Episode #11: Planning Your Flowerbeds with Deb Unverferth

Episode 11 of From The Nest Podcast by Building Bluebird

Show Notes:

This Week…

  • The #drummondfliphouse is going on the market next week!

  • Check out the Toledo City Paper this week to catch the feature on the Drummond Flip House and Building Bluebird journey

  • The Balkan rental property continues to go through the title transfer and we should have full ownership soon!

  • Our Woody rental will be needing some TLC in the yard this spring as well

Today is a big milestone for our podcast - we have our first guest! Deb Unverferth is an insanely talented gardener and is sharing her tips for planning our flower beds as we head into the Spring season.

Our first guest on the podcast - Deb Unverferth!

How to Create a Flower Bed:

  • Determine if you want a straight line or curved flower bed. Deb and Jeff (husband) prefer curved flower beds and used the shadows of rounded treetops to help create the flow of their beds.

  • Use a garden hose to help create a flower bed shape you like and then spray paint the shape and start digging out your flower bed.

  • Spacing plants - Look at the recommended spacing that comes with each plant you purchase

    • Keep large bushes away from the windows - If there is a large shrub or plant you want to include in your flower bed, consider the corner of the bed or a space in the bed that is not in front of the window. You don’t want to block the sun and you don’t want a big shrub to block the view of your beautiful garden when you are inside.

  • Consider native plants when planning your garden - this will save you money when it comes to watering because they will naturally thrive in your climate

    • A few of Deb’s favorite native plants: Hosta, spruce and pine trees, crab apple trees, lilac bushes, cone flowers, spirea

  • Watering - Consider adding drip lines underneath your mulch to keep the soil moist and prevent evaporation

  • Mulch - Choose a color that doesn’t compete with the flowers - natural tones, like brown, that don’t have dye or pesticides

Smaller boxwood in the front and large hosta behind to create beautiful symmetry in the front of the house

Beautiful zinnias in Debs garden

Favorite plant to use in her garden:


You can’t kill them, they have wonderful varieties and come in all different sizes.

The side entrance into Deb’s yard - surrounded by hosta and allium

They can be cut and added to beautiful flower arrangements. Here is a flower arrangement that Deb made for me last summer. Notice the hosta leaves around the base.

A beautiful arrangement Deb made for me last summer

Toledo Nurseries of Choice:

Tips on Mulch:

  • Choose a natural color to blend in with the dirt

  • Add drip line under mulch to keep water from evaporating

  • Be careful not to make the mulch too thick

    • If it is too thick around the foundation of the home, it can expose the house to moisture

  • Consider a 3 inch barrier of stones around the foundation

    • This prevents dirt from splashing on your house and keeps it looking clean

    • It reduces fire risk - In Massachusetts, it is illegal to have mulch right up the apartment buildings because it can be a fire risk if it is dry and someone drops a cigarette into the dry mulch

    • It reduces chances for pests to penetrate your home

This colorful hydrangea bush looks great in the flower bed and in flower arrangements you can bring inside

Tip of the Week…

Deb: If you aren’t sure where to start with cleaning out and planting your flower beds this Spring, focus on the entrance of your home and make it pop. If you are planting in your flower beds, choose 3-4 plants to make it feel cohesive. You can also use potted plants with bright flowers to make your entrance stand out and welcome guests into your home.

Curved beds with a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers - photo taken in early Spring

Curved flower beds

Landscaping with tree varieties

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