Basic Gardening Advice

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Topic: Basic Gardening Advice

Home and Garden March 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Basic Gardening Advice


This spring will be the first time I have the opportunity to garden and being the novice that I am, I’m reaching out to PoPville for advice.  I’m not looking for anything crazy, just some pretty, low maintance flowers/plants to put in our front yard (which is all mulch with a couple of bushes now).  Any suggestions for low maintains flowers that do well with the DC weather?  And when is the best time to plant them?  

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what direction does your front yard face? (N,S,E or W) and how much sun does it get? Sun all day, mostly in the morning or afternoon? 
Without knowing these things, I can tell you that one no fail option, as long as  you get a reasonable amount of sun, is knock-out roses. they come in several color options, and are really no fail. you’ll have flowers from spring to frost, and you don’t need any special pruning skills – just trim them back if they get too big or sprawling. Another great one for this area is nandina, also called heavenly bamboo. the foliage is beautifully colored, and they get pretty berries in the winter. both of these are more shrubby than pretty flowery – need more info on the site for flower recs.

One of my favorite plants is yarrow, and it should work well since you get so much sun. As long as the site isn’t wet – yarrow likes it on the dry side. It comes in a wide range of colors, and has a very companionable vibe. It will die back to the ground in the winter, but even under 3 feet of snow you can find a few green yarrow fronds hanging out waiting for spring. I planted Veronica “Sunny Border Blue” two years ago, and have been amazed at how well it’s done. The flowers persist all summer, plant dies back to the ground in winter, and is up again in the spring. Salvias are also very easy to live with. For annuals, zinnias and marigolds can’t be beat, and petunias as long as you keep them well watered.
As for when to plant, the last frost date in these parts is mid-April I believe, but if Home Depot and Lowes are selling them, you can probably plant them without too many worries.

For a sunny spot, I like snapdragons, salvia and verbena (‘homestead’) – they can be perennial here in DC. Portulacca is also an easy care annual. You could also grow herbs and ornamental vegetables like rainbow chard and amaranthus.
Here’s a good resource for native plants I have joe pye (‘little joe’), and goldenrod (‘fireworks’) – they’ve done really well and attract lots of beneficial insects. Amsonia (‘blue star’) has great fall color.


Hostas are great low maintenence plants. They like a mixture of sun and shade. they come back every year and get bigger. You can plant them anytime. 

I love verbena, especially when it has a strong scent. My cat loves it too. And Joe Pye Weed is one of my all time favorites. Reminds me of my southern childhood – if i had the room i would definitely plant some.
Interesting to see what plants other people particularly like!


Thanks everyone!  I’m very excited to try out some of these suggestions. 

In my yard (similar sun coverage, I think), the happiest plants are yarrow, lavendar, black eyed susans, salvia, and rosemary.  Day lillies and easter lillies have also done wonderfully and multiply each year. I planted verbena last year – very curious to see if it will come back!


Here are some other plants: lavender, sage, thyme, bergamot, raspberries, blueberries, etc.  You can find plants at the Takoma Park farmers market and other farmers markets as it starts getting warmer.  Happy gardening!


Beneficial, Drought Tolerant Plants for the DC Area – Perennials, Grasses, etc.

I absolutely love gardening and I am planning to redo my garden this spring. Therefore I will buy serenata flowers uk ( ) but I am not sure which one are the best for my garden. Maybe I will first contact a florist and then decide which are the best for my garden. I just want a new flower bed with lots of different colorful flowers.

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