Add two trees. Take one away. That's what has happened recently with the addition of the pair of Kousa Dogwood trees along the garage wall (pre-espalier) . And now...the documenting of losing one of the original trees that I planted when we bought our lot: a Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree. Before we moved in, we planted five trees: a dawn redwood (Died and replaced), a Chanticleer Pear Flowering Tree (in the back, between the tree swing tree and the Hornbeams. Still alive). A pair of Greenspire Linden trees that I've espaliered. Still alive. And this Japanese Flowering Cherry tree. Now dead). After we moved in, I planted a Corkscrew Willow (dead) and a Crimson King Maple (also dead). That first year, our landscaper planted two trees: a Saucer Magnolia and a Flowering Pear Tree. The first of which died, but was replaced. All-up, that means that first year (2017), we planted: 9 trees. 5 of which (now) died. Three were not replaced (Willow, Flowering Cherry,
Showing posts from 2023
In the Spring of 2022 (17 months ago), I undertook what I called (at that time) the Lilac Replacement Project where I dug up and transplanted a number of Lilacs. And replaced them with some upright evergreens. Those upright evergreens were three Green Giant Thujas that I bought at the orange big box store . I planted three in this spot and three on the other side. Two of those died, leaving me with four of the six originally planted remaining. When I look back at the photos of those Green Giant Thujas right after they were planted (April 2022) , it appears that the top-tip (apical meristem) of them is right around the top of the fence. Today - they're at least a foot over the top of the fence height. See below for the current view - with the Green Giant Thujas in the back against the fence. That's (obviously) not the only thing happening in this photo, so I'll document some of the other changes in this post - for the garden diary. The Thujas have survived here,
I planted three Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas a little over two years ago . And today, I still have those same three Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. You can see all three of them, planted in a row, in the photo at the top of this post. I bought these based on a post that I read summarizing various cultivars of Hostas that described these as "One of the true giants". I had visions of five-foot-spread hostas with giant, cupped, blue-green foliage. Are they giant? Not yet. You can see that. But, are the leaves large? Yep. I can see a future where they'd be 'giant'. The change in two years is large. Compare September 2021 (here) to the photo above. Also, it appears - to my eye - that they're growing when I look back a year (Summer 2022) and count a similar number of lobes/leaves, but the ones come out of the center sure appear larger this season.
Here's a truth: Staghorn Ferns take work. I said that as #19 on my 2023 to-do list and while I've had ups-and-downs with my Staghorn Fern collection, I'm sharing a small win today. In terms of Staghorn inventory, I (now) have two mounted ferns and one container fern. One of the mounted ferns is troubled, but the other one? It seems to be doing well. Why do I say that? Because I'm seeing shield fronds emerging. Some? Yes. Two of them. See below for both of the shield fronds on a mounted Staghorn Fern: I haven't had much success with the growth of these shield or basal fronds, but earlier this year the Staghorn in the container threw up a big, green basal frond . I have one empty board as the Elkhorn Fern that I mounted last Winter didn't make it through the dry conditions inside.
Four months ago, I planted five (5) one-gallon Green Velvet boxwoods in our front porch bed in line with the other ones that existed in that same bed . My plan was to sort-of 'extend' that low mound of evergreen shrubs down past the new Elm tree and wrapping around the corner. I also (in June) planted a number of Summer Beauty Allium and Sesleria Autumnalis grasses in front of both the old and new boxwoods. With the heat of Summer behind us, how did they all fare and what do the shrubs and perennials (and...annual French dwarf Marigolds) look like in late September? I'd say pretty good. See below for current state of that curved bed: All five Green Velvet Boxwoods are doing well and putting on a tiny bit of height. The Allium have exploded and are double-or-triple their original (quart) size. And the stars of the show are those French Marigolds . I've been telling myself that I need to be a bit more choosy when it comes to Home Depot plants; there are some th
Last Fall, I divided two Shaggy Shield Ferns into four clumps and transplanted them to the edge of the border with the hopes that they'd take the spot of some (fallen-out-of-favor) Ostrich Ferns that I had in this bed. I planted them in a row and then attempted to water them in all Fall. Earlier this Spring, I stuck six (6) Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' plugs in the same bed both in-front-of and behind the locations of the Shaggy Shield Ferns . At that time....(Late May), I thought that I had lost ALL of the divided ferns as none of them had thrown up new growth. They all appeared dead. A setback when it comes to dividing ferns. Fast forward to today. I was puttering around and realized that SOME of those Fall 2022 Shaggy Shield Divided ferns had made it. I had two ferns last Summer, divided to make four small ferns. Today...I'm back up to three Shaggy Shield Ferns. See below for a photo showing the Shaggy Shields that have come back: There's a lot going on
Today, September 23rd is the first, official day of Fall. And I'm also seeing the first signs of foliage turning seasonal red with the clump of three Little Henry Sweetspires out front showing red at the tips. See below for a photo showing this set of shrubs (it really is one shrub at this point, right?) Supplementing this shrub - with groundcover and/or layered plantings should be something I consider for 2024 as this area has been left as-is since the day we moved in.
A couple of years ago, I planted some Elijah Blue Fescue grasses in the IB2DWs bed along with some other blue-colored plants like Cat's Pajamas Nepeta . Those grasses have never thrived, but they seemed to have survived over the years - despite that being what I'd consider a 'hard-to-grow' area. Between the poor soil, the adjacency to the driveway and the lack of irrigation, it isn't a great growing bed. But, like I said...these seemingly have survived. But, like all grasses, it appears that Elijah Blue Fescue grasses suffer from center rot. And need to be divided every few years. How can I tell? Have a look at one of the crowns of the blue fescue grass below - with three distinct tufts of blades emerging from the edges: Here, below, is a look at another one of them where you can see the center of the grass is brown'ing out and showing no growth: Everything that I've read on the Web tells me that these need regular dividing and that I need to dig
The biggest, most-interesting, focal-point conifer in our backyard is a small Weeping Nootka Cypress tree that I planted in late May of 2021 in one of the big, swooping curves along the north side of the beds about 2/3rds of the way back. It has now been 28 months (May 2021 --> September 2023) since this was planted and although I was quite concerned about this thing surviving, I can report that the tree has not only survived, but has been putting on a small amount of growth. Below is a photo showing the current shape and size of this focal-point evergreen tree: It isn't super easy to tell, but when I compare the photos over the years, I can see that it has put on height from the leader (apical meristem) and all of the limbs have extended with new, pendulous growth. The 'skirt' from the lowest limbs has grown, too. But, I haven't touched this with a pruner since it went in and I think that's the right move. My plan is to keep watering this in until the fir
The three Autumn Ferns that have changed everything I think about ferns in the garden are at their peak pre-color-change right now - mid-September. They are full, lush and alive with fronds the reach up and out and curl ever-so-slightly in this shade bed. Photo of the 'original three' below: Last Fall, I planted a number of small Autumn Ferns, but it appears that just six of them came back and made it this year . There are a couple of plants that I'm going to seek out at the big box store end-of-season sales: These Autumn Ferns and Ajuga Chocolate Chip for groundcover .
Last Fall, I bought and planted two (at that time) new (to me) Heucheras: Dolce Silver Gumdrops. They were at Lowe's end-of-the-season sale and I said that I was going to plant them in over by the Guacamole Hostas . Today, there's just one of them. And, I don't really see *where* I could have planted the other one as there isn't a ton of empty space around. But that one? It is showing up well right now - Late Summer/Early Fall with silver foliage and tiny pink blooms about to arrive. See below for a photo of the current state of this Silver Gumdrop Coral Bells: I've had mixed results with Heucheras over the years. Some that I've neglected have done great. Others that I've baby'd have perished. This one is small, but that's by design. The listing talks about this Heuchera's size this way : Silver Gumdrop’ is a smaller scale Heuchera, the perfect size for a container. Growers and gardeners alike will be pleased that it is a vigorous gro
Fall planting is here. At least...for me it is. I have two real gardening/planting seasons: Spring - when I can't help myself and get busy in the garden/at the garden center/at the Morton Sale. And then Fall - when I divide and transplant and buy things that go on end-of-season sales. This is the first planting of that 'fall planting' period and is something that I've been thinking about for years. And, finally did something about it. I'm talking about the northside of our garage, where we get full shade and have a narrow, foundation bed that borders the bluestone chip path that leads to our backyard. All the way back in 2018, I started posting about what to do with this area in terms of trees and shrubs. There are really two parts that *could* be addressed. First..against the house to sort-of soften-up the large, white, blank wall. And, then (potentially) against the property line to provide a sense of 'privacy' or screening from the driveway nex
Earlier this year (May), I planted a pair of dwarf Ginkgo trees - Spring Grove Ginkgos - on either side of our back stoop . I was planning on planting *something new* here, but I didn't plan on these - rather, I just came across them and decided to go this route. I posted about them one-month-post-planting and they seemed to be doing well and getting established . But...I knew the hard, hot, dry part of the Summer was coming and I wanted to be sure these dwarf trees were set up to succeed. We were gone for a large part of the Summer, so I decided to set up a some timed irrigation and then covered these in shade cloth. Yeah...I covered them for months at a time to keep them from drying out and burning. I recently took the shade cloths off - thinking the heat of the Summer is behind us. What happened under the shade cloth was quite A LOT of new growth. But, that new growth was *very* tender because it was being protected from the sun. When I first took the shade cloth off