Last fall we planted the garden across the street from the shop with all the combinations of pansies and violas we could pack into it, and it was beautiful until the first hot, pollen-filled days of spring arrived. Then it sat…the poor pansies getting more and more bedraggled as we got busier and busier helping folks plan and plant their own gardens and planters. Finally we had a little breathing time and were able to at least get the scraggly winter plantings pulled out; but, by then, it was already June!
Clearly, something had to be done. We certainly couldn’t be a garden shop with no garden! So we began to plan our summer garden. We decided this year it would be filled with flowers and began to set some aside to plant along the edges of the four planting beds.
In the centers of the beds, we envision tall cutting zinnias, orange Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia), annual sunflowers, and nicotiana by seed (We’re keeping our fingers crossed they all come up!) and have some hibiscus planted as well.
There are two arbors in the middle of the garden. On the largest we planted hyacinth bean vine seeds on one side and a pink mandevilla vine on the other.
A red mandevilla and a moonvine are growing up the other arbor. Be sure to walk through in the early evening to watch the enormous, fragrant, pure white moonvine flowers unfurling. You can literally watch them slowly open, greeting the evening. By morning their blooms are gone – rather like a morning glory vine in reverse.
Jay added bags of PlantTone to each bed, raked it in, added a light layer of soil conditioner, and graded the beds to prepare them for planting. Because we didn’t want to expose a lot of weed seeds to sunlight, which would cause them to begin growing, we didn’t turn the soil. As the flower seeds emerge and we’ve thinned those that need it, we’ll add more soil conditioner as a top mulch to help conserve water and keep future weeds in check.
Some of the low edging plants we used include purslane, red cuphea, mecardonia, gomphrena ‘Pink Zazzle’, and mexican heather. Plans are to also add some succulents at the front corner by the sign.
We hope everyone in the area enjoys our staff flower garden this summer. If you happen to be walking by, take a stroll along the paths, enjoy the flowers, and help pull a few weeds if you see them!
By Kris Blevons