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Mini Makeover: Michelle’s Long-Blooming Bed

Sarah Logie — Nov 01, 2022


Let’s take a look at Michelle’s, otherwise known as @gardensandchickens, garden bed makeover! Located in Zone 7b/8a, Michelle likes to extend her garden by 1-2 beds each season because “focusing on adding one bed a season makes it less overwhelming to create gardens and easier to maintain your new plants and watering schedule.”

For this specific bed, she wanted to create long-lasting color and texture, so she layered in each of her plants based on bloom time, size and visual appeal. To bring her vision to life, she chose a mixture of Butterfly Japanese Maples, Ruby Slippers Hydrangeas, Elizabeth Ashley Hydrangeas, Dwarf Mugo Pines, Autumn Angel® Encore® Azaleas and PowWow® White Coneflowers.

The project took her about a week to accomplish, working in 30-minute intervals as her busy schedule allowed. “I’m a mom to two girls, and I work full time. I garden and get things done during my work breaks—30 minutes at a time. It’s amazing what you can get done when you set a 30-minute timer and focus on a task,” she says. We’re big fans of gardening work breaks too, Michelle!

We love how Michelle gave her garden bed a little love and turned it into something she and her family can delight in for seasons to come. With eye-catching foliage, pollinator-friendly blooms, all-around easy-care and a classic stone border to complete the look, Michelle’s new bed is set to thrive!  

The coolest part? Once her plants were in the ground, she placed pieces of leftover FGT boxes over top before adding top soil and mulch! This is an easy and chemical-free way to keep grass from popping up in your beds, and as the cardboard breaks down over time, it improves the soil.

Reflecting on the project, Michelle appreciates how easy the process was. She says, “I love all the resources available on FGT’s website—shopping plants by zone and feature (evergreen, blooming, etc.), the care resources, and the Plant Finder. Plus, delivery was fast and not even a branch was damaged!” 

Be sure to watch along for all the details on Michelle’s new-and-improved garden bed and learn why she chose each of her plants below. And don’t forget to take a peek at the rest of our Mini Makeovers Series

Shop Michelle’s plant picks:

  • Autumn Angel® Encore® Azaleas: These bloom in fall and spring and provide evergreen interest in the winter for multiple seasons of visual appeal.
  • Ruby Slippers Hydrangeas: These bloom next. The flowers age beautifully into the summer, and their fall color and unique bark make them a winner year-round. 
  • Elizabeth Ashley Hydrangeas: These are next to bloom, and their compact size makes them great as a middle-layer, hedge plant.
  • Butterfly Japanese Maples: You can’t go wrong with this gorgeous tree! It’s slow-growing and provides just the right height.
  • PowWow® White Coneflowers: These are powerhouse perennials that give that summer bloom power reliably, even in clay soil. 
  • Dwarf Mugo Pines: These are stunning, slow-growing evergreens that provide front-middle of the border, year-round interest.

Michelle gardener

Learn more about Michelle from @gardensandchickens and what else she’s got going on in her garden!

Sarah Logie

As Content Strategist at FastGrowingTrees.com, Sarah is smitten with words and a fanatic for flowers, particularly cut florals and house plants. With a love for curating compelling content, she also enjoys furthering her plant knowledge along the way! A few of her favorite flowers include hibiscus, hydrangeas, peonies and dahlias.

Sarah’s fondness for plants was cultivated through many childhood trips to Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as through her first job out of college at a floral event design company. In her free time, catch her snapping photos of anything and everything, day-dreaming about interior decor, and enjoying the outdoors any chance she gets.

Questions? Contact Sarah at information@fastgrowingtrees.com.

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