Putting in a Flower Garden

June 17, 2008

Earlier this year I offered to help put in a new flower bed in at a friend’s house.  She told me the colors she liked, I did a bit of research, got the seeds and grew them in cell trays.  Here’s a list of all the ones I started from seed:

  • Aubrietia ‘Large Flowered Mix’
  • Cerastium ‘Snow in Summer’
  • Viola ‘Comedy Mixed’
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Pinks ‘Old Fashioned Mix’
  • Lavender
  • Sheperd’s Scabiosa ‘Jasione Laevis’
  • Coreopsis ‘Early Sunrise’
  • Catananche ‘Coerulea’
  • Chrysanthemum ‘Crazy Daisy’
  • Echinacea ‘Purple Coneflower’
  • Delphinium ‘Pacific Giant’
  • Wild lupines

They were busting out of their cell trays and we finally put them into a new home this past weekend.  Here’s a shot of the location:

I picked up 6 bags of black earth and 3 bags of sheep manure and brought my spade and shovel as well as my watering can and all the flowers.  I placed the flower packets on the ground to get an idea of where to put the seedlings:

This isn’t a very good angle as the bottom of this picture is actually the left side when you are standing with your back to the road.  In this picture, I put most of the taller plants in the bottom left with a dip in the middle then back to some taller plants at the top left.  The two plants in the middle were mid-size with the plants on the right being shorter.

We used a garden hose to lay out the shape and then used the spade to cut into the sod.

Next we peeled back the sod, flipped it and stamped it down, a really difficult task due to the number of shallow tree roots:

Once that was done, we re-applied our mosquito repellant and started to spread the black earth, topped it with sheep manure and mixed it in:

I don’t know what it is about freshly spread dirt/manure that mosquitoes really like, however, I got a zillion bites that are still itchy.  This is how we left it before jumping in the pool:

Had a nice dinner and a few drinks then headed out to finish the bed off by filling it with flower seedlings.  This is how it looks from the front:

Overall it only took an hour to prepare the soil and then 15 minutes to plant the flowers (thanks in part to being eaten by mosquitoes).  It was a nice and quick project.

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6 Responses to “Putting in a Flower Garden”

  1. Stuart Says:

    Looks great Kathy and I like your working style – counterbalanced with food a few drinks. My type of gardening. Can’t wait to see the pics when it matures.

  2. chey Says:

    You’ve done a great job, and completed it very quickly as well! I like the shape of your garden.

  3. Shala Says:

    Wow you made all of that sound so easy! I’m going to show my husband this post and maybe at some point we will get some new flower beds. It looks really great.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Thanks guys! She seems pretty happy with it in her front yard and thought it would be a two-day project.

    Cutting into, flipping and stamping down sod is no joke as I was quickly flipping beads of sweat off the end of my nose. Some of the tree roots were 1/2″ thick and were difficult to cut through with a spade. I got a snootful of dirt when one tree root snapped back towards me.

    The one thing that I have left to do is to cut a 45 degree angle around the entire edge of the bed to keep the grass from encroaching.

    I chose this style of bed preparation as all of the seedlings were small and had shallow root systems, making it easy to plant into the 3″ layer of freshly-laid black earth and manure. Also, the size wasn’t so big that flipping sod was going to be a drag – if it had been bigger I would have laid cardboard to smother the grass topped with a 5″ layer of soil. All the flower seedlings were heavily-sown in 4″ x 6″ trays and I was ripping them into 5 – 6 chunks when planting. If we had been putting in more established, mature plants I may have gone with a good 6″ height of soil above the lawn surface.

    Kathy

  5. Nancy Bond Says:

    Fabulous. I hope you’ll take photos as the garden grows and blooms. 🙂

  6. Garden Says:

    very simple and useful tutorial!
    Thanks Kathy 🙂


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