Shrubs At Feet of Linden Espalier Trees - An Exploration - April 2022

This is the third in a series of shrub exploration posts that are helping me think and plan how I execute on my #1 priority for 2022:  plant shrubs in a deliberate way.  I started with this 20' area where I need to replace some lilacs with an evergreen layer and three Tardiva Hydrangeas. Yesterday, I looked at 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.  Today, I'm looking at the area that lays at the feet of the pair of Greenspire Linden trees along our fenceline.  Here's what it looks like today:


Orange ovals = Greenspire Lindens in a horizontal cordon espalier.  Green ovals = Summer Beauty Alliums.

I've always wanted a little bit more structure in this area - but haven't done anything meaningful. There are two problems:  First...the plan is SILENT here.  No plantings.  Second, there's a bit of an elevation/slope that is going on here that I think should be dealt with as part of plantings.  

Let's first address the idea of the slope.  Could I take the learnings from my screened porch retaining wall and apply it here?  I could see something close to an outcropping that is set about a foot tall from the lawn grade to provide this bed with a flat surface.   I've put that concept in the annotated photo below - the blue lines represent a potential retaining wall.  What else is there?  A combination set of evergreen shrubs.  The yellow ones are (for now) something more pyramidal.  With the red circles being more circular/balls.  I'm not totally sure yet - but could this be a place to do something like Linda Vater's boxwoods style that includes rows AND balls?  Or, just a row of them like this example.


These could be yews or they could be boxwoods.  Below is a photo from Hinsdale Nursery showing their Buxus 'Green Velvet' that would certainly do the trick here. 


Just like the other posts, this exploration is helping me deal with a shopping list.  

So far, here's what I've come to understand for these three areas now.  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
  • And now...eight to twelve boxwoods.  
Last year, I picked up some TINY $5 boxwoods late in the season and planted them knowing it would be many seasons before they were meaningful.  I also bought one (I know, I know) Green Mountain boxwood that is upright.  Maybe that's the plan for this area, too.  Due to the volume (8-12), maybe smaller is the right move budget-wise. What is to be determined is if I could plant this season WITHOUT taking on the retaining wall project in a way that would NOT require replanting.  The biggest variable is how 'high' I plant these, I suppose.  By adding material to the front of the bed - that for now - may 'run' down to the lawn, it might allow me to plant now and do the wall later.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lou Malnati's Salad Dressing Recipe as Published in the 60's

Dividing Some Karl Foerster Grasses - September 2021

Building a Japanese Moon Gate - DIY Exploration