Mailbox Garden

8 Aug

I wish I could share a photo of what the mailbox situation looked like before we moved into the house.  I’ve scoured the internet, google maps and every old photo and found nothing.  In short, there were remnants of a garden that had looked really great… 8 years ago.  Everything was dead or dying, there was a massive bush overtaking the mailbox that was actually dead and it was overrun with weeds.  To the previous owners credit, the house had been vacant for a long time so there wasn’t anyone caring for the mailbox area.  It was bad.  As a matter of fact, the day we closed on the house, I drove down and lifted the dead bush out of the ground to start clearing the way for something a little more welcoming and not so edward-scissorhandsy.

Our first fall at the house, I really just wanted to put something quick in for some color and to clean in up a bit.  Down here, the soil is red clay and if you don’t take care of it, it ends up looking like a dried up, crusty desert, especially after a dry summer.  I conditioned the soil with a mix I picked up at a local nursery by integrating it into the clay and getting some air in there.  If you look closely, you can see the soil and clay mix.  Here is what I ended up with last fall:

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Just some snapdragons, nothing major.  On the other side of the driveway, I decided on some pansies for some extra color.

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It looks messy because it was.  I hadn’t decided on a border yet and I certainly didn’t have any time to actually put a border in so I left it as it was and let the flowers to their thing.  The pansies stayed around all fall/winter/early spring and the snapdragons actually came back this spring and they were big and beautiful.  After everything met it’s end, I decided to commit and actually put some plants and flowers in that would stick around.  I had some beautiful lillies in my backyard that I took from the cottages in Maine last year.  They weren’t getting enough sun so I decided to move them to the driveway where they could actually have a chance at making it.  I am so lucky these are resilient!  I bordered both sides of the driveway with Liriope (monkey grass) for a start and then picked up some rocks at a local landscaping place.  I transplanted the lillies and I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed that they bloom next summer.

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In the back I planted a couple giant delphiniums – they bloomed beautifully and made up for the sun-deprived lillies.  On the other side of the driveway, I had more space to plant so I added lambs ears, some tall purple flowers (?) and I plan to put in some bulbs when it cools down.  I’ve been going for something like this:

mail box garden

[http://dressmyshade.blogspot.com]

and ended up with something like this… close right?!

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Well, at least it’s MUCH better than before but I need some color and a lot more flowers ASAP.  I added mulch to both sides which has kept the insects at bay and the rocks really help keep the look together.  My neighbor said (in a very nice way) that she appreciated the work and her yard is SPARKLING so it meant a lot.  With any luck, we will have some blooms and blossoms within the year!  Any feedback is welcome… hardiness zone 7b!

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