A roadside mailbox garden can be an effective focal point in front of a home. Since these gardens are usually small, they are not hard to maintain, especially if some thought is put into their design.
- Paint the mailbox, or replace it, before you do anything else. Also find someone to help you make sure that the post that supports the box is secure and sturdy.
- Outline a planting area so that its dimensions match the height of the mailbox post. For example, if the height of the post is 3 feet high, the width and length of the planting area should also be at least 3 feet.
- If you need to kill grass or weeds around the mailbox, put down layers of cardboard or thick layers of newspapers, water well, and then cover with a thick layer of mulch. Leave the area unplanted for some months. For example, put down the suffocation layer in the fall, and let it smother the underlying grass or weeds all winter before installing your new plants the next spring.
- Choose just a few plants that will need minimum attention once established. Use plants with attractive foliage as well as flowers to stagger the attractiveness of the plants across the seasons.
- Plant something vigorous around the base of the post to soften it.
- Then, plant perennials so that there is always something in bloom across the growing seasons. For example, daffodils for spring, perennial salvias for late spring, perennial geraniums followed by allium ‘millennium’ for summer, and a mum for fall.
Note: Some other selections, such as annuals, will depend on your situation regarding deer. Euphorbia ‘Chrystal light’ is a delicate looking but tough annual, as are the million bells (tiny petunias). Yarrow and coreopsis are also both deer resistant as well as drought tolerant perennials, which may be helpful by a roadside A low growing perennial catmint, or a non- flowering Lamb’s ears would also be excellent choices.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on a mailbox garden.