Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What to Plant. Your Help is Welcome.

The packets of zinnia seeds from the drug store have really grown well this summer.  The native soil in the garden is pure junk.  Even though it’s been amended over the years to help grow stuff; some plants simply can’t take the heat.

DSC_2234_6914These seeds seem to thrive.  They’ve been fed a few times and get adequate water but no special pruning or primping.  They’re out in the front yard so they’re exposed to cats, dogs, and miscellaneous children.

DSC_2236_6916There was a problem with snails when the seeds were sprouting.  It only took a few early mornings of garden clogs stomping their ambitions and the snail problem was eliminated.  The crows seemed to enjoy the escargot that was pitched out in the street too.

The lawn  weeds on the sideyard were removed by Farmer MacGregor to make way for a temporary flowerbed.  He even trimmed back the surrounding hedges to give me a little elbow room to maneuver.  This spot will, most likely, be paved over when a new driveway is installed.  Now here’s the problem: 

What should be planted in this space?DSC_2232_6912The space is about 15’ X 5’.  It’s in full sun for the most part of the day.  As the picture shows, garbage traffic is heavy (The bins are stored on the other side of the gate.) so fragrance would be nice.  I’m looking for low growing plants along the driveway moving up to taller plants in the back.  The tallest should be no taller than 4’.  I don’t want to see the neighbor’s weed bed but I don’t want to be overwhelmed.  The soil will be amended to insure sturdy growth starting now.  I’m open to annuals or perennials for this temporary bed.  Here’s a checklist:

  • Hardy plants in Sunset zone 8 – 9.
  • Full sun - up to 10 hours a day.
  • Fragrance is desired.
  • Drought tolerant is important.
  • All colors will be considered but lavender compliments Farmer MacGregor’s house paint work.
  • Nothing edible.  Remember – cats, dogs, and miscellaneous children?

Any suggestions are welcome.


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Sweet Broom and/or Lavender for the back. It gets a good bushy look, stays green and blooms often. For the foreground perhaps some Cyclamen and mingled with Snap Dragons, Rhododendron. Maybe?

Lo said...

Yes, lavender in the back for sure and a few pink or white jasmine plants for fragrance also against the wall in between the lavender. Green and tough.

Petunias at the very front and Vinca....of course, don't forget geraniums....gawd..... I can send you rooted cuttings, don't buy any.

Don't know about Cyclamen with that much full sun, but sun azaleas might work for the middle size group.

If you drag your bins over the back corner of the bed just put some bricks there instead of plants to make your life easier.

There's a start. I'll keep thinking.

Sue said...

Oh, yes-definately lavender!! I'm so jealous-I can't grow it here-too cold. And I always looks at the gorgeous varieties out there and I could just scream.
Go online to High Country Gardens and check out some of their stuff-purty purty!!! They're always torturing me with catalogs-hubby HIDES them from me now

Greg Damitz said...

Everyone has lavender. Go with some natives such as California Fuscia, Foothill Penstemons, and Monkey Flowers. Maybe mix in some other perennials such as Coneflowers, African Blue Sage, and the various Salvias. Lavender is blah 90% of the year.

Glennis said...

I'm with Greg. Sages, penstemons, agastache. Try some perovskia. Low herbs for edgers. Sedums and succulents to add a variety of foliage shapes. And go for one tall, magnificent eyecatcher like macleya microcarpa.

dorothy said...

What a nice planting area and some great suggestions! For fragrance my first thought was gardenias and star jasmine but you are looking for temporary plantings. So I would go with lavenders and salvias. Also the good old sweet peas and 4 o'clocks come to mind. And scented geraniums. Bulbs: hyacinths and daffodils. Ground cover: allysum. Oh, and irises come in all colors and some are very fragrant. Also Asiatic lilies.

Anonymous said...

How about violets,they ,are low growth and are fragrant Lyn

Donna said...

I love zinneas. Love the bright colors.
As far as plantings, maybe lavender, salvia, blanket flower, verbena, black-eyed-susans, purple cone flower...there are so many. I'm sure you'll put something nice together.

Lynn Mc. said...

Sweet Broom is invasive and not native to California. Dwarf Lavender or Native Cal. Salvias would be nice and need little water.

Maureen said...

One of our favorite ground covers/fillers is Santa Barbara Daisy. Blooms about 8 months out of the year around here, spreads easily but not uncontrollably and the miniature white daisy flowers are very pretty. it looks great with lavender:)