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Old 06-01-2008, 10:35 AM
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How long does it take to get a natural looking garden?


If I'm trying to fill a practically empty area, how long does it take to look "natural"? I like the look of gardens that you can't see the ground, that overflow onto pathways and make you feel immersed in your surroundings.

I have several kinds of plants already well-established in various areas and was thinking of taking cuttings to plant elsewhere in the yard and garden. However, while I hope to still be working on this for years and years to come, realistically, how long would it take tiny cuttings to mature and become these larger plants as described above? Assuming that the correct conditions are created....

The plants I'm mostly thinking of are hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, aucuba japonica, and a few others....

Thanks for any suggestions....
Jen
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:08 PM
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on going process


well mine is just getting thick and full after 3 yrs. Just keep planting plants in the space & fill every empty spot, u can thin out later on if u don't want a certain plant there. Put anything in there I call it a dukes mixture. It all works outhappy planting to u
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:15 PM
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Hydrangeas and butterfly bushes grow fast, if you choose camellia, you will have to be more patient ;-)
What I do, I plant my babies and fill in the rest with annuals. This way it just doesn't seem to be 'empty' for such a long time.

The two pictures of the flowerbed below are 4 weeks apart:



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Old 06-01-2008, 12:19 PM
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Three years? I was thinking more like 5-7....this is using cuttings, not buying plants....??

Although, of course, I will be buing plants. I'm just wondering , cause I'm going to be doing the cuttings regardless.

Is there a place to look at the age progression of plants? I'm a big-time newbie....

Thanks!
Jen
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gone_tropical View Post:
Hydrangeas and butterfly bushes grow fast, if you choose camellia, you will have to be more patient ;-)
What I do, I plant my babies and fill in the rest with annuals. This way it just doesn't seem to be 'empty' for such a long time.
Thank for this inspirational post!! probably my biggest problem is that I'm a bit of a cheepskate and hate to spend money on annuals. Suppose the answer is for me to come to some sort of compromise with myself

Thanks again,
Jen
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:44 PM
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I don't buy potted annuals either, rather seed packs and I am even cheap with those, for example the nasturdiums, I planted 2 seeds, since two plants was all I wanted. And no, the seeds don't go bad for a few years. Cosmos, blanket flowers, mex. hats and zinnias, buy once and collect seeds. For texture I use dill and fennel inbetween :-)
Ok, this year I broke down and bought three petunias, but those will last all year.
Second way to be saving money, I split the seed packs with a friend, she shares hers with me.

Be patient ;-)
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:14 PM
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Okay, next obvious newbie question....what sort of seeds can I start now for fall planting?

BTW, where in central Florida are you? My mom is down there in Lakeland. Years ago before I moved up here to Georgia, we went to the plant sale at the university in Tampa--University of South Florida, I think? They had sooooo many amazing plants for such reasonable prices. One plant I remember fondly was something called a Cabanna Rose...I have no idea how it turned out.

Thank you for your generosity in responding to my newbie questions. I really am patient, I know it will take a long time to have the look I want and I enjoy working out there anyway, so don't mind. I just have so many questions that seem so obvious to everyone else! My mother and grandmother weren't really gardeners (my mother hired a company to figure out where to place the plants she bought from that sale I mentioned so I'm the oddball in the family!
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:56 PM
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florida


I am from Lithia Springs ,Lithia springs Fl. near Brandon fl. which is near tampa fl. I lived there 38 yrs. then lakeland fl. 3 yrs. then retired & moved up here 2 Blairsville Ga. 3 yrs ago. So we are all neighbors so to speak. what a coincident.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:22 PM
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Crazy! I grew up in Lakeland, highschool in Winter Haven, worked in Brandon and moved up here about 5 years ago. That's wild!!

Nice to meet ya!

Jen
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:25 AM
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same here


Back at cha. I went to Lakeland High school, I'm originally from Ga. we moved to fl. when I was around 12 so I've made full circle back to Ga., amazing, it is a small world after all.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:07 AM
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I'm in Orlando Lakeland isn't too far away. When you all come visit, we have to do a plant swap
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:43 AM
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Visited Florida twice-um
Just wanted to comment on how beautiful Gone's flowerbed is. You really did a very nice job. Also, I envy your grass.
Woops-I wanted to mention that perennial flowers usually take 3 years to start looking full-depending on the type. If they reseed themselves, sometimes earlier. The bushes you mention may take longer depending on the size of the cutting. In three years a pussywillow twig will look like a really cute small bush. A rose of sharon will grow quite big in three years-depending on the size of the cutting. Maturity in bushes takes a little longer. I had a pussywillow that was 15 feet tall that I would take cuttings from when I was a child. By three years a 7 inch twig was a foot and a half round bush like you would buy from a nursery (only fuller). If you are impatient, buying a plant is the way to go cause it really does take a bit of time for these babies to grow up. Annual flowers do certainly help fill the gaps between the years. The factor of climate and soil also plays on how quickly things grow. The blue spruce we planted when we bought our house when I was three was about 25 foot tall when we moved when I was 13. That was in Michigan. Here in Oklahoma, I bought a 3 foot blue spruce that has grown less than a foot in the four years we've been here. It takes maples three years to get from seed to about 15 feet here in OK but it took a bit longer in Michigan.

Last edited by ok_nurse; 06-02-2008 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:51 AM
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thanks ok_nurse, but the grass, well, I wish I could get rid of it alltogether. It is useless and needs a lot of water. DH wants 'some' grass and the subdivision insists on Augustine grass. This grass grows like weed, turn your back to it for a moment and you have it in your livingroom. :-/
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:12 AM
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Does it have the runners like the bermuda? It looks so much fuller and softer than this junk we have. The runners crawl over everything and run roots down every 1 1/2 inches. It is the cause of many back aches here.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:38 PM
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ok_nurse, I guess so, it has the runners but it is braod bladed and stiff. Not soft at all. Any grass is bad grass..... Grass is a flowerbed in waiting ;-)
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