Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Garden - a flower bed

I've been growing plants all my life but owning my own home and garden has changed everything. I bought my place a year and a half ago. The first year I put in some shrubs and trees. This year I decided to create some space for flowers.

This first photo shows the first 8 by 4 foot flower bed. I removed the grass and turned over the soil to a depth of about 12 inches.

I bought plants from Portland Nursery and selected plants that were described as drought tolerant and deer resistant. So I have Salvia, Echinacea, Penstemon, Yarrow a Bee Balm and Oregon Sunshine.

Despite the "deer resistant" tag, the deer did attack some of the plants and chewed some right down to their crowns - although most grew back.

The best plants for growth have been the Yarrow.

My favorite plant has been the Oregon Sunshine. When I put this plant in the ground it immediately flopped over and "died" from the heat and strong sunlight. I thought it was gone. But a few weeks later it came back and has grown to a nice size, although I've had no flowers yet. The Oregon Sunshine was a plant I bought from the Berry Botanical Garden.

The wooden boards were added to help protect the plants from the wind. The boards were salvaged from some construction I did on the house.

One plant that has both grown well and flowered has been the Echinacea. This is a hybrid named "ruby star".

It will be interesting to see what survives through the winter. Next year the plants should grow much bigger.

My plant choices were made before I knew too much about about native plants. In future I plan to avoid hybrids as much as possible. Oregon natives seem like the way to go. I think that native plants found east of the Cascades would work even better. There are a few nurseries that specialize in natives. I'm hoping to grow plants from seed in order to save money and because I think it will be more rewarding.

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