Saturday, April 28, 2012

In Which I Rock

I started out stymied.  It all seemed too hard-- damn hose wouldn't unhook so I could use it to outline beds, the graph paper plan looked bad when I did outline it (with electrical cord because hose, unhooked by attentive spouse with a pliers, kept knotting and twisting unhelpfully).  But I reminded myself how uncritical I am (always a plus, for this sort of project) and how you never learn anything unless you get some experience at it.

Lots of fascinating crawly stuff under those rocks
Little girls (at $5 each) helped me lift the leftover rocks from an earlier wall project out of the way .  Once the cardboard and landscaping fabric was lifted, the soil looked reasonably bare.  I adjusted the bed outline based on what I saw rather than my graph paper model. The beds had to be wider than projected, so I scalped them with the mower, and that helped me see and like the outline better.  I hauled planting mix and bags of compost and put the Limelights in on 5' centers.

Beds outlined, more or less
Now all that remains is figuring out the area by the AC unit.  I don't know if I can put a small tree that close (five or six feet from the house).   I want to put a tree-form serviceberry Autumn Brilliance there, with a canopy which I am perfectly well aware gets to a 15' spread at least.  I'll see what the nursery says.  There may not be a suitable tree.
May have to develop an Alternate Plan.

Anyway, I want to underplant there with the hollies.  I moved my Walking on Sunshine rose to the fence by the gate.  This will be a nice, sunny, amended bed and who knows, some other things might get tucked in, though I want to keep it pleasingly simple.  We'll see how I do with that.

Limelights planted
What remains?

-- get a tree or a suitable substitute
-- plant hollies on 3' centers, buy another if needed
-- cover remaining turf areas with cardboard
-- order mulch and mulch all
-- rejoice!  Be excited!  Can't wait to get a line of fat, nodding Limelight blooms this summer!  Whoopie!

Hoogendorn Hollies-- aren't they pretty?


  1. I love seeing a garden develop, and you provided wonderful detail as you go. Nice job!

    One tree that stays quite narrow -- to maybe a 10 foot spread but quite upright -- is stewartia. I have two... one is S. monadelpha with cinnamon bark, and the other is the more common S. pseudocamellia with mottled patterned bark (planted up against my house). Both are gorgeous, with big white flowers in June.

    In front of my A/C is a Viburnum prunifolium, which I am limbing up to a single stem as it grows so it will be a dense, twiggy, but narrow tree.

    By the way, you are lucky to have a bricked foundation wall. Where the plants do not cover it, the brick is very attractive. Mine is cement with a black strip of waterproofing at ground level, quite ugly and I obsess about covering it up with densely planted things. You can let yours show through, and use more reasonable plant spacing!

  2. Dang, too late! I would love stewartia & they had some at the nursery... I thought it was too wide. Maybe for the back!