Reese

Taking care of a flower bed. So calm down and take a deep breath. I think you are overestimating how difficult it is to maintain a flower bed that is properly set up. I have a few suggestions to make this flower bed much more maintenance free than the grass.

You want to plant grass early so it gets developed before the heat of the summer.

  1. Start with a bed that doesn't have weeds. This bed is probably too far gone to save. I would pull out your favorite plants and use roundup on all of the rest. The roundup will state on the bottle how long you need to wait before planting. There are several that are only 1 day of waiting time like the one linked below.
  2. You need to have good boarders to help maintain a barrier between the grass and flower bed. Rocks do not make good boarders because they do not prevent grass from creeping under them. Check out the double brick boarder that I linked below. If you dig down a bit and have sand under this boarder the grass will never get into your landscape. It also prevents the mulch from getting into your lawn. This boarder is also nice because your flowers can hang over without getting in the way of the mower. There are other boarders like this but the idea is to have it deep enough to prevent grass from being able to run under. Get a good 3" of mulch in there and you will find that you have much less of an issue with weeds. You probably never mulched heavily before because it would fall out because of your boarder problem.
  3. Always use a pre-emergent weed preventer like Preen early in the Spring to prevent weeds. Combine this with the mulch and your weeding time will be less than mowing the area by far.
  4. Plant native perennial plants in your bed.These will generally require less maintenance and watering. If you get 4-6 hours of direct sunlight then plant shaded plants. 6 hours will work for full sunlight plants. The sun is not strong in the morning so sunlight time before 9:00 AM is negligible.
  5. Put down a high quality tarp under the mulch to further prevent weeds.

The method of edging you linked will work but it's not very good at keeping the mulch in your flower bed and you will have to redo the edge multiple times each year so it does not fill back in. I've seen people use this method on on the outside of rubber tube edging and that seems to be effective.

Reese

When I was a little kid my mom made me a "playhouse" by planting a circle of sunflowers and planting morning glories all around them.

The morning glories covered the sides and made a drapey kind of roof over all. /powdery mildew means they're not getting enough water.

I remember this from the first year I grew sunflowers.

I grow them as a living fence to block my nosy neighbors from hanging over the waist high fence and gawking at my every move. Anyway, I've been doing it for quite a few years now and the bees no longer bother me. I even dead head them while the bees are on the other blooms.

They really, really do not want to bother you and all you have to do is start slowly walking away if some bother you. The last thing they want to do is sting you so if you don't move suddenly or act aggressively, you have nothing to worry about.

The will mind their own bees wax.

Reese

When you look around what do you see? A thousand different ideas to make your wedding one of a kind. But are the most unique ideas the ones that are really creative?

This isn't always the case.

In fact a lot of classic ideas have begun to make a comeback in the bridal shower and are a nice alternative to the current trends. The reason these classic ideas are popular is because they allow you to build up for the bridal shower. They act as blocks which you can build on. And what you get is a strong foundation for an afternoon that goes over without out a hitch.

When we get caught up in keeping up with the people on Instagram, and there are a lot of them, the bridal shower has a chance to derail. This would make things less than satisfactory, and that can end up spoiling an otherwise delightful event for the bride to be.

So what are some of the things that can quickly create an environment where the bridal shower has a chance to derail?

Let's Break It Down

So what do you think the main problem is? Isn't it an honorable goal to make the bridal shower super successful?

Of course it is!

But that doesn't mean that the bridal shower is supposed to be larger than life. And this is where I think a lot of the hostesses fail. For one thing, most of the hostesses are not much older than the bride is. And this means that there is a lack of experience there that can hinder the smooth flow that is needed. This is a flow that is crucial when the celebration is big, complicated, and coordinated.

When you host a smaller bridal shower, even if it does not match you have a lot of means to get it worked out. And if something doesn't work you can roll with it and in the end nobody will even be the wiser.

But when you make it big, over the top, and complicated. You have a number of things working against you.

  • Bridal showers that are too big run the risk of being hindered by the sheer amount of guests on the list.
    • Bridal showers are meant to be small familiar events where only the closest group is invited to. In you want the all out guest list then you are planning a wedding.

  • Many of the modern bridal showers really are over the top. They just get carried away with planning every aspect. Trust me when I say, the bride to be will love it because it came from her friends. It came from your heart. You don't need to have matching everything. Your guests will not notice anyway.
  • Complicated is one away of saying it, but expensive is another. When you go out of your way to make it bigger, louder, and longer then you will have to spend more.
    • Many hostesses cannot shoulder the cost of the bridal shower when it gets out of hand. And you aren't expected to spend more than you need to anyway.
  • A shower is for one thing and one thing alone. It is for collecting gifts for the bride to be. If it wasn't they wouldn't call it a shower.

    Since this the reason behind the day you really should let this be the focus.

    Many women love the gift opening aspect of the shower and this can easily become the focal point of the day. Something that will be remembered for years to come.

    One way I like to think about them is a birthday party. If you invited people to yours celebration you would know they they would bring gifts. And the same is true here. If you invite them to the shower they know to bring something for the household. If there is a registry they will generally bring something from that. If it wasn't for the shower aspect it would just be a larger party under friends.

    And that is how you should approach things.

    Smaller is better. Less complicated is good. And matching everything is just plain weird.

    Reese

    I live in the midwest & have been following our state's Native advice for a few years now. We're not the same, but I recognize the names of several bird, bee, butterfly friendly items on your list. (Plus a few new ones!) Have fun with your new habitat!

    We have been working hard to replace traditional plants in our region in yard with natives. I spent the weekend ripping out English Ivy that had overtaken a retaining wall at my house.

    Our front flower bed has bee balm, cardinal flowers, coneflowers, yarrow, swamp milkweed, wild bergamot, as well as a few others I am forgetting. I bought an elderberry bush and a red chokeberry bush that are waiting to go in the ground.

    We are planning on adding a lot this year, including one of the prarie moon nursery packs that contains:

    1. anise hyssop
    2. Bradbury's monarda
    3. butterfly weed
    4. early goldenrod
    5. golden Alexander's
    6. Hairy mountain mint
    7. Little bluestem
    8. northern blazing star
    9. orange coneflowers
    10. Ohio spiderwort
    11. prairie coreopsis
    12. Prarie dropseed
    13. royal catchfly
    14. Wild petunia

    These may not all be native to your location, but they are native to the US at least. The biggest ones that are important here are the milkweeds as it's the only plant a monarch will lay it's eggs on. A woman in a nature group I attend runs the butterfly highway - they sell native seed packs to help attract pollinators which is pretty cool.

    Reese

    I have about 30 houseplants and only 3 that flower pretty regularly though I love flowers outside. One is a begonia and the other 2 are some crown of thorns plants that I picked up about 6 months ago.

    They've been flowering ever since.

    Still I don't care that much for flowers since I feel like I can't watch them grow like my green plants.

    I don't complain when they bloom like my neighbor but I don't wait on them either. I prefer foliage, but most plants that aren't ferns and cycads have the capacity to bloom.

    The thing with flowering houseplants is that they just take a lot more effort to maintain. They need more light, and if something goes wrong and you need to repot them, you risk shocking the plant enough to kill off the flowers. There's also the issue of what to do with them after they're done blooming.

    Also, sunflowers and wildflowers make horrible houseplants. Sunflowers are annuals, and will die within one year. They also need more light than you can give them indoors. Wildflowers will often need some sort of cold dormancy period that you can't provide indoors.

    A good portion of them are also annuals or biennials.

    Reese

    We passed a couple on bikes that had picked two full baskets of flowers. This was during the day right in the middle of Forest Park.

    The Horticulture Foreman said they do not allow picking of any plants inside Forest Park.

    This is very selfish, those are there for everyone to enjoy. They are for everyone to see and smell. Not for you to take. There are thousands of people who go though the park- if everyone picked them there wouldnt be any left.

    A lot of thought and money has gone into Forest Park Forever restoration and conservation.

    I would imagine that even the areas along paths and waterways that seem to be random have been planned with great consideration towards original indigenous habitat.

    Reese

    I found a local greenhouse for my daughter-in-law's wedding that does field to vase arrangements. My price is probably a bit lower because she only has a MOH and we're making our own boxes for the centerpiece arrangements.

    I found her via Thumbtack. And the woman is well-reviewed on facebook and weddingwire.

    I told her we were going to DIY our flowers from Costco but that I needed her to make my bouquet and crown, and she asked what I was spending on the Costco flowers and told me she'd do it all for the same price. I then added a few things and that put us about another hundred or so. This does include any discounts and we are not renting anything from her except the shepherd's hooks - we have all the mason jars, beer bottles, etc.

    Breakdown:

    1. Bride Bouquet: $90
    2. Flower Crown: $50
    3. MOH Bouquet: $65
    4. Flower Girl Bouquet: $35
    5. 7 Boutonnieres: $70
    6. 6 Corsages: $165
    7. 16 Centerpieces: $565
    8. Delivery Fee: $50.00

    I know some women who ended up making paper flowers because they couldn't stomach the cost of "real" flowers that would'd just throw away at the end of the day. I think all told they spent around $250 for the paper ones.

    Reese

    The east side of a house isn't usually problematic. It's the north side in this hemisphere that can be a problem because of the lack of sun.

    The east side gets morning sun, obviously. II think roses like morning sun. Roses wouldn't work for planters, though.

    I keep petunias in my hanging baskets on the east side of my home, and they do just fine, especially the one that's closer to the southern side. Petunias are also very cheap and hard to kill. Just remember that hanging baskets dry out pretty quickly, so in the hot summer months, they'll need to be watered regularly. Another good one for baskets are geraniums.

    I believe you can buy geraniums and petunias as 4 packs at a hardware store for probably a couple dollars.

    Go to your local plant nursery with pictures of your location.

    Your local nursery will have the a great idea on what grows. Don't forget to tell them about sun conditions and any trees that might put that side of the house in shade. If you want perennials, they'll get you those. Personally, I like a mix of perennials and spring, summer and fall blooming bulbs for really low maintenance gardening. I also add herbs like thyme and chives that flower, are useful, and are perennial/bulbs.

    Clematis, iris, daffodil, tulips, grape hyacinth, hollyhocks.

    Mums bloom in the fall, so you wouldn't see anything for awhile if you planted them in the spring.

    Inpatients are always a nice choice, they bloom basically all summer and do well almost anywhere.

    Personally, I'm very pro-native plants right now because they support pollinators.

    I think they might be a good starting point for you. They use a 19 inch pot, so you can't include everything they do.

    I'd skip the oregano or any herb if this is to be a flower garden style of compliation.

    Black-eyed susan are native to your area and pretty widely available. Rosemary is also widely available. Begonias are pretty widely available, but you'd have to be careful not to get an overly large one. Gomphrena you will probably have to start from seed.

    So maybe just Black eyed susans (late blooming) and Rosemary (long term) with some small begonias.