Beds Around The Greenhouse:
Narrow Side 1:
I knew I wanted to play with height and color, so on the side facing the fence I lined the back with about 40 Gladiolus Bulbs and seeded Cosmos in front. I kept this design simple and it paid off!
I loved this easy combination of Zinnias and Bachelor Buttons on the narrow side of the greenhouse.
Narrow Side 2:
I wanted to get a big more creative with this side, and once everything started to bloom this was definitely my favorite garden on the property. I planted Sweet Peas in the back of the bed on either side of the door, lined the entire back of the bed with Zinnias and Celosia, and then seeded Bachelor Buttons in front. I lined the front of the walkway with two Urn Stone Containers that I seeded with mixed Zinnia. Everything in this bed was planted from seed and I used a stick to mark the outlines of different areas and literally threw the seed down. The planting took maybe 15 minutes.
I filled the windowbox on the greenhouse with Cosmos and Sweet Potato Vine. I wanted to get the planter done in the beginning of the season so these two plants I purchased from my local nursery. Next year I won’t even use this windowbox because once the Sunflowers grew in (which I loved) you couldn’t even see it!
This windowbox (with Cosmos and Sweet Potato Vine) was so pretty early on, but then got covered up once the Sunflowers filled in.
I filled this long bed with seedlings that I had started about 3-4 weeks before planting. You can easily (and cheaply) do this with an egg carton, seed starter mix, and a sunny window indoors. I lined the back of the bed with a variety of different Sunflowers and then planted Zinnias, Celosia, and Dahlias throughout the rest. Although the Sunflowers were fantastic in this bed, everything else was just so-so and next year I’ll direct seed all of these varieties. I also found that spacing everything out so much allowed for weeds to creep in and I had to weed this area way more than the beds I direct seeded.
This fiery circle meadow was filled with easy-to-grow Cosmos, Zinnias, and some annual Forget-Me-Nots.
Round Mini Meadow:
My friend who built our greenhouse had left his various tools and equipment next to the area with a tarp over them (which was necessary), but once the ground warmed up the grass didn’t grow in. No problem! I tilled the area into a round garden bed about 5’ in diameter and seeded a mix of different colored Zinnias, Cosmos, and Sunflowers. I didn’t get to seeding until a little later in the season but once everything started to bloom it was SO COLORFUL. I also saw hundreds of bees and butterflies on this mini meadow.
I played with a variety of Marigolds, Nasturtium, Tomatoes, and Basil in my larger containers throughout the landscape. I started all of these from seed which made filling a dozen or so containers very affordable.
Large Bucket Containers Throughout The Landscape:
Besides the plants for my one window box on the greenhouse, I decided I wasn’t going to buy any plant starts for the containers around my property. I planted Dahlias and Sunflowers in the larger containers and did a combination of Marigolds, Zinnia, Nasturtium, Basil, and Tomatoes in the rest. I wasn’t sure how the Sunflowers would do in containers but I actually loved them! They only grew to be about 1-2’ and the blooms were smaller, but they looked great and added charm to each design.
Along The Fence:
I tilled a 2’ wide area inside the fence by the greenhouse and direct seeded a variety of Sunflowers in the area. Although I overseeded (majorly) and the Sunflowers were all stunted, they looked colorful and filled in along the fence nicely.
Even though I overseeded these Sunflowers, they created a wall of color along the edge of our property line.
Along The Property Line:
In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a little (OK, a lot) obsessed with Sunflowers. I tilled a 3’ perimeter around most of the field where our vegetable garden, greenhouse, and other plantings were and direct seeded Sunflowers. Again, I overseeded, but the wall of Sunflowers separated our property from the road and they even looked like they were dancing when it was windy!
Temporary Gardens: Next Season
Even though it’s my third season at this home and with these gardens, I’m still planning on changing things up again and using annual wildflowers in my garden beds.
One of my favorite parts about my temporary gardens was the abundance of cut flowers!
I loved having an abundance of blooms for cut flowers -- so much so we even put up a little flower stand by the side of the road for a few weeks. So I am definitely going to be planting the varieties that I know cut well like Zinnias, Cosmos, and Sunflowers. I’ll bring my Dahlias and Gladiolus out from the closet and replant those in the garden beds.
I used a lot of pinks and purples this season so maybe next year I’ll experiment with bolder hues of orange and red. This is why temporary gardens are so fun -- if I don’t like what I did one season, there’s always next season to try something completely different!
Do you have an area in your garden that you re-design every year? If so, please share in the comments below.
You can see more of Amanda's journey as a novice farmer here: