Ideas for a bed renovation
I own 1/9 of a summer cottage in southern Wisconsin. I'm around off and on in the spring, during the month of June and during the fall. Other cousins are in residence in July and August. We have a bed that is sandwiched between blacktop (parking area and street) and in full blazing sun. The bed was last planted about 20 years ago. I weed, water and tend in the spring and fall. It is completely ignored during the hot summer months. Some years it is a show-stopper of hollyhocks.
So, what has thrived:
Nepeta -- which is crawling over and filling in around big rocks
A plant that looks like Purple Loosetrife, blooms in August, has never invaded anywhere ... It's a tidy useful thing, whatever it is.
What lasted for years but is now declining or gone:
Platycodon -- tall blue variety (I miss this most of all)
What has invaded:
Creeping bellflower, possible planted originally
Queen Anne's Lace
Some cool weather grasses that don't get very tall
Endless trees that I cut back a few times a year and now have taken stump-killer to because I'm so sick of them
Various annual weeds
I'd like to start replacing some of the nice flowers that we've lost. With things that can survive neglect once established (I will browbeat the cousins into watering the first summer, but doubt I can keep them focused for long).
So, what recommendations of cultivars might you have for Platycondon, Salvia and Phlox AND what other things might to recommend? It would be great to plant some stuff this fall, if possible.
Also, what is the best strategy for renovating hollyhocks? They have gotten out of biennial sync and aren't putting on quite the show they used to.
Here's a pix of its ragged self ... I don't know how to make it show here. [IMG]http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/Woost2/hollyhocks.jpg[/IMG]