A Weeklong Series About Landscaping, Gardening, and Money

HostaAh, flowerbeds. I get why people have them. They allow you to plant pops of color or small vegetable plots without commiting to a huge garden. They have the added benefit of making it so you don’t have to mow as much of the lawn. They are the great pair of earrings to your house’s outfit, the spring of your house’s step. They create clean lines and borders. But why do we have ten huge beds on our property, anyway? That’s a lot of pressure.

The good news is there are a lot of hostas in a few of the beds. At first I thought they were boring but now I have come to love them. Here’s why:

1) They’re perennial.
2) They’re green and bushy so they take up a lot of room.
3) They do alright in some shade.
4) They flower in the late summer/early fall when not much else does.

So if you have a lot of beds, embrace the ease of the slightly boring hostas or hosta-like plants.

Because they don’t have much color other times of the year, I planted some violets in between a few of the hostas. I picked perennials (I’m too lazy to replant) and Sean told me violets would reproduce like crazy. And sure enough they are coming back this year! So the hearty little violets will go inbetween the hostas, adding color the time of the year that the hostas are boring. Other little minxes of the plant world: cosmos. They are borderline invasive. We planted one seed pack in two barrels last year and they are already coming back for more. 

Cosmos I planted a herb garden last year (ok, garden may be a generous word, maybe a plot?). The only thing that came back: chives. And the plant is already huge. So if you are looking for a spiky green plant you can cook with, I suggest a chive or two.

If you feel like breaking out and trying something new I haven’t mentioned, keep a look out for plant sales and swaps this time of year. Sometimes colleges or nonprofits have sales in spring. (And they are usually cheaper than the greenhouse and the money goes to a cause.) On the swap side, ask friends, family, and coworkers. They may have extra plants that they just can’t use. (One of my coworkers brought in some yesterday.) You may even see some on the side of the road. 

So hostas, violets, cosmos, and chives I recommend as far as varieties of plants to fill your beds. If I haven’t killed them and they can grow on our acidic soil underneath partial shade, they’re keepers as far as I’m concerned. Make sure to get perennial: they are the plants for us lazy people. But remember, just because you’re lazy, doesn’t mean you aren’t good in beds.

Images of a hosta and a cosmo from www.wikipedia.com (sorry folks, left my camera at work) 

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