dies. Happens to the best gardeners. As far as the 'feminine' quality of gardening, remeber the samurai of Japan were expected to be masters of softer arts such as poetry, bonsai, and painting as a balance to their warrior side. There is truth in that approach. The Shooter
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 6:46:08 AM EDT
Wow! We are all coming out of the closet now. Consider some of the Geranium varieties that like limited sunlight. There are an incredible number of Hosta varieties that grown in all kinds of conditions. There is always Azaleas of which there are several small varieties. Bleeding Heart, Astilbe and Impatiens might all be good choices given the lighting conditions.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 7:11:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtar15: ...I know how to get rid of the ivy and also how to prep the ground for better soil. I live in Northern California were summers run 95* highs and 62* lows, winters rarely get anywere close to below freezing. I would like to have an assortment of various colored flowers along with other year round green leaf plants. I also like roses and small pines. What would be some good plants to try in these two small areas? ...
View Quote
Get yourself a copy of the Sunset Western Gardens book. It has the Western US divided into 24 distinct climate zones and provides all kinds of information about what you can grow. Look around and see what your neighbors or people in similar microclimates are growing. A lot of things need to be planted in the spring. You may have to experiment for several years to figure out what works.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 7:22:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 7:58:06 AM EDT
Just don't waste any beer trying to kill slugs.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 8:20:24 AM EDT
Ditto on the impatiens in the shaddy area, maybe even violets. Only problem might be in the winter, impatiens don't tolerate frost so you would have to cover them during the night. Also might look at some of the green plants, peter pans, agapthias that live all year round and have flowers in the spring, summer.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 8:39:18 AM EDT
Post from the beekeeper1 -
Anyway, you might want to consider feeding the birds/squirrels, etc. in addition to your gardening activities. They are interesting/fun to watch and not too expensive or time-consuming.
View Quote
Ditto on the bird feeding. I have five (!) feeders in my back yard and one in the front. And squirrels in my feeders have never caused me any problems, I specifically put out a lot of peanuts with the other seeds, just for them! I've even managed to attract white-tail and red-tail prairie hawks to my feeders! Only problem is - they come for the other birds![:D] Eric The(AndDon'tForgetSomeWater,Too)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/4/2001 8:19:29 PM EDT
Well, I went right to work this Saturday morning. Me and the kids started by removing all the rocks and then the ivy. We had enough large rocks to make a 4' border around a tree, so I added flowers inside of that also. The ivy was really easy to get out since it is newer growth---I will still have to watch to see if it comes back again. We then went to the local nursery and got 5 various sets of flowers which were in 6-pack containers. I also got two small Jalepeno pepper plants , a bag of steer manure, and a bag of general fertalizer/top soil. The kids and I went right at it with my 14 Y.O. son doing most of the digging and soil mixing. There were alot of smaller rocks and some clay in the dirt so I was glad I got the fertalizers. It was my 8 Y.O. daughter and my job to do the actual planting. This is were we ran into a problem---I didn't have a small hand shovel to dig the hole to put the flowers into!!! So I used the next best thing I could think of.....I used my AK47 bayonet, it work great!! [smash][smash] Of course I took it of the rifle first[:)]. So anyway, the end result was 30+ beauiful flowers right outside our front door that really put a smile on everyones face[^][^]. But the main thing was that for less then $20 I was able to spend some really quality time with the two children I love. Time spent productively were they learned something, were hard work can bring beautiful results. They are very proud of what they made today. Way better then just taking them to a movie or some other lazy thing. sgtar15 PS So what does your family do as a group?
Link Posted: 8/5/2001 5:03:03 AM EDT
That's funny, I use a Bayonet daily at work for digging and probing, looking for property corners. An excellant companion to my Army shovel. Sort of like digging up a landmine. 'cept no boom. Very glad to hear that you are up and at it SGT. Del [:)]
Top Top