New Flowerbed: a Backyard Update Towards Lower Maintenance

Spring Flowers.. always love it when they start showing up.
Amazes me how many plant varieties, colors, shapes, sizes, and textures that there are.
Such beauty and so much fun to choose and design what to use in my gardens. 💚

I have been checking off items on my outdoor to do list and one of those items was a
raised vegetable garden bed area.   I am so happy with how it turned out, but I still
consider it a work in progress.
  (see that post and my future plans for that area as well as adding a greenhouse here)

I have quite a long list of projects that I have planned for our yard and I am
always adding to it. :0)

I am currently working on several different area's around the yard,
and one of them that I recently tackled is this area near my vegetable garden.
(above photo)

Besides the vegetable garden space,
the area that has the decorative rustic fence was also all green space until last summer.
It was nothing but grass until last year when I chose to add the decorative fence,
as well as evergreens etc.   I want to break up the open spaces in our yard
and have it be a beautiful space to want to spend time in, walk around and just
have something pretty to look at in every direction.

I love seeing that decorative fence out my kitchen window,  however it is what I
consider a higher maintenance area.
I feel like it is higher maintenance because I have to use the grass trimmer on that
entire area.
I do a lot of grass trimming/edging around our yard and it can be quite time consuming.
The size of our yard that we do keep manicured (that isn't our pasture for the animals)
is a few acres in size on it's own, so the more that I can do to make our yard work
a little easier to maintain.. the better.   

So I chose to turn this area into a new flower bed which will equal
quite a bit less time to maintain.

I started by making my outline on the ground where I wanted the flowerbed to be.
I actually used a can of spray paint to
'draw' my outline of where I wanted my flowerbed to go, but you can use rope, a hose, etc.
I like to put a line down of some sort and look at it at different angles and think about how
it looks, how it will be to mow around, and think about the plant space that I am allowing,
and so on.
I have learned that I do not want sharp edges the mower can't get close to and so on if
I can help it.
I didn't always keep that in mind in the past, but as our gardening spaces have evolved
over the years that is definitely on my mind.
 (can the lawn mower get close to the bed, will it be easy to maneuver around and so on)

After I was happy with my design I got to work.
It took me the better part of the day to dig out grass/weeds and get the space ready.
I put down landscape fabric in this area (leaving space open by my iris)
Since I don't plan on putting any annuals in this particular flowerbed I chose to go with
landscape fabric (also less maintenance in our yard) and then added in mulch.

In this flowerbed I have a flowering plum tree, 3 arborvitae, a barberry,  iris, and some decorative accent pieces. (sandstone rock/dried out tree root)

I also have two 14" hanging wall planter/baskets that I hung on my fence
that I planted with pretty cherry star superbells and creeping Jenny.
(they are going to be sooo pretty when they get a little bigger, fill in, and cascade
over the baskets)

I am also going to be planting a beautiful caryopteris shrub that has the prettiest blue
blooms that I purchased especially for this spot.
I am excited to get it planted in this area.

I am not sure if I will stop planting for now in this bed (probably not) but I really
consider all my flowerbeds to be a work in progress, anyone else?
There is always something I want to add,  change, or do to them in some way or another.

I do feel like I have good winter interest in this flowerbed with the fence and arb's, 
spring/late spring color with the iris foliage/flowers as they naturalize and fill in,
(I didn't put landscape fabric around the iris so they could do their thing)
and summer to fall color with the hanging baskets and 
soon to be caryopteris shrub.   So I feel like I have a good start with this bed.
I may add in some more spring interest.. decisions, decisions.

I also like to pay attention to what colors I have in my flowerbeds as well.
I feel like there are really 4 foliage colors and I try to use at least 3 of the 4 in
each flowerbed. (red/green/blue/gold)
I have red foliage with the barberry and plum tree,  and green with the evergreens so
I feel like this space could use a 'gold' shade so maybe a short perennial 
grass if I come across one while searching.   (hakonechloa maybe)
What do you think, what should I add in this spot for a gold foliage color? 

So have you been working on any projects in your yard this spring? or have
an ongoing list of projects?

- TinaH

14" Hanging Wall Fence Planters found Here 
Caryopteris Shrub (blue flowers) found Here
Superbells: (calibrachoa) Cherry Star - similar Here
Landscape Fabric I use - Here
My Favorite Gardening Gloves - Here

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