Mailbox garden plans

abumurad By abumurad, 27th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/s5u1aj85/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Houseplants

Cheer up your postal carrier by planting a colorful and long-blooming flower bed around your mailbox.

Wooden mailbox

The plants suggested here (for Zones 6 to 8) were selected to give a long season of color, with very little maintenance other than routine weeding and deadheading of spent flowers.

The bed should get at least five hours of sun daily and have average soil, dug deeply and amended with plenty of compost. The wooden mailbox is mounted on a three-foot-tall post; wrap the post loosely with black plastic mesh for the clematis vines to cling to. Remember not to block access to the box itself, and avoid plants that attract bees or other stinging insects. To get a jump on spring, underplant the area with early-flowering blue squills (Scilla sibirica) and glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) and small yellow narcissus such as 'Peeping Tom' and 'Suzy'.

Click on the illustration to explore the garden, then go to the key for a printable map.
1. Thread-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata'Zagreb') 2 plants planted singly; 12" tall; bright yellow daisy flowers from early summer to fall; finely divided foliage. Drought tolerant.

2. Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Black Eyed Stella') 3 plants planted 12" to 15" apart; 18" to 24" tall; funnel-shaped yellow flowers with a red throat; very long-blooming. Grassy foliage.

3. Sweet autumn clematis (C. terniflora) 1 plant planted close to the base of the post; billowy masses of 1" white blooms in late summer, silvery seedheads follow; prune to 1' in early spring.

4. Clematis 'Multi Blue' 1 plant planted close to the base of the post; vine with frilly 3" to 4" double purplish-blue flowers in early summer, often repeating later; prune straggly branches to shape in early spring if necessary.

5. Pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue') 3 plants planted 9" to 12" apart; 12" tall; 2" soft lilac-blue pincushionlike flowers all season long. Deadhead routinely.

6. Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) 1 plant; 24" tall; upright clump of stiff blue-gray foliage topped with buff flower spikes all summer.

7. Salvia x sylvestris 'Blue Hill' 3 plants planted 1' apart; 18" tall; upright spikes of clear blue flowers from midsummer on, over sage-green foliage. Deadhead to the base of each spike.

8. Coreopsis 'Flying Saucers' 3 plants planted 9" to 12" apart; 18" to 24" tall; abundant 2" to 3" golden yellow daisies bloom early summer through fall. Deadhead regularly.

9. Veronica 'Goodness Grows' 3 plants planted 9" to 12" apart; 12" tall; robust spikes of deep bluish-purple flowers over mats of foliage. Deadhead to the base of each spike.

Chionodoxa luciliae (Glory-of-the-Snow)

Plant Type: Bulb
Uses: Wildflower/Meadow, Rock Garden, Shade, Naturalizer
Propagation: Division, Seeds
Habit: Upright, Low
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Flower Color: Blue
Blooms: Spring
Width: .9 ft.; Height: .5 ft.
Fertility: Rich, Moderately Rich
Soil: Neutral, Moist, Well-drained
Zone: 3 - 8

A hardy bulb with rich, blue flowers and a self-sowing habit. Naturalizes freely and will grow into a carpet of blue flowers which appear in early spring. Good for mass plantings or meadow gardens as long as foliage is unmowed until it dies back. Chionodoxa lucilae will self-sow. In cool summer areas, plant in full sun or partial shade, elsewhere in partial shade. Different varieties have various blooms colors and sizes, but this is the most commonly available. 'Gigantea' produces the largest flowers.

Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue Oat Grass)

Plant Type: Grasses
Uses: Ornamental, Dried Arrangements, Border
Propagation: Seeds, Division
Habit: Spreading
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Flower Color: Yellow
Blooms: Summer
Width: 1 - 1.5 ft.; Height: 2 ft.
Fertility: Average
Soil: Neutral, Well-drained
Zone: 4 - 8

Wiry, blue-green leaves and long-lasting blooms are two appealing traits of this perennial grass. This is one grass that should never be cut! The blue-green leaves are semi-evergreen in cold climates, evergreen in mild, and provide year-round interest, with tall flowers that sway 1 to 2 feet above the leaves in the summer breeze and remain into the winter. Effective in massed plantings. Interesting companion plantings are Russian Sage (P. atriplicifolia) and Sedum 'Ruby Glow' or 'Autumn Joy'.

Veronica incana (Woolly Speedwell)

Plant Type: Perennial
Uses: Foliage, Border, Ornamental, Cutting Bed
Propagation: Division, Seeds, Root cuttings
Habit: Low, Clump
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Flower Color: Blue
Blooms: Summer
Width: 1 - 1.5 ft.; Height: 1 - 2 ft.
Fertility: Moderately Rich, Average
Soil: Neutral, Well-drained
Zone: 3 - 9
Attracts: Bees

Veronica is a dependable and reliable garden plant with many cultivars to choose from for best form, variety of bloom color and foliage color. Woolly Speedwell is grown for its silvery-white foliage and distinctive blue blooms. 'Goodness Grows' is the cultivar pictured. When growing veronicas remember to water only in the morning. This will aid in the prevention of fungal diseases.

Tags

Blue Oat Grass, Blue Squills, Flower Bed, Mailbox Garden, Peeping Tom, Pincushion Flower, Sweet Autumn Clematis

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author avatar abumurad
I am freelance writer specializing in financial topics and political commentary, gardening and ecology, psychology, and paranormal and New Age topics. My non-writing professional experience includes s

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Austin
9th May 2015 (#)

This is a great idea to plant flowers around the mail box. I know our mail carrier deserves a smile on her face out here in the country.

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