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Some questions from a novice

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by TwoGreenThumbsUp on March 28, 2004 02:28 AM
Hello! I wonder if anyone can help me? From what I can tell, my zone is either 7b or 8a. I am a brand new gardner with no experience. Can someone tell me how I can find out some low-maintenance flowers that will thrive in my zone?

Also, any general gardening tips? We live in base housing and we have a little area in our front yard we're supposed to landscape and plant flowers and such. We want to plant some pretty flowers, and re-mulch the whole thing. The mulch there now is old and ugly, and overrun with weeds. Any advice on getting rid of the weeds? Do we just go over the area with a rake or hoe? There is plastic underneath the old mulch. Do we need to replace that?

Is Wal-Mart a good place to get gardening supplies and plants? We want to line the area with rocks. Is that expensive to do?

Sorry about all these questions, but I'm not sure who to ask! Thank you so much and God bless. [flower]

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"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
--Mother Theresa
by Judith on March 28, 2004 08:00 AM
Welcome to the truly wonderful world of gardening!!! [flower] [wayey]

You'll find lots of friends and help here. It may take a while, but some more expert than I will be able to help you.

While you're waiting, it would help if we could get a bit more information.

Do you have any idea how long you will be posted there?

Have you made friends yet with your neighbors? What do they have in their yards? Are their yards exactly like yours--amount of sun, slope, space?

Do you have any trees or shrubs, any grassy areas, or just starting with absolutely nothing?

Take a walk around your housing area and look at other's yards, see what you like and don't like.

How much do you have available to spend? Do you want blooming plants, greenery?

Some Walmarts have a nice selection of plants common to your area. I depends on the plant manager in each store, and the size of the town.

I was at a temporary location for one year, and Walmart was the only downtown the small town had. I did quite a lot with container gardening and plants from Walmart. The neat part was, I could move them with me when I left. But that may not be either desirable or workable for you.

I use a lot of pine straw for mulch, which is probably fairly abundantly available in your area. You buy it by the bale, usually can get it for about $2-3 dollars a bale some places.

I like the idea of using rocks too. Are there rocks naturally abundant where you are, or close by? If so, sometimes you can get them free, just for hauling them away from cleared sites. If not, they can be pretty expensive. Is there a rock quarry in your area?

Try talking with your neighbors. They probably have acquired information about the area that they would share. [gabby]

I don't know if this has been helpful, but it's my 2 cents worth for now.

Post again and let us know more details about amount of sun/shade you have, soil conditions, rainfall or other water sources available. What you choose will depend a lot on this info.

The web offers info about plants that thrive in your area. Try universities, or the state agriculture for possible info sites.

Wishing you well in you military career, whether as service member or spouse. We love and appreciate you all, [Love] and want your lives to be as happy and rewarding as possible. [Wink] Bless you for your sacrifices each day for all of us! [thumb]

Wife of Retired Military Service Member [muggs] [Love]
by barbi on March 28, 2004 03:44 PM
Hi TwoGreenThumbsUp ! I would suggest a walk around your neighborhood and see what others have and a trip to WalMart or Lowes, HomeDepot nurseries might be in order.. most carry plants for our zone (I'm a fellow NC'er) ..

You might, also, want to give your local county home extension Master Gardener Hot Line a call. You should be alble to find them here:

and Welcome and Happy Gardening!

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"To cultivate a garden and grow flowers from the sod is to go hand and hand with nature and walk very close to God.
Helen Steiner-Rice
by BFVISION on April 02, 2004 01:15 AM
Ditto the sentiments of the last two replies. [Wink] You say you are a novice but that is a great screen name. I agree with the walking around part, I would not dig up and expose more potential weed seeds to light [shocked] , I would look for a similar mulch to what already exists and pile it on. Being from NJ, I am jealous of your weather, its still freezing here. The local nurseries will be a great help to your questions,never get advice from Wal-Mart [tongue] [shocked] .

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by TwoGreenThumbsUp on April 08, 2004 03:40 PM
Thank you so much for your replies! It's so nice to know that I can get the help I need here. I don't know my soil's pH or anything, but I think I will go buy a kit to test it. Last night, my husband and I bought some dianthus and planted them around a tree in our yard. We had sprayed the weeds with Round Up and then picked them all out. Then we put new pine bark mulch on top of the old mulch. It looks so much better now! We pruned the bushes, too. We still have a lot of work to do, but it looks presentable now. We're probably going to plant some begonias, and my neighbor has an elephant ear bulb she said we could have.

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my husband's military service. I am very proud of him, too. He doesn't always get the greatest treatment, though. But usually, people are very respectful and grateful for his service. He loves to hear people say these things because it helps him to keep going!

Thank you so much again, and God bless. [flower]

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"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
--Mother Theresa

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