Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I've got it and I've got it bad! Spring Fever! The garden is beckoning so I have to get out there.

I live in zone 7a in Virginia, where it is sometimes 70 degrees, so I have started amending and mulching the flower beds in the front yard.

Knowing your planting zone is important. It tells you what plants to plant. It tells you first and last frost dates.

To get this and more great gardening know-how, contact your local extension office. Get your money's worth...these are your tax dollars at work! You pay for this resource so use it!

This flower bed only got amended with compost and leaves last year-no mulch. There are a few weeds to pull this year because of that, but nothing too terrible.

I am using store bought compost on the flower beds in the front yard.

Leaving about a 6 in. space on the edges keeps the compost from washing away. A few leaves left here and there doesn't hurt. Don't leave too many to get compacted and smother and kill plants.

If the flower bed is really full, I only mulch the edges about a foot in to control weeds. The plants will grow together in the middle and prevent most weeds from being able to grow.

Preen in the mulch prevents germination of seeds. You can plant mature plants and they will grow. Just don't use it if you plan to plant seeds.

Having a mild winter allowed some of the plants to get a head start. If their leaves started showing above ground I did not cover them up with mulch.

This is how the flower bed was when we bought the house. Not much space to plant and the crooked mailbox was the focal point!? Hmmm.

Vinca grew well in the full sun but I didn't want it to be the main focus and I wanted to add more seasonal interest-plants that were perennial and evergreen.

Again, all annuals (flowers that die after one season). And boring.

This euonymous grew from a cutting I took 3 years ago. It is very hardy in my yard. It provides year-round interest because it is evergreen and has red berries as well as small white flowers.

It is an insect haven which provides diversity in my little yard habitat. It will also attract birds for food and shelter when it is full grown.

There are two of these (free!) in the front bed. Both were grown from cuttings I took.

Later in the spring the more colorful perennials will start blooming.
Clematis and Red Hot Poker

The Clematis vine will climb the mailbox and add some vertical interest.


Red Hot Poker

Unusual and stunning, the Red Hot Poker adds eye-catching interest right by the road.
Red Hot Poker

It is a tough native plant that is easily divided. Give it full sun and you can't go wrong.

So, one bed down. Fifteen more to go!

Here is a preview!

Hosta and Astibes surround cat bird bath

Bee Balm

Black Eyed Susan

Day Lillies and Black Eyed Susans

Side yard dry creek and pine chip path

So ya got a peek! Are you as excited as I am and ready to get your hands dirty? I'll see ya out there!

Project Pinterest at The DIY Club

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. Your flower beds/garden look great. I love the diversity of the plants that make the beds more interesting than "just flowers". Wow...awesome.

  2. I also live in Virginia. With the mild weather we've had this winter, one can't help but get excited for Spring this soon. I just hope we don't get a surprise snow storm. Anyway, as much as I love flowers and gardens, I don't know what I'm doing. We moved into our home about 15 months ago and it desperately needs some flower gardens. I appreciate your step by step and whens, I am now a faithful follower. :). Your Virginia sister.

  3. I have been patiently awaiting Spring here in zone 5, my tulips are up and the deer only got a couple (so far) Love the bright green pictures of your beds in bloom! Everything is still so brown, not many signs of awakening yet.

    1. Ooooh your recaptcha word verification is so hard to read, commenting would be much more fun without it. Blogger should devise a better way to guard against spam!

    2. No kidding Cristy! Those deer and word verifications are pains! Luckily I don't have any deer but when I try to send posts on Craigslist I stare at those recaptchas forever and still get them wrong!:)