Small Sun-Loving Garden Help Needed

Asked March 14, 2019, 10:10 AM EDT

Good morning! I have two small gardens areas the get a lot of Summer sun and heat as they sit on the South side of our house. I have one other small garden that gets some sun in the early afternoon and then shade later in the day. This garden currently has alternating knock-out roses and Black-eyed Susans that flourish pretty well. My main problem is with the two garden that sit on the South side. They are triangle-shaped gardens and I am not sure how to plant them so the bigger plants do not dwarf the smaller ones (spacing, etc.) and more importantly the plants that are put in there do not die in the intense Sun they are exposed to June - early September. If you would take a look at the pictures and give me some idea or help regarding a bee, bird, and butterfly-friendly garden that looks pretty all Summer long, that would be wonderful. I just do not want to spend another Spring working hard and spending hard-earned money for it to all die in the year come July 1st. Lastly, we have a problem with the mulch running off into the sidewalks every time it rains. Do you have any suggestions for ground cover that would replace the mulch? Thank you for your assistance! Garden Dimensions: 1.) side walkway area is: 23 feet long, 44 inches deep by the gate narrowing down to 36 inches by the trash cans. 2.) triangle closer to the pool is roughly 112” by the shed by112” along the pool by 140" diagonally along the sidewalk 3.) triangle against the house 180“ under the window x 110“ along the side of the house with the basement stairs by 190 inches diagonally along the sidewalk

Howard County Maryland plant selection normal growth flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials

1 Response

You can plant annuals, perennials, shrubs and groundcovers in these areas. Hot and sunny is not a problem, as long as you choose plants that like those conditions (It says so on the plant's tags). What category were you interested in, or any/all of them?

Many plants love those conditions. If your plants are dying by early July, we suspect that there are cultural problems. So that you do not lose plants again, can you describe how you planted them last year, what you planted, and how you cared for them? Perhaps we can pinpoint the problem.

Annuals tend to bloom all summer, but then die. Perennials will bloom for many years, but usually take 2 years to really get their roots established and produce good blooms--for part of the growing season. Shrubs would also work in your beds.

Mulch will always wash onto sidewalks if the bed is higher than the paving. You can place pavers upright (on end or on their side) along the edge of the sidewalk, like a low fence, to keep mulch in place. Mulch should never be more than 2-3" deep. Over the years, decomposing mulch will raise the level of the bed soil.

Here is information on growing ornamentals: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/ornamental-plants
Look at the pages for Perennials and Annuals for how to grow them.

Let us know more about your planting last year. Then we can give you more specific plant selections.

ECN