Lemon Coral Sedum and Red Begonias - Front Beds - Spring 2021
Every year, we've planted annuals in our front bed to add a little pop of color to the front of our house - with mixed results. Last year, we used 24 Devine Lavendar Impatiens in the bed. The most plants we've put in this area. The full progression looks like this:
- Our first full year - in 2018 - we planted some Ranunculuses - about eight of them.
- In 2019, we planted 16 orange marigolds. +8 plants yoy.
- In 2020, we planted 24 Impatiens. +8 plants yoy.
The second goal (beyond the color) is to help improve the soil in this area as when I got started it was solid clay - from the foundation backfill. I amended the soil with Gypsum and have added some biochar/humic acid to the area, too. And, of course I've added mulch to these beds over the years. First, with hardwood fines, then in 2019 and 2020, I laid down cocoa bean hull mulch. The thinking here is that nothing aerates and breaks up clay soil better than roots growing. Every year that I plant here will make the soil a little bit better. There's one other complicating factor in this bed though - that's the fine roots for the Norway Maple that have grown in this area and compete with any plantings.
This year, I decided to try something new: planting two different varieties of plants - utilizing a combination that I saw at the Morton Arboretum last year. Here's a post showing off the entrance to the Arboretum where they used a combination of a carpet of Lemon Coral Sedum and a more upright, waxy-looking red/pink flower. Here, below, is the photo I took of their setup. Look at that carpet of sedum.
I found some good-sized containers of Lemon Coral Sedum at Home Depot for $4.98 a piece - and knowing I wanted to replicate that 'carpet' look, I bought twenty of them. And, I backed them with 24 begonias. 44 total plants. That's a +20 plants year-over-year. Here's the container for the Sedum below:
Here's how they look planted:
I amended this soil with a new product (new to me) called Chick N Poo - a chicken scratch fertilizer that I found at Menards. It is a 2-4-3 product that is pelletized. When I dug out the wholes for all the sedum and begonias, I mixed in a little handful of the fertilizer in the whole to try to give these annuals a good start.
I'm posting this in mid-June, but I planted these in mid/late May and have been watering them in with the front lawn. I'll revisit these to see if I'm getting that 'carpet' vibe from the Sedum. I didn't capture the tags of the begonia cultivar that I planted, but I'm thinking that I should have bought ones with a little bit more height than the ones I selected initially.
Also, for now, I'm adding some hardwood fines to this area to mulch these in, but when I get the cocoa bean mulch from Wisconsin later this Summer, I'll top this area off with a few bags of that Paris-inspired mulch.
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