Quick post tonight to talk more about the landscaping. In the heat and humidity we ventured out and planted ten more of the shrubs we have on hand. Tonight it was the Brilliant Red Chokeberry bushes and the Mt. Airy Forthergilla that found their home. I cleared the mulch and dug small holes in the fertile bed soil for each plant. I enhanced the soil with some nutritional goodness and some small crushed stone to help keep the soil healthy and broken up for the plant roots. Each shrub was planted a little taller than the surrounding soil. I’ve learned from past experience that planting them too close to the ground doesn’t seem to help the plant. Subsequent years of mulch layers will ease up the surrounding soil so having the plant mounted higher than its surroundings seems to make sense to me.
We had a local landscape architect lay out our master plan and we are installing shrubs and perennials according to plan. Here’s a detail of our plant schedule:
It features the location, latin name, common name and preferred planting size. We are trying to stay as true to plan by matching the latin name to what we buy. So far we’ve been fairly successful, even without going to wholesalers. We discovered our Chokeberry bushes at Patitti’s Garden Center, and our Mt. Airy’s were there too. We found a variation of the white Hydrangea’s at Home Depot. And the perennials we get pretty much anywhere and have found the varieties fairly easily so far. Mostly we just have the cone flowers.
Here’s the front yard plan showing what we have planted or have on order:
Everything around the house will be planted by end of next Spring. Everything around the playset and other areas will wait until later. The toughest thing to find so far, besides the Red Twig Dogwoods between the house and garage, are the New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus). Finally we found this website for a nursery in Tennessee that had them. We ordered those as well as some Hydrangea’s and the Witchhazel. Everything is shipped bare root stock which means there isn’t a pot or soil. The roots are treated and we have about five days to plant them upon arrival. Size wise the shrubs are upwards of 42″ tall. The best part is a bush that would cost $20-$40 at Patitti’s or Home Depot costs about $5-$10 plus you buy three get two free on most shrubs. I also ordered some of the Redbud “trees” that we need around the playground as well. I ended up spending about $200-$300 including shipping, whereas if we got the same plants at a garden center we’d have paid over $500. If it works out we’ll be ordering a lot more next Spring. When it comes to perennials alone we need hundreds of plants. The site sells them in lots of 50+ for as little as 97 cents per 12″-18″ tall plant. Very good deal.
I’m excited to see all the plants in. By late Spring everything should be looking good. We’ll be able to start taking nice photos and submitting the project to magazines and sustainability “award” type things. Not to mention looking good for the book(s).