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New beds

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

What's new with you?

I am quickly using up every bit of space in my front yard putting in some new beds and expanding or redoing old ones. I have it down to just a narrow two foot wide path through the middle of the yard with just a couple of areas left that need to be planted.

This first one is something I put in 3 years ago but hadn't been happy with the planting so I dug out 8 hostas, 4 astilbe, a bleeding heart and a columbine then planted 1 Atlantis, 14 Golden Scepeter, 28 Golden Tiara and 56 Lemon Lime for a total of 99 plants all in one day.

Thumbnail by franknjim
Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

This one took me a couple of days just to dig the hole for the little pond and a day to plant the 15 hostas. I have Silver Maples so digging in my yard is a nightmare.

I planted American Sweetheart, Golden Scepter(temp filler), Ultramarine, Golden Tiara(temp filler), Earth Angel, Gemstone, Sparkling Burgundy, Yin, Spartan Arrow, Cat's Eyes, Praying Hands, Little Bo Peep, Chirp, Lakeside Zinger & Blue Mouse Ears Supreme.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Makes me tired just to look at the pics. That's a lot of plants. The first garden looks quite full already. It will be continuous hosta once they mature. I hope you got those plants from divisions and didn't have to go buy all of them.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I just bought all but the Ultramarine, Golden Scepter, Golden Tiara and Lemon Lime. I planted both of those beds in two days and will do a third bed today if the rain holds off. I still have another 30 varieties in pots to plant. I am almost out, I need to get more. lol

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

I love both beds! The Atlantis is one of my favorites.

What is the pointy blue one by the frog spitter?

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

That is Ultramarine.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

I just saw Ultramarine at the nursery during lunch. It had a nice blue color to the leaves. But I ended up taking home Sleeping Beauty and Lakeside Hoola Hoop as my impulse buys instead.

Virginia Beach, VA

You will have a very crowded hostas in 2 years since golden tiara will multiply 10 times. I like the design. is that your driveway?. Looks nice!! Bellie

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

That is the street in front of the round bed. That bed is on a slight slope with one layer of block on the yard side and it is five blocks tall on the street side. The Lemon Lime grows faster for me than the Golden Tiara. I have had them for about 20 years and have given away tons of it. Eventualy the Atlantis will cover the Golden Scepter and the Golden Tiara but that will take awhile.

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Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

It's all lovely!

Virginia Beach, VA

If it is the street, are you allowed to garden on city property? just curious. Bellie

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Our court doesn't have sidewalks and the city will never put them in. The round bed is two feet away from the curb but I have plants all the way up to the curb all the way across the property. The city inspectors have been through here hundreds of times and they have never said anything about it. The entire front yard is all garden and 90% hostas. There isn't any grass. Once all of my hostas are mature it will be solid hostas with a narrow 2' wide path through the center. I expanded the oldest bed 18"- 24" a couple weeks ago and have that all planted with smalls and dwarf hostas. Today I added 12 more hostas across the front at the curb plus a few in other places.

This pic show where I expanded the first bed I ever put in. You can see where the flagstone was last year where the border of Lemon Lime is. I have half of those 30 pots in the path planted now. The other 15 get planted tomorrow.

Thumbnail by franknjim
Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I put this bed in last fall. It is against the driveway.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Like franknjim, I have a city easement in front of my house - gives me maybe 10-15 extra feet of garden space in front. In 41 years, the city has never built a sidewalk and they never will on this quiet street. I take the risk that they might decide to dig up buried services or bury others, but I'm not prohibited from gardening there. Do you have a prohibition, Bellie?

Virginia Beach, VA

Ann,
I had never seen people planting up to the road so there might be some restrictions..

Anyway the beds are awesome!!!

I have new camera and new computer so it is still hard for me to post pictures. Happy gardening!!! Bellie

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Hi, love the hostas. Quick question, what is the green stuff growing inbetween the hostas?? Is it creeping jenny or another kind of groundcover?

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

It is Creeping Jenny. I regret having put it in. It likes to grow up over things.

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

I have some, well alot in the Gnome garden, I like it,, but then I also have to grap up handfulls around the hostas to keep it under control,,,sigh

Thumbnail by Mud_Elf
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I dug some out of a wild area years ago because I thought it was pretty. Then I was stunned to find that nurseries sell the stuff. I'm still trying to get rid of it.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Golden Creeping Jenny is just as bad as her green cousin Creeping Charlie. My constant watering makes it even worse. I started with one four inch pot 2 years ago and due to my obsession with propagating I turned it into hundreds of plants. I have it in many of my hanging baskets as well.

Never ever put mulch over the top of it. That makes it even harder to remove. Lesson learned the hard way.

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

oppps. To late. I mulched the sin out of that bed. . The good news is It is up against the woods and a really horrible dried to rock clay spot in my yard. So I am not going to worry about it. I need to take pictures and start a thread for my new garden project at our temp home for the next 2 to 3 years. My DH keeps saying you know this is temp right?? How are you going to move all these plants?? I just smile and keep on going about my merry way.

East Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Beautiful gardening, Frank. The thought of all that work makes me ache all over! -- But it is motivating.
I have another question. In the photo of the bed "by the drive", what is the hosta with the "ribs" and ruffling on the edge. It is just to the front and left side of the tree.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

That is Clovelly with the piecrust edges. I bought it last fall at Hornbakers.

This message was edited Jun 19, 2011 9:11 PM

Thumbnail by franknjim
East Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Clovelly is just Lovely!. If I keep looking at your photos, I am sure a little road trip will be in my future.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

There is a lady that lives a half block off Knoxville Ave in Peoria just south of Proctor Hospital that sells hostas from her yard. She has 300 varieties. I picked up a huge start of Solar Flare and Ice Age Trail from her for $15.00 each.

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Wow,, I think I need to visit too!! heehee

Virginia Beach, VA

Jim,
Does she sell to non Illinois residents? thanks,
Bellie

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I am Frank. She doesn't do mail order, She just sells from her yard to people that stop by. Hornbaker Gardens in Princeton, Illinois does sell online. http://www.hornbakergardens.com/

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

So Frank can ya hook us up ,,,,lol Just kidding. Would be nice to have someone close by with that many hostas!!

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I am up to 195 varieties. I planted my last two new ones yesterday. Now I am going through withdrawls. I should be getting a box in the mail this week from the secret hosta swap and I am thinking about making another run up to Hornbaker's again this weekend now that I have put a lot of hours in on my want list. I have to be careful what I get because I am pretty much out of room for any more giants and large hostas. Mediums will be pushing it but I know I can fit in a bunch more small, mini & dwarf.

I will have to cut out more of the concrete driveway to make a new hosta bed. It will be the third time cutting out a part of the driveway to make more planting room.

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

OMG,, want to come south for a while and help me plan out my garden?/ lol

Ottawa, Canada

Lovely beds, franknjim! Especially like your water feature. Do you think, toads will come to my water garden. It's in full sun.

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Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

That's a nice water feature but I am not sure if a toad could get up over the top of it. I put an upsidedown flower pot in mine with a piece of flagstone on top of it to act as a ramp just below the waters surface so the toad could get out if it goes in. The birds are loving it.

I have a 100 gallon rubbermade stock tank on my driveway full of soil that I keep soaked with a King Tut Papyrus planted in it that grows about 6' tall. I have a couple of elephant ears and some horsetail reed in their pots that sit in there as well. I never leave water sitting on top of the soil because mosquitos breed in it. There was a case of West Nile Virus one county over so I watch for skeeter larvae.

Ottawa, Canada

Could you show a picture of your King Tut Payrus. Would love to see it. I'm thinking i might build a staircase into my little water garden. I bought some gold fish for the water garden this afternoon. Hear they will eat the mosquito eggs. The water garden is 3' x3' and I got 6 goldfish but one died upon arrival. Although both my hubby and my daughter were a bit skeptical about the gold fish being a good idea, they were visibly happy to see them.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

The stock tank is 48" wide x 36" x 32" tall. Last year I had it partitioned with the left 1/3 filled completely with soil. That's where I grew last years Papyrus. The other 2/3 had about a foot of soil and I grew a water lily since that area was kept full of water. This year I just put more soil in it to grow another papyrus. It is about 4' tall right now.

This pic is from last year before the water lily and Papyrus totally filled the tank. I barely have any room left in the yard to plant anything so I just end up growing things in pots on the driveway.

Thumbnail by franknjim
Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

This pic is this year. The Papyrus will fill about half of the tank, grow another two feet taller and the stems will get very thick. The heads on top get about 16" to 24" across. I will take better pics of it this year when it gets big.

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Ottawa, Canada

Wow, those are beautiful plants, Frank! Some of my water plants survived the winter in vases indoors. The black elephant ear finally died but the green one grew so big that I can't use it in that little garden. It's still inside in a big glass vase. Since you are in approximately the same zone as me, how do you overwinter your plants? They look very healthy and robust.

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I grow the Papyrus as an annual. I kept some of my smaller elephant ears growing in pots indoors over winter while others were just stored as bulbs in the basement. I try not to have too many plants growing in the house. When I was younger I had hundreds of houseplants, both tropicals and succulents/cactus and that is a bit much.

This picture is a bed that I started last year after cutting out a section of the concrete driveway. I had just used this bed to hold extra hostas. Water was sitting in the bed so I dug everything up this week and topped it off with soil and compost. My idea of compost is the area where I dump all of my landscape waste of leaves, extra soil, dead plant material, live plant material, sod, fallen branches, maple tree roots and weeds. After a few years I have a huge pile of really nice compost.

The front of this bed gets about 5 hours of afternoon sun so I put some annuals there. I put Inspire Greatness in the center back. It will dominate this bed once mature. Back corners are two starts for propagation from my biggest giant that is in the front yard. I also have four new minis, extra Blue Mouse Ears, two hosta seedlings that I found in my yard a few years ago near my Love Pat. Most of the stuff on the shelf is all extras for online trading and giving away to my neighbors.

Thumbnail by franknjim
Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

I cut out another section of the driveway last year to plant a Weeping Mulberry tree. I replaced the old wrought iron front porch railings with all white PVC rails and posts last year so I bolted the old supports together and bolted that to the driveway so I could grow a wisteria on it that has been sitting in a pot on the driveway for a couple of years now. I removed more concrete to plant the wisteria and some tomatos. I am pretty much out of room to plant things so I have to make room.

I do have a 12' x 24' heavily shaded area behind the garage that I am going to fence off from the dogs and turn it into a hidden hosta garden.

Thumbnail by franknjim
Ottawa, Canada

You certainly have a green thumb, Frank. That elephant ear is gorgeous. please post a picture of your new hidden hosta garden, when you're done.

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