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flower bed on the north side?

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Deirdre blog photos
Joined: 11/13/2007
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 379
Posted: Nov/13/2007 11:31 PM PST

Hi everyone! I'm new here and we just bought our first house this summer and it needs a garden!

I found some plans online for a garden and I really like these plans..however, I realized today that the front of my house faces north. My backyard is south. I wanted to put a flower bed under my front window by my front door and then 1 or 2 more in the actual front yard. I don't have trees in the front and my neighbors on either side have minimal trees.

I want to know what the odds of actually having good flower beds are seeing as how the front yard faces north.

The one that I would really like to do has: tulips, dafoodils, rock cross, basket of gold, snow in summer and dame's rockets.

I'm in zone 6B

Is it possible?
Deirdre blog photos
Joined: 11/13/2007
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 379
Posted: Nov/14/2007 8:54 PM PST

Ok i've decided to not try to do something impossible at this point and found a partial shade plan. I'm not sure it will work.

Please let me know if this is a good idea or not. data/bhg/story/data/1178659073920.xml

I don't want the bench though so I would need ideas on filling it, either with more of the plants that are listed or with new ones.

*help* I'm so lost.
KeyWee blog photos
Joined: 11/29/2006
Location: West Kentucky
Posts: 1803
Posted: Nov/15/2007 3:36 AM PST

Hey ~ I'm a Z6b too, although in another state.
I tried to copy the link you mentioned and I didn't see the plans you described.
However ~ don't stress!!
When we moved into our house, there was NADA on the north side. I now have butterfly bushes, ferns, hostas, dianthus, mandevilla, cypress vine, and more.
Everyone has different taste in their plantings. My advice is, if you like it, try it. Both success and failure are in store for you, I promise. I have a couple comments on your plant choices ~ not judgements, just opinions. First, keep in mind that the plants you see in beautiful pictures, do NOT stay that way all season (with a few exceptions). So the tuilps and daffs that bloom in spring will be ancient history by May. You will want to plan for other color after they are gone. Also, not sure on that "snow in summer" (common names can be confusing). It it's a pale green and white variegated ground cover variety, I would be careful ~ it goes ALL over.
So again, my advice is shop around, or better yet, see if you can get people to give a you start of this and a bit of that. The price is right and avid gardeners are more than willing to share.
Don't get all down-hearted about your "northern exposure". In the summer months (June through August) the north side will be in full sun most of the day. I am sure other gardeners will have plant selection advice for you, but after 25 years of gardening, I still make some whopper mistakes ~ live and learn.
And KEEP asking!!
Deirdre blog photos
Joined: 11/13/2007
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 379
Posted: Nov/15/2007 5:40 AM PST

I guess I can't link the thing: mplatedata/bhg/category/data/gardenplans.xml

"garden plan for partial shade" and "spring show garden plan"

Yeah i know to try to get a few things so that the blooms will be all summer long. It's just had to figure it out..grr
bensmom98 blog photos
Joined: 7/26/2006
Location: Lake Champlain Valley
Posts: 9121
Posted: Nov/15/2007 5:53 AM PST

You should look in the Shade Gardening threads for some nice ideas.
sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Posts: 19587
Posted: Nov/15/2007 8:30 AM PST

My backyard is a northern exposure. I prefer planting there because the plants get afternoon shade starting at about 2 PM so they're not baking and water-stressed. I have a mix of shade plants and sun-lovers and both do well.

I looked at that plan and you can't get the planting list without registering. But it looks like you want a nice deep bed under your window. Can you post a picture and we'll see what we can suggest?

Here's my advice based on what worked for me. I had a blank slate 3-4 years ago and knew nothing about gardening. I didn't prepare the soil, so you are one step ahead of me. I dug a hole and put the plant in, then moved them and moved them again as my beds got wider. Too much work!! We built a deck that summer and I spent the winter reading about gardening, plants, soil, etc. That spring I went shopping, w/o a plan. Made lots of mistakes but also got a lot of plants that have been perfect for their spot.

Since you are just beginning to learn about gardening, you could get that bed ready, put in some evergreen foundation shrubs under the window (you need a backdrop) and then put your bulbs in. Plant perennials around the bulbs but wait until spring when the selection is better and you've had time to learn about plants. You will change your mind many, many times!
Deirdre blog photos
Joined: 11/13/2007
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 379
Posted: Nov/15/2007 8:46 AM PST

I'm finding that out!

Picture of my front yard? Is that what you want? It's horrible looking!

That's what I was going to do: till the soil, mix it up, plant a few bulbs and for the rest wait until spring.

That site is free

I think I'm going to go with plan B. It has more annuals though. Petunia, hellotrope, sweet potato vine, coleus, hosta, persicaria, daylillies, garden phlox, hydrangea, verbena and ferns. I'm thinking about adding a few other shade plants I saw on that thread.

I guess I'm just going to try it and win some and lose some.
told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 10376
Posted: Nov/15/2007 12:50 PM PST

Here is the photo but you have to give personal info to get the "plan."


Deirdre blog photos
Joined: 11/13/2007
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 379
Posted: Nov/15/2007 1:39 PM PST

yeah that's the shade one. Not all of them have pictures (which is a shame).

We'll see what I decide to do, I keep going back and forth. I could try the other one and if it doesn't work, then oh well.
chattycarnation blog photos
Joined: 4/02/2003
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 7313
Posted: Nov/26/2007 5:36 AM PST

Hydrangea is a good plant for the north, there are some varieties that bloom all summer and they make a nice backdrop. And remember when planting next to the foundation of the house, to not plant woody type plants too close to it. Those little plants will grow and the rootsystems will need room.

Always make sure you know what the width of the plant will be and make sure to allow room for the adult plant.

I have on my north side: hydrangea, daylillies, hosta, several varieties of coral bells, all kinds of bulbs (summer and spring bloomers). I also allow room for some annuals. They look nice between the hosta and coral bells foliage.

At one point I had a ground cover (periwinkle/vinca) in there, but that turned out to be LOTS of work. It is harder to weed in between the ground cover, but easy for weed seeds to get started there..LOL

Whatever you do, always remember to prepare the soil, plan for the ''bones'' of the bed and the rest you will be able to move around if it doesn't work well. and Have Fun!
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