Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's Still Snowing

It is, you know.

I am amused by my last post (March 5th) because I can't remember writing it at all.  That's why I blog.  'Cause I FORGET STUFF.

I have decided to add headings.  I'm taking an online class with a Kindle textbook and I have decided blatant labeling is the merciful way to reference stuff. So:


I retract the fothergilla, by the way.  It's going to be Ruby Spice Clethra, which I suspect will be less finicky and will have (we hope) a wonderful scent we're eating lunch or dinner out there in the summer. $29 for a 3 gallon plant at Highland Gardens.


Took a brief tour of the battlefield when it was 70 degrees last week. (It's now 28, and did I mention, snowing?)  The Encore Autumn Twist Azaleas look dead, but the scratch test suggests they aren't.  The compacta hollies in the south bed gave up the ghost, all three.  The magnolias (big Edith Bogue, spindly Sweetbay) seem to have come through pretty well. Confirmed to go are the hollies, the lamented Otto Luykens laurel which has looked awful since last winter, and the fire-blighted Golden Raindrops crab (sniff). I am also taking out the kerria, which is a pain in the ass and not a good choice for the high visibility spot it is occupying.  I am not sure the little deutzia I bought ever took.  They look awfully dead.


FYI my witchhazels bloomed the first or second week in March-- late.  They smell DIVINE.  I need to strip off the old, hanging leaves, because they bloom/look much better on the branches I stripped.


I am getting estimates on help with mulching, removing dead stuff, and edging.  My first quote came in at over $2K, which is more than I want to spend on something I feel I should have the moral fiber to do myself. They estimated 20 yards of mulch-- yoiks.  My kind husband pointed out, wouldn't it be nicer to do the fun stuff versus the heavy work of edging and mulching? (I'm also thinking he wouldn't mind getting out of mulching. Also, my daughter broke up, and usually we have a boyfriend in the spring to help.  I'll tell her we're having to hire it out this year.  No, I won't tell her that.)


Other than asking them to cut an additional 10"-1' edge to widen the beds, planting my usual little cluster of sweet annuals at the front steps, and replacing the kerria with Ruby Spice, I don't anticipate doing much.


This is kind of a glorious mess right now.  The poor Cherry Laurel has to come out.  Not sure what to replace it with.  Something evergreen and shade tolerant. Still mourning the Laurel, which I loved.  This bed needs to be simplified and reorganized but I'm not sure that's this spring's effort.  Of course I will put in the usual snaps and salvia.


This is going to be the really fun bit.  I have hesitated a bit on the back yard, since it is overlooked by the employee entrance of a nursing home (lovely, eh?), but we did build our rather marvelous bit of stone patio finally and I am eager to make it wonderful.  Besides, when the various evergreens grow up, it will be pretty private.  For the south side under the still-small zelkova, I want to do pools of deutzia interspersed with Sweet Drift roses. Could tuck some white bleeding heart near the as yet tiny tree canopy. As mentioned, I bought some little deutzias last year but they never got beyond pathetic.  I could try again this year with larger plants and better soil prep, though of course I don't want to run afoul of the tree.

On the north side, I need to plant some ground covers to be (a) beautiful and (b) hold the soil which tends to wash over on that side.  I also need to install some edging.  So many great things to choose from-- having trouble deciding :) I wonder if it would look best with some deutzia tucked on that side for balance, mixed in with say, Rozanne geranium or an evergreen type groundcover.  Need to tuck in some stepping stones so I can get to the hose.  And I do want to slide in a daphne for fragrance.

To wit:


  1. Plans! Plans! Plans! The Ruby Spice clethra is a nice choice, but beware of spring. It not only leafs our very late, it looks like a sack of dead hammers until it does -- a very unattractive plant until late May here in zone 5. But after that it's very nice and smells great. Love your stone patio -- I assume the deutzias are the little dwarf ones 'Nikko' -- definitely add more! They are slow get going (took me 3, 4 years for them to bulk up at all), but wonderful low fillers / spreaders.

    1. Ooh! Laurrie! I don't know how to talk to you now that you are not actively blogging, but I wanted to ask if you tried stripping the dead leaves off your witch hazels. The branches where I did that look great (as opposed to the rest.)

    2. One year I painstakingly stripped the dead brown witch hazel leaves off. Last year we got a spring wind storm that did the work for me. Either way, the plant looks much better with those dead leaves off! My 'Diane' has such teeny flowers, though -- even with the leaves stripped, I can barely see the 1/8 inch flowers -- they do smell great though.

  2. We provide you all roofing services in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and Mississauga. Hamilton Roofing is specialized in Residential and Commercial roofing. All Stars Roofing trusted Company in Canada