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They planted in June for a fall wedding.

They planted in June for a fall wedding

It was June when Louise and Scott Wright began to plant and prepare this Oregon garden for a September wedding. The photographs you see here were taken in September, two days before the wedding and at the ceremony itself.

At the outset, the Wrights singled out their two main challenges: they needed hanging plants to visually break up the blank surfaces of several concrete walls and redwood fences, and something had to be done to add color to their beds of spring-flowering shrubs. You can adapt their ideas to suit your own situdation and climate.

Softening walls and fences by breaking up the verticals

The Wrights first tackled the bare concrete-block wall that surrounds their patio (it's pictured above). It looked, in Mrs. Wright's words, "like a coastal fortification from World War II.'

Mr. Wright topped it with redwood planters, built to fit, and planted them with two varieties of Martha Washington geraniums, two shades of blue lobelia, and trailing ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea).

The cedar fences were easier, since they could easily have wall planters fastened to their boards. Spaced about 5 feet apart and staggered (one high, one lower), the fence-mounted wooden containers were planted with petunias, marigolds, geraniums, lobelia, and more ground ivy.

Like resetting the clock, spring flower beds were geared for fall

The rhododendrons, azaleas, and spring-blooming bulbs that occupied the existing flower beds would do next to nothing to help the September display.

To make those beds colorful in fall, the Wrights planted annuals among the permanent plants. And they extended the beds farther out into the surrounding lawns. To do that, they first killed the grass with glyphosate. After 10 days, they stripped off the dead grass, dug in organic amendment, and planted the beds with annuals.

For sunny areas, they chose sweet alyssum, celosia, cosmos, marguerites, marigolds, snapdragons, and zinnias (all were in full flower by September).

For shade, begonias (tuberous and fibrous), coleus, fuchsias, impatiens, and lobelia did the job. Most were planted in the ground, but a few went into containers under trees.

To make sure the annuals reached their peak in September, they were watered almost daily and fed liquid fertilizer at half-strength twice a month.

Photo: Hanging garden in September (above) had been a bare concrete wall in June; planter boxes along its top hold the plants. Long trailing plants are ground ivy; flowers are lobelia and pelargoniums. At right: the same combination, shown at close range

Photo: By wedding day, the garden is mature, colorful. Sweet alyssum creeps between wood rounds in path; marigolds, snapdragons, daisies edge path

Photo: One of many fence-mounted planters, this one holds a marigold (no flowers at the moment), petunias, lobelia, and ground ivy
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1986
Words:460
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