2021 Priority Area #2 - Woodland Understory on Northside

Yesterday, I published the first of my 2021 garden/yard priority areas.  Today, is my second one - with the hope that this exercise helps me contain my enthusiasm and force me to focus on adding things that matter.  Like a lot of you, I find myself in a daze when Spring comes and I add things to my cart that I don't really need just because they're, well, there.  

Priority Area #1 for 2021 calls for 15 plants (8 Allium, 7 ferns), so that part ALONE is a substantial investment.  Priority Area #2 calls for even more.  41 plants.  Yeah...41.  This one might take two years to swing in terms of getting the plantings right.  But, lets start by looking at the area in question.  This is in between Priority Area #2 from last year AND the trio (at the time) of tiny Canadian Hemlock trees I planted along the north side of the fence line.  Here, below, is a look at this area:

You can see that this area calls for:

  • 10 Lenten Rose
  • 9 Guacamole Hosta
  • 7 Bottle Rocket Spiked Ligularia
  • 8 Hadspen Hosta
  • 3 Canadian Hemlock
  • 4 Chicago Lustre Arrow wood Viburnum
The two cultivars of Hosta and the Ligularia are carryovers from what has been planted in area #2 last year, and in fact, I planted three of the Guacamole Hostas in this area last year.  So, that takes the plant needs down from 41 to 38.  I also planted ONE (just one) Lenten Rose (Sally's Shell) in the right spot last year.  

Down to 37. 

Down to 35.  But, I'm NOT going to plant a third, so let's say we need 34.

There are a few existing items in this area that might be worth nothing as we count along.  First, see the little bare spot to the RIGHT of the Lenten Roses in the drawing?  I picked up that trio of Amber Queen Barrenwort at the Morton Arboretum Plant sale last Fall and placed them right there. 

Additionally, there are a series of other items that have found their way to this bed.  If you look at this photo from when I put in the Hemlocks, you'll notice that there are also three Gold Cone Junipers, a couple of ferns and a couple of varieties of hostas that I transplanted from before our house was torn down.  The Gold Cone Junipers have been trouble from the start and this Winter, I left them "unwired" and they appear to have splayed just a bit.  Come Spring, we might have to make a decision about whether to keep them in or tear them out.  

Similarly, with the hostas that are present.  My thinking is that I can leave them in place - and move them over just a bit to make up the space that is called for the Hadspens.  By dividing up what is there and planting them in two different masses, I can achieve what I want with material I have on hand.  So, lets' cut those 8 Hadspen Hostas.  

Down to 26.  

If you look at the top of the plan drawing, you'll see it calls for 4 Chicago Lustre Arrowwood Viburnum.  We had Viburnum in our old house in Elmhurst and they were really great.  But, those had a lot more sun that these would get.  Just about everywhere you turn on the Web, people talk about how great these Viburnum are, so I'd be remiss to NOT plant them.  They create a nice 10' tall hedge and can grow as an understory plant, but I can't help but think of something else going here in this spot.  There's my wandering eye....but, I suppose, I should just STICK.WITH.THE.PLAN.  

For now, let's call it:  26 plants for priority area #2:
  • 9 Lenten Rose (Ideally Sally's Shell)
  • 6 Guacamole Hosta
  • 7 Spiked Ligulria
  • 4 Chicago Lustre Viburnum
Priority Area #1:  15 plants.  All of them likely 1 gallon nursery pots.  
Priority Area #2:  26 plants.  A mix of sizes, but figure 22 1 gallon pots.

Based on 2020 pricing, figure something around $12 per 1 gallon container for common stock, but due to the volumes we're talking about, the cost is starting to get up there.

Area #1: 15 x $12 = $180
Area #2:  22 x $12 = $264 + the Viburnum.

That's just about $450 BEFORE the Viburnum.  And, doesn't account for any other spots in the garden.  Talk about a forcing function in the garden, right?  

I have a few more spots that I'd like the prioritize this year including the two different spots in the front yard.  I'll post those in the coming days and will get them added to the 2021 "To Do List".


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