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Raised bed flower suggestions?

Posted by mad_gardener 7B, GA (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 2, 09 at 0:32

Hi there,

I have two raised beds near to my screened-in porch that I filled with tulips, daffodils, muscari, and pansies. The bulbs are dying back, and the pansies have gotten leggy & are clearly past their prime. I want to pull up the dying pansies and replant the beds so that they look fresh & attractive. I'm also hoping to attract the local hummingbirds close to the porch so that I can enjoy watching them (and so that my cats, who are indoors only, can maintain a few fantasies of their own). So, here are my questions:

1. Once I pull up the dying pansies, should I also lift the bulbs since I live in zone 7B, or would it be better to leave them where they are? If I leave them, is it safe to cut back the dying foliage yet? I know that the longer they can absorb the nutrients from the sun the better the flower production will be next year, but the foliage is looking pretty sad... Also, refrigeration may be an issue, since I don't currently have a spare fridge & also routinely store vegetables & fruit in my refrigerator. Space is also an issue in the fridge.

2. I intend to keep planting bulbs in my raised beds. Each of the raised beds is 1' deep x 4' wide x 4' long. Since I will be planting my bulbs in the beds (or keeping them there, depending on your recommendations), should I try planting perennials on top or should I stick with annuals?

3. What perennials/annuals would you recommend for the hummingbird enthusiast? I already have a number of petunias planted in hanging baskets along my porch, along with some portulaca & convolvus. I already have pineapple sage, bee balm, and dianthus growing my yard. I am currently sprouting more portulaca, cardinal flower/cypress vine, and butterfly weed.

Thanks for the advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Raised bed flower suggestions?

Not a bulb [ ;-) ] - Abutilon in a basket could be a nectar-lover's joy, if our local nectar-sippers are any indication. They flower nearly as long as petunia and you can keep them going over the seasons by taking cuttings. Interesting colour range - and could 'echo' summer gladiolus, if you planned on planting any.

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