Fire Pit Boundary Shrub Exploration - April 2022

Today marks the fourth in the running series of exploration posts around how I am thinking and planning for shrubs this season.  Getting going on shrubs - both deciduous and evergreen - is my #1 priority for this growing season and I've taken the past few posts to talk thru - on the blog - my thoughts.

The three previous beds that I walked thru are:

1. A 20' area where I need to replace some lilacs with an evergreen layer and three Tardiva Hydrangeas.
2. An adjacent spot that calls for a similar (but different) evergreen layer fronted by three dwarf Little Lime Hydrangeas that are planted in a way to NOT foreclose a potential path.
3. The area that lays at the feet of the pair of Greenspire Linden trees along our fence line close to our patio that calls for some formal evergreens.

Today I wanted to talk about the fence-side of our fire pit.  Here's what the area looks like currently below.  The annotated photo shows what is currently in place:  Red = existing mature Hackberry tree.  Green = tiny Northern Red Oak tree.  Blue = Three Abiqua Drinking Gourd hostas that I planted last year

The hostas haven't emerged yet, so I'm uncertain of the exact location, but...for this exercise, I'm leaving the circles in place.  Some of these *may* need to move.  

There are a few other things happening back here that are worth documenting:  the fire pit area is NOT in our plan.  So, we're dealing with a clean-sheet look here.  Second, this is pretty deep shade, but we'd sure love to plant items that help create that sense of a 'garden room'.  

What would that entail?  Here's my (current) exploration below in an annotated photo.  In addition to leaving the hostas, I'm (of course) leaving both trees.  And, I'm adding a mix of evergreens and flowering shrubs.  And...something new:  a climbing hydrangea.   Guess who turned me on to it?  That's right...Erin the Impatient Gardener.  I'm calling for a climbing hydrangea to go up that Hackberry tree in the yellow oval.  

Below is the listing from Hinsdale Nursery below for Hydrangea Anomala Petiolaris - Climbing Hydrangea.

What else is outlined in that area?  The purple ovals are Hicks Yews.  I have two that are in the Lilac area that I'll move here.  I will look to add a couple more.   And the orange circles?  Oakleaf Hydrangeas.    My current thinking is using a pair of these (below) Jetstream Hydrangeas that don't 'flop' and provides additional Winter interest.

With these four posts, it seems that I'm now in a place to document these needs below.  

First the hydrangeas + evergreens:
  • Three upright evergreens (Yews, Thujas, Hemlocks)
  • Three other upright evergreens (different ones from above)
  • Three Tardiva Hydrangeas
  • Three Little Lime Hydrangeas
Then, under the Lindens: ...eight to twelve boxwoods.  

And now in this area:
  • Two to three upright Yews.  My plan is to transplant two small Hicks upright Yews here in addition.
  • A Climbing Hydrangea
  • A pair of Jetstream Oakleaf Hydrangeas


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