Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Too mulch or not to mulch? That is the question...

I made this bed back in September. At first I didn't want to put down any type of mulch. I wanted to free seed. Well I have debated about it since then. Well I finally broke down and put some leaves out. I am pretty sure this is why Ramona's amaryllis and iris I gave her bloomed....her beds are mulched...and mine was not. Mulch is good for plants, as well as the soil. Now I must say this bed looks pretty crappy in the photo....but it really looks nice in person.
In the very back of the bed, all along the house I have butterfly ginger. This will get tall and hide the ugliness of the wall. In front of that I have Mexican Petunia. It will get fairly tall also....but not as tall as the ginger. So I will have a nice backdrop.
There is a pagoda plant (http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/cler_pan.cfm) in there also...and I am really excited about that. I can't wait to see it...I can't wait for ya'll to see it! I think that the bed looks 100% better now I have planted a climbing rose on this arbor...I can't wait to see this arbor totally covered with snow white blooms.
I have tons of seed to plant in this bed once they get a little bit bigger...daisies, lupine, hollyhock, foxglove, cosmos, columbine, vinca, zinnia, and salvia. The anticipation is killing me!
I have some shutters that I am going to screw together and paint to make a screen to go around the ugliness of the air conditioner. That will look much better.
And yes...the arbor is leaning...that's just what it does....leans. I have staked it down, tied it down...and it just prefers to lean...so I just let it go.


Darla said...

So you are saying I need to mulch my irises? I have some mulched some not, neither area has bloomed. Your garden looks great, as far as the leaning arbor goes, around here we say little quirks like that just add character!

Becca's Dirt said...

Some arbors are just going to lean. Looks nice anyway. I too can't wait to see it full of white flowers. The beds look good.

EB said...

I've noticed that US gardeners seem to use different materials for mulching from the ones we do here. I've never used leaves; at the front I put bark chippings down, usually in early spring; at the back, ideally, I put homemade compost down in the late autumn. The bark looks neater, costs more, and has little food in it. I don't want things to get huge at the front and they bloom well anyway. The compost is much richer but does tend to have weed seed in.

I think your bed will look lovely, and I so understand the anticipation!

Dirt Princess said...

Darla - Just from my personal observation....I have noticed that people that do mulch, their flowers bloom earlier. Ramona's amaryllis that I gave her bloomed several weeks ago. They were mulched. Mine where not mulched and show no signs of blooming. Same for the irises.

EB - I use leaves or pine straw for one very simple reason....its FREE!!! Thats the only reason. If I had the money to spend on cypress mulch I would buy it. Pine straw works the best, it does not wash away. But it isn't pine straw season here yet...that comes in the fall.

Prospero said...

The leaning arbor of Mobile. Could be a tourist attraction some day. Hope all the plants turn out for you.

Thistledew Farm said...

There is nothing wrong with leaning - I am glad you have let the arbor be itself! I say mulch - evens out the temperature, looks finished and reduces weeds - Mulch, Mulch, Mulch....thanks for waiting with me!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

It looks really nice already. I can't wait to see it all in bloom. I love the plant choices you have made. You'll have lots of color! I usually add a layer of compost in the spring as mulch. It does seem to help keep the plants from drying out so fast as well as lessening the weeding.

Dirt Princess said...

Prospero - Maybe oneday my garden will make it on to the Garden Clubs Garden Tour????

Thistedew - I agree...it does look finished. Now my neighbor will stop asking me if I am going to put anything in that bed!! LOL!

Catherine - I think it greatly eliminates weeds, and thats a GOOD thing!!!

Prissy Prosecutor Panda said...

I like the leaning arbor!!! SO cute!!

I think the painting the shutter idea is awesome!! I agree, it will make it look better.. even though, it still looks GREAT now!

Susie said...

Oh I am a big believer in mulch. It helps my beds keep out those pesky weeds.

My Mother's Garden said...

I love the arbor and think it looks great, leaning or not! I also think mulching is good eliminating the weeds and retaining moisture.
Can't wait to see the shutter project over the AC...a great idea.
Thanks for yoy nice words on my etsy shop!

Jesikarena said...

We dont have a choice. We have clay soil and it has all kinds of problems with water. So we mulch it and I think it really helps.

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