5 steps to plan a garden bed,
…JUST for your Flea Market vignettes!
How can you plan or redo a garden bed to best show off one-of-a-kind garden containers and Flea Market objects d’art to feature both foliage and funkiness? Here are the steps Christy Morrow took and as you’ll see, this can be done in small or large gardens.
Last year, Christy decided to plan a new garden bed specifically to show off some new Flea Market treasures she wanted to display. Here’s how she did it.
Christy says, “Dreaming of spring! I’ve already decided that I’m going to enlarge the flower bed next to my garden cottage, I went out to plan the new bed.
This new bed will extend the cottage area and allow me to make another vignette with colors that match the red and yellow cottage. I already have some of the Flea Market finds I’ll be using, but, of course, will need to buy more…Hurray!!!
Five steps to a new flower bed
- Lay it out
- Remove any grass or weeds
- Edge your bed
- Mulch thickly
#1 Laying out your new planting area
Christy says, “I’ve found that using a hose to mark the shape of the bed is the best and easiest way to go about this. I lay the hose down and then stand back and look at it. I continue to move it around until it’s exactly the shape I want.”
TIP: Karen Settles says, “Sometimes use hubby’s long, orange extension cords instead of my garden hoses.”
#2 Next step was to remove the grass in this area.
Christy says, “The new bed will now extend from the existing side bed and go around the little tree.”
#3 Edging your new garden bed
Edgings can be as simple as a nicely cut edge between lawn and the soil. You can use my favorite, rocks and stones or go formal with a brick edging. In a pinch, I’ve used tree branches and logs to edge a garden bed.
As the weather permitted, I put down weed fabric with mulch over it and surrounded the bed with rocks like my other beds. Instead of planting in the ground, I’m going to plant old pails and other treasures with annuals for color in this area.
TIP: When planning paths in your garden, that process alone an create the size and shape of a garden bed. See below
Debbie Fogal says, “This is at my daughter and son in laws new house. I used old bricks to line the gardens and sidewalk I put in for them. I didn’t want to over do with to many plants neither one are gardeners.”
#4 Mulch thickly to prevent weeds
Mulching beds and paths with solid barriers can do a lot to slow down weeds. When preparing a brand new bed, this is easy to do. Use newspaper, plastic or cardboard,…even carpet. Our most experienced gardeners weigh in:
Karen Settles uses the cardboard, newspapers and hardware cloth, too, and she says, “I have been known to use black plastic as well. Beats burning the cardboard and papers and it does decompose pretty fast but I don’t mind redoing areas when it gets to that point. I used to bring home big trash bags full of shredded paper when I was working but that is no longer an option now that I am retired. Sure was nice at the time!”
Jeanne Sammons wets her newspaper down first to keep it in place. She says, “I mulch with cardboard, too …. but most of all I save all our newspapers and put a 5 gallon bucket of water at the site ….stuff it full of folded newspaper and then start layering … on top of this I put mulch … yes, I still get weeds but not nearly as many and the newspaper just breaks down eventually into compost.”
Nell Stelzer shows us, “I put in my middle garden, which is all containers in May of 2013. I used large cardboard boxes, placed on top of the grass. I then put commercial grade weed block cloth on top of that, next the containers and final layer was mulch. I have only had a few areas where a twin tree stump is that I have to pull a few weeds from. This was quick, simple and cheap!
Linda Gladman says, “ In the spring I lay black garbage bags on the grass a layer of newspaper and a thin layer of compost and by fall I can plant perennials. It’s a process but I find the grass roots die off completely without regrowth.”
Myra Glandon “I have used newspaper, cardboard and this last summer I used carpet padding pieces left over from a renovation to line the paths of my garden before spreading old straw over it. It was the least weeding I have done in my garden in years!”
Hopefully my experience might help someone who is going to make a new bed. I love doing this so much and if I can bring some joy to others that would be wonderful!
Spacing out your plants well is a huge challenge sometimes. We want our garden beds to look lush and full from the start, but be patient. Read about each plant and learn tp what size it will grow. You don’t want to have to move plants later or be constantly trimming a plant that grows too big.
Christy shows us her planning process in a large garden…
Christy Morrow This is our largest garden in the back. We started it in February, 2009. It’s approximately 80 ft x 40 ft. Hubby tilled the entire thing with this small tiller. Then I raked out any old grass and then raked it smooth.
“Here it is, above, after we put down the stepping stones and planted some plants.”
Now the fun part. Decorate!
Accenting garden beds with Flea Market goodies in mind is the most satisfying and delightful! Leave space to show off your items, but do nestle them into the flowers so there’s a good balance of plant and flowers to junky rust, sparkly glass or quirky plant stands.
Donna Allgaier-Lamberti accented her bed with a vertical element,…a unique plant stand.
She says, “I had this bisque birdbath base without a top. The top had gotten broken and I was tired of replacing it. I came up with an idea to turn the base upside down, bury it in the soil and to add a clay saucer and a galvanized wash tin to hold my petunias. This is the funky junk planter I came up with.”
And for small gardens: