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This thread is in reply to a blog post by aspenhill entitled "Off Season Musings - Garden Areas (Side Yard Spring Bulb Bed)".
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Dec 16, 2014 7:07 AM CST
You've accomplished your goal already: WOW! That is going to be so spectacular. I have a flowering crab sitting in the middle of a square area of lawn and I've been toying with the idea of doing something there...giving it a "petticoat" of flowers underneath,...it would make it so much easier to mow around, if I did not have to get under the tree.

Do you have other perennials in mind for the area once the tulips have faded? The problem I have here with tulips is our weather...we usually go from very cold winter temps straight into very hot late spring/early summer temps. Most tulips bloom and melt within days and it doesn't seem worth it to buy/plant them.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Dec 16, 2014 8:20 AM CST
Hi Annie. The blooms on the weeping cherry are only at their peak for about a week and then hang on for another week as the tree really starts to green up. If I can get the tulips to go for the same 1 to 2 weeks, that is the best that I'm hoping for. The WOW factor is going to be fleeting. I need to think about other perennials that I can put there for later, but I'm having a hard time coming up with something that I can decide on. The bed is in the middle of the cleared area around the house, so it is one of the few places that actually gets sun. Almost all of my experience is with wooded shade so I have choices there that I don't have anywhere else. Maybe that would be a good spot to get the low growing geranium 'Rozanne' and something a little taller like campanula 'Elizabeth' to fill in for the summer. I have a few 'Rozanne' in the shade, and they don't perform anywhere near the potential that they would in a sunnier spot. The 'Elizabeth' is one of my favorites - it was a pass along plant from a friend and it is a prolific self seeder, so I have lots. I think I'm having a hard time deciding because I have the opportunity to put something very new to me there. I tend to stick with the pastel shades of pink and purple. I like other colors in other gardens, just can't bring myself to like them in mine LOL. Do you have any recommendations that I could put there?
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Image
LysmachiaMoon
Dec 17, 2014 4:24 PM CST
Clove pinks and creeping phlox would give you some summer color in the palette you like (I'm the same way...I like pastels best). This summer I actually went ahead and put in a small bed of annual calendula with a deep red dahlia in the middle and I couldn't believe how much I liked it.

I'm very taken with Geraniums too, and they pair well with catmint (I have Walker's Low growing in mats all over the place. I like the way the silvery leaves and soft blue flowers blend with just about anything...put it next to pink and the pink glows, put in next to yellow and pops.) Iris and peonies leap to mind, altho they won't get you too far along into the summer.
Thats one of my biggest challenges...trying to get some color into the mid-late summer garden. Most of the things I love best are early/mid summer bloomers.

I'll keep thinking!

Annie
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jan 19, 2015 7:38 AM CST
Mid to late summer, zinnias might be nice. The newer Zinderella Lilac comes first to mind, but there are lots of other pretty pastels as well. Several lavender transplants would give a bit of contrast to the rounded blooms of the zinnia, and neither requires a lot of additional water after they have settled-in. Watering your bulb bed during summer should be avoided, so plants that do well in drier soils are probably best.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Feb 10, 2015 1:29 PM CST
Hi Chelle. I've been very sporatic about checking ATP. I like the zinnia idea for summer color in that bed, and picked up multiple seed packets of darker purple and lighter lavender shades. It will be a nice summer filler while I figure out what I want to do with it long term. Maybe the zinnias will end up being the long term design Smiling I'm really starting to go winter stir crazy and want the spring garden season to start sooner rather than later. Hope all is well with you.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Feb 10, 2015 3:44 PM CST
All is well here, thanks, but like you I'm just about ready to see the backside of winter. Today was lovely and sunny, though cold, and I would have liked to get out and walk, but the trails through the woods are too icy-snow-encrusted to travel without running the risk of ankle damage. So right now I'm just sowing seeds and enjoying my indoor sprouts as time allows. I did dig a new access path to a late winter feeding station today, but that's about all I did outdoors. I must start putting the sunflower seeds there from now on, otherwise I'll have squirrels and chipmunks still looking for food on the deck come time to set out seedlings. It's a small thing, I know, but every little bit of possible prevention helps. Smiling

Sounds good on the zinnias. I want to start some earlier this year, so I'm thinking about using my 8' long under-rug warming mat to start some of these heat-lovers in about a month or so. I would think that eight feet of mat would be able to start and grow quite a few seedlings, so I'm pretty psyched to try it out.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
Image
aspenhill
Feb 11, 2015 8:32 AM CST
I haven't grown zinnias before, but I've heard that they are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seeds. With my seed growing failure rate, I'm needing easy. I'm pretty sure the seed packet instructions were to direct sow outside once danger of frost has passed, but it sounds like you have, or will be, starting them inside? I have two grow light shelving units - one homemade with 4 sets of shelves and one commercial with 3 sets of shelves. I have also accumulated about 8 heat mats. Like most of my gardening pursuits, I obsess and get every conceivable supply or tool, and sometimes have them for years before I actually put them to use LOL. After I've purchased something specifically marketed for gardening, I realize that other general household items work just as well or even better! I think your 8' long under-rug warming mat will work great! So, should I start those zinnia seeds indoors?
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Feb 11, 2015 9:53 AM CST
Well, it's that or wait until about July 1st to sow outdoors here. Our base soil simply warms too slowly to start any earlier. Now, if I were to sow these in the best beds (that warm earlier) instead of just filling out bare spots in the yard it might be a different story as far as the germination rates go, but I doubt they'd flower much earlier anyway. Seems to me I tried it before and the plants were really good sized, but the blooms still didn't open till fairly late in the season.
Zinnias that I started indoors, early 2013 started blooming in the veggie patch around July 1st, so I guess it would be possible to have two crops/plantings in a normal (hot summer) year if desired. Either way works, I guess, it's just a matter of how much indoor space we have available to work with in order to get earlier blooms.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
Image
aspenhill
Feb 11, 2015 10:46 AM CST
I am chomping at the bit to do some kind of gardening activity, so I think I'll go ahead and start those zinnia seeds indoors. It will give me something fun to do this weekend. Last Saturday we had our annual Mid Atlantic seed swap get together and I picked up several seeds for perennials (columbines, joe pye weed, ageratum, hesperis, and a dianthus which is the "pink flower" offering for 2015 from Jill's (crriterologist) little girl Joyanna - she is now 5 and has been picking out a "pink flower" to put in our seed bags since she was 2). On Sunday, I got them all started in those aluminum foil cake pans with plastic lids and stuck them outside on the deck to try the winter sowing method. My only real seed starting successes so far have been with tomatoes. Trial and error, mostly error LOL...

Just for kicks, I looked up the freeze/frost dates for my zip code:
Each winter, on average, your risk of frost is from October 19 through April 19.
Almost certainly, however, you will receive frost from November 2 through April 5.
You are almost guaranteed that you will not get frost from May 4 through October 3.
Your frost-free growing season is around 183 days
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
Image
aspenhill
Feb 11, 2015 11:03 AM CST
Ha ha, I was just over on DG and followed a link that Jill posted to an article about sowing seeds in vermiculite. As I was reading it, I was thinking that I'd pass it on to you and then got to the bottom and saw "Special thanks to Chelle for making sure this article is in proper English" Rolling on the floor laughing Very interesting, maybe I'll try more seeds using this method.
http://www.seedsite.eu/articles/sowing
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Feb 11, 2015 1:18 PM CST
Hilarious! Yep. Big Grin It's a great method!

And I now have a full baker's dozen vermiculite containers inside...sprouted...and waiting. Whistling These were all brand new (to me) plants that were supposed to go outdoors in the cold after a few weeks of warmth to eventually sprout when conditions became favorable! I'm afraid they're in for a fairly long haul. I may end up having to re-sow them, but the experimentation is fun too.

Thanks for thinking of me! Lovey dubby
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Feb 11, 2015 1:33 PM CST
Well, I guess all but one were supposed to go out. Michauxia campanuloides were older seeds that I wasn't sure were still viable, but now I know there are at least some left that are good.


Thumb of 2015-02-11/chelle/fd8a73 Thumb of 2015-02-11/chelle/9437f6

I've moved these to a cool window, hoping it'll be just cool enough to hold them for a while.



Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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