Advice on gradual planting of large perennial beds


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Hello. I'm very excited to plant a new perennial garden at a newly built house beginning early summer, Zone 6b. I've planned for several LARGE garden beds along the front walkway. A landscaper will place some boulders and plant the trees and large shrubs leaving the rest of the space for me to fill in with perennials. Here's my dilemma: I would like to plant out these beds gradually over the summer and fall. So rather than have topsoil showing, would you cover the unplanted beds with mulch (raking back gradually as the bed is planted) or is there another way or material (like astroturf?) to make the beds look less unfinished for months?
 
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Hi and welcome.

Don't be in to much of a rush. Concentrate on the bit of the garden that you can see from your lounge window and do the rest gradually.
Make sure you get the "right" plant for each position, not what's available. I wouldn't worry about temporary gaps. No point spending money unnecessarily. You're right to start with a plan, but this may change over the coming months.

We have smaller gardens in the UK. Our front garden is tiny, we just have an azalea/rhododendron/viburnum "hedge" and a large tree.

But all these took years to grow.

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We don't have "yards" so the back garden is usually the one that usually gets the attention.

Few people ever see ours which doesn't bother us and there were quite a few gaps for several years. But I had a long term plan and worked my way down the garden.

The bottom half of this garden was vegetable patch with a greenhouse, that didn't go for quite a few years, although getting rid of it was part of the long-term plan.

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You may want to plant a few annuals. I use the taller Snapdragons. Sometimes they grow back for a second year.
 
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Yes, I will definitely plant some annuals, but likely as a filler once the perennials are installed.
I think that I have solved my own problem after much thought: I'm thinking about using compost as a temporary mulch. It looks mulch-like, provides some additional nutrients for the new beds over the course of the next season, and makes it easy for me to install new plants and bulbs. Now I just have to figure out if it will be hugely expensive! Thanks to all!
 
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I'm working with a new property too. I hired a landscape designer to draw an overall plan based on what I wanted and work off it. I've changed a few things as I went. I see things on youtube and fall in love with someone's wall or something, so it's nice to go gradually. I agree with Louis to use annuals for 'buffer' to keep from having empty spaces. I also use giant containers. They can be moved as I expand. I am in the process of moving a retainer wall because I changed my mind about the overall plan of the back. I've straighten those two rouge blocks since I took that picture. lol The pots on the wall are to give me something while I slowly raise the beds around the house. It's nothing but red clay and dumped gravel from the builders, and I have not been able to get anything to grow there yet. The tall pots are Arborvitae, the smaller ones are purple fountain grass, and I'm moving lantanas from other areas to edge it out. They seem to handle the clay well, but not the water that builds up from the negative slope. It took me two growing seasons to learn the problems the property has, and I lost hundreds of dollars in plants. My front is solid clay and also has a drainage problem even though the property looks flat. All the sod put down by the builder died from fungus. Go slow and learn your dirt and drainage before losing a lot of money like I did.

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Hi and welcome.

Don't be in to much of a rush. Concentrate on the bit of the garden that you can see from your lounge window and do the rest gradually.
Make sure you get the "right" plant for each position, not what's available. I wouldn't worry about temporary gaps. No point spending money unnecessarily. You're right to start with a plan, but this may change over the coming months.

We have smaller gardens in the UK. Our front garden is tiny, we just have an azalea/rhododendron/viburnum "hedge" and a large tree.

But all these took years to grow.

View attachment 62163

We don't have "yards" so the back garden is usually the one that usually gets the attention.

Few people ever see ours which doesn't bother us and there were quite a few gaps for several years. But I had a long term plan and worked my way down the garden.

The bottom half of this garden was vegetable patch with a greenhouse, that didn't go for quite a few years, although getting rid of it was part of the long-term plan.

View attachment 62164


View attachment 62165

View attachment 62166
Your property is amazing.
 
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Our frontyard had a large plot of land and had uncovered soil, and decided to go with mulch. We planted yearround plants that were easy to maintain and having the layer of mulch really helped save on water costs, not to mention made the front yard landscaping more attractive.

If you don't want to go to the crowded stores to get it, I highly recommend mulch-now.com. We received our mulch on the same day, and couldn't be more pleased on how it was delivered straight to my house at an affordable rate.
 

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