by Amber

If you asked most people that know me what my favorite flower is they would say, hydrangea!! I love them!! We used them in our wedding, we had them at our old house, and my mom cuts me some from her garden every time we visit.  Now, do you think I had them in my yard?Nope!  We have lived here for two years and I didn’t have my favorite flowers, that is until all of a sudden I had 5, yes 5, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!!  Check out how pretty they are!!

I thought that I would share all about how we recently installed a flower bed that was very quick and easy!  This is the area of the yard before we got started, very unusable area.  It was one of those spaces that just wasn’t pretty to look at, and of course it greeted everyone that came down the stairs, see!

Notice the unhappy dog that happens to be allergic to grass laying in the grass, sigh!


Before getting started on any project that involves plants I do the following, and would recommend for you as well:

  1. Observe the area that you plan to put the plants to get a feel for sunlight, soil, and amount of moisture.
  2. Pick a few plants that you like and then look to see if they would do well in that area.
  3. Consider size, you want to be sure that the plant isn’t going to outgrow the space or take over.
  4. Decide on plants and calculate how many you need, you most likely need less than you think.
  5. Think about the time of year.  For example, the best time to plant trees is in the fall.

Keeping these steps in mind, the area we picked gets very little sun, stays wet much longer than any other area in the yard when it rains, and has a lot of space to grow.  With that in mind I knew I wanted some hydrangeas and hostas.  My husband surprised me when I came home one day with Nikko Blue Hydrangeas, I couldn’t have been more excited!!

To get started I picked up some hostas and started to lay out the idea for the bed and used our water hose as the outline like so.Once I got started I quickly realized that I wanted a third hydrangea to help balance it all out and that the bed was going to be bigger than I originally planned.  Once this layout was decided I spray painted the line on the grass and we got out the tiller.Naturally someone was not happy this was happening and was standing in protest, but you can see the pink line representing the edge of our new bed.  This is where my super sweet husband helped out and started tilling.  In our case we really only needed to get rid of the grass.  We tilled up a thin first layer and then shoveled it over the fence.  Once the layer of grass was gone we added about 6 bags of fill dirt to the top and tilled it into the soil, this was to add back some of that dirt and hopefully help add a little bit of nutrients.  Once that process was done it looked like this.Can you tell we live in the South and have a lot of clay? I hate it! I have red footprints all over my house when it rains really really hard. So much for the dream of light colored rugs!  After the dirt was all tilled and ready to go I laid out my plants again to confirm the layout that I wanted.  We made a few additional passes with the tiller and made sure that the outline of the bed was good to go.  Next up, get the plants in the ground.When planting new stuff I like to always mix in a little garden soil with my dirt, not sure that I should but it almost always works out.  I dig the hole a lot bigger than the pot, really work to break up that hard clay, and add about a pot full of garden soil to the dirt.  I mix it really well and plant like normal.  The photo above was after all the planting was done. You can see where I mixed in some of that dirt. You may notice that I changed the layout a little bit once starting.  The photo below was how unhappy Cooper was about what I had done. Is he not just pitiful looking?Next I added the landscaping fabric. I do this so that I don’t have to pull weeds as much.  I love to be outside and garden but I don’t like anything about pulling weeds; especially crab grass, it goes on forever!!  We picked up the fabric and landscape pins and got started, these are the kind that I used although they are all about the same.I roll out some of the fabric, cut a hole around the plant, and make sure to put a pin in the fabric every foot or around the plants.  These are a few photos to better explain this process. Lastly, we watered them really well and added pine straw over the entire bed.  This is a quick comparison of how much this easy update changed our space.  


These are a few photos of the finished product!!  Having this new flower bed just makes me that much happier when going down to the patio.  It also helps that it is full of my favorite plants, score!!

So it just wouldn’t seem right not to show you this really funny picture of my dog, whom I love dearly, but may have the worst teeth ever.  Gotta love him and that red beard!

Yay for weekend updates! We have been working so hard in our yard this year and I couldn’t be happier with all the progress, hoping to share a few more after photos with y’all soon!!

However, I have a question for y’all, do any of you have hydrangeas that don’t bloom?  Mine haven’t bloomed this year and though I read this is normal, I am still confused! Let me know what you think and new gardening tips are always welcome here, happy planting!

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