Thursday, February 19, 2009

I need help!

I need help! This is an area of our little backyard that I did not worry much about last year. Our back is long and narrow. The flagstone patio is in the middle. To the right, there is sun. I have no worries in that area. However, in these pictures is the left side--my problem child!

I have hostas that will hopefully reappear around the inside of the bricks. I love rocks and have a large rock with a juniper planted right in front of it. There are a few little bluebonnets that I think the wind planted. Container plants are along the fence, but of course not all are growing right now.
I want to keep the chiminea here--it's a good place for it. The soil is in terrible shape, the drainage is bad, there is not much sun at all...sounds like a real problem doesn't it! So, I am begging for help. I need something besides hostas, something that likes shade, something with color...HELP!! Anyone have some great ideas for me?

14 comments:

Susie said...

Are you looking for perennials, annuals or a mix?

Meadowview Thymes said...

I would go with either, but I think a mix Susie.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Redenta's in Dallas has an excellent selection of shade perennials. The soil can be fixed with compost and mulch mixed in.

Meadowview Thymes said...

I love that garden center Debbi! I know I need to amend the soil--guess I just don't know how to go about it. We have tried so many times to break up the clay without results! Thanks for the suggestion! I need to visit Redenta's and make a list of their shade plants.

tina said...

Hi Linda, Let me make a little attempt. With heavy clay it is reputed greensand will help improve the texture. A 10 pound bag for a bout $8 would help as well as compost to fix the structure of your soil.

I know you said you wanted perennials and annuals and a mix. How about a shrub or two? Maybe hearts a bustin would work with some perennials around it? Or even a holly like dwarf burford or pittosporum or hawthorn? Then fill in with perennials. Toadlilies, hellebores, heucheras? Maybe just divide the area and fill in with plants you love. Impatiens are also always good, as are begonias and the coleus. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing what you do.

perennialgardener said...

You can break up that clay with some bags of peat moss. I had to do that with my beds when I created them. How about some ferns and Heuceras for color & texture?

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Tina and Racquel--thanks for all the sugguestions! I knew you both you give me great ideas! We have put peat moss out several times, but I wonder about the sand..think I will give it a try. I would like a shrub--not hawthorne, too many in front, but I love pittosporum so I might try that. You both suggest heucheras--not sure what that is (or I can't rmemeber!), but I am going to look it up. I love the fern idea Racquel--don't know why I have not thought of that. And you both know how I love coleus, so there will be coleus in the bed somewhere. Thank you ladies so much for all your help. I am starting my list today!!
Have a great weekend!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

Linda, I'd suggest you get a copy of THE LONE STAR GARDENER'S BOOK OF LISTS (William D. Adams & Lois Trigg Chaplin). I've found that and THE SOUTHERN GARDENER'S BOOK OF LISTS very helpful. I agree that adding compost to the existing soil would be a good idea. As for my ideas re plants, I thought of Pentas for color and Pigeonberry as a ground cover.

Susie said...

Looks like you got some good ideas from your comments. Also caladiums are nice. Another shade plant I like is spiderwort. Astilbe comes to mind too! And of course for some seasonal color you can never go wrong with impatiens.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Cindy, thanks for the book suggestion! I will look for it as soon as I can. I'll also look up pigeonberry--not sure if I know what it is. Thanks so much!!

Thanks Susie! I thought of astilbe, and I do love caldiums and impatients. I didn't think of spiderwort--guess I did not know it was for shade, but that is another good option!
Thanks so much for your help!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

The purple oxalis would look great there. I have several "bad soil" areas. I take the lazy way out, rather than ammend all the soil, I set big pots of things on top of the ground; my fav pots are petunias, but they need a good amount of sun. Then, sometimes, I just scatter a mix of flowers and let God decide what should grow there! If all else fails, fill in with rocks and garden art!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Nola, those are great ideas! I am with you on container gardening. I use lots of them in my garden. You must have the same kind of soil we do...terrible terrible clay! We also have tree roots that are going to make it harder to amend too. I never thought of oxalis-that might work really well.
Thanks so much!

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

For some reason I never seem to have problems with bad soil here. Everything I've dug up has been rich. I take potting soil and dump in occasionally. Never have tried all the amendments. Containers mixed with other plantings might be nice.
Brenda

Meadowview Thymes said...

You are one of the lucky ones Brenda. My Mother lives in Dallas and has wonderful soil too. I think we are sitting on top of old cotton fields which I'm sure grew wonderful cotton, but now we are left with hard clay. I will definelty use some containers in this area, but I am going to try some plants in the ground too. I would love an area full of plants.
Hurry Spring!!