Posted by: gdevi | May 28, 2011

Full Sun Garden

I waited out the rain and planted a full sun garden in the front yard today; it was a beautiful day here today. I had got all the plants at the Amish nursery. What’s more, I finally gave up killing myself hoeing and called a spade a spade, and went to Lowe’s and got this incredible cultivator– a 31cc Bolens 2-cycle cultivator and tiller. Takes about a pint of oil-gas mixture  just like a weedwhacker. It completely turned the sod upside down so I could till the soil. Took me about couple of hours to completely clean out the sod and get to the soil. I am very happy with it; I think it is a required thing for all gardeners. A belated mother’s day present for myself.

This is what I planted in the sun garden today: all plants that need full sun so I am calling it my Sun Garden. All Perennials so they will just grow and grow and I won’t have to do anything year after year except the usual deadheading, pruning, fertilizing etc. Way at the back, I planted Beebalms (7 plants), then sowed some seeds for Rudebeckia and Asian poppies–these are are tall plants so I wanted them at the back. And then in front of them I planted Salvia (3 plants–2 blue and 1 white), red Yarrow (I am so thrilled with this find! I have only seen yellow ones so far. I can’t wait for this one to flower later this summer), more Asian poppies, hybrid Coreopsis (3 plants), some trailing verbena, Autumn joy Sedum (3 plants), and then way in the front trailing Sedum (3 plants), trailing Lithadora (3 plants), some Phlox, Lamb’s ear transplanted, then my favorite Artemisia Silver Mound (if I believed in reincarnation I would want to be reborn as a Silver Mound in my garden; or a Beebalm of course), then I made a small raised mound and planted some Alyssum with some rocks so it can trail over and I put the bird’s nest that I discovered at the top (the folks at the nursery told me that it was good luck to discover a bird’s nest; I found it there among the plants so they told me to take it), then way at the back on this side I planted Moss, and Sweet Woodruff.

I have not mulched it yet; but here are some pictures:

Silver mound

Beebalm

Bird’s Nest

K and D agreed it was a beautiful garden when they came back from bicycling at Little Pine Creek. It really is a beautiful garden and I can’t wait for the plants to blossom later this summer. I took a 20×15 patch of the front yard–I don’t understand the attraction of lawns at all–to make this sun garden. If you are thinking of making a perennial sun garden for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Sun gardens need between 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. So pick a spot where the plants are sure to get this much direct sunlight. If you are working over a lawn, like I did, invest in a cultivator-tiller. It will save you a lot of time and back pain from the hoeing. Don’t buy the cheap ones;they won’t have enough power to cut the sod. This Bolens one that I bought is a bit on the high side in price — 190 dollars–but I am a committed gardener so I will use this all the time for cultivating and tilling. Or, you can rent a sod-cutter. In Lock Haven, it costs about 40 dollars a day.

2. For this sized garden, I used about 10 bags of top soil. Lowe’s sells them for 1. 50 for a 40 pound bag.

3. I also mixed the topsoil with some organic peat moss. Again Lowe’s sells them for 2. 18 for a 40 pound bag. I used 2 bags. I also used some compost that I already had–mixed it with the soil.

4. The plants were all from the Amish place. I must have paid about 35 dollars for the whole batch. I was very lucky. I never buy plants from the department chains. Find a local nursery.

5. Labor? Well, it took me about 5 hours to cut the sod, till and cultivate the soil.

Took another 4 hours to plant everything. So all in all, say, ten hours, tops.

But you know what, it is worth it. You will have a beautiful garden forever and ever!

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