Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Planting

We've been getting more rain and cool temperatures. There was a warm, dry spell last week, but we're back in the cool and damp now, and we've got a 80% chance of rain today. w00t!

So, since fall is our big planting season down here, it's time to start planning. We've got big plans in terms of new plants and transplants. Here's the breakdown:

Abelia - from driveway | to shade garden
Knockout - from rose garden | to AC unit
Misc. Crinum - from various parts of front porch bed | to in front of crape myrtle
Misc. bulbs - from front porch bed | to ?
Echinacea - from rose trellis | to Matt's WTF bed (back corner)
1 or 2 C. macowanni - from pots | to dying baldcypress bed
(maybe) Mrs. RM Finch rose - from front porch bed | to ?pole bed?
red shrimp plant - from 'Little Gem' magnolia | to ?WTF bed?
dying baldcypress - from west side | to Primrose Jasmine bed (if it makes it, great; if not, oh well)

We originally just threw stuff in that front porch bed--Mrs RM Finch, some random crinums, a blackberry lily, some crocosmia, sacred lilies, lycoris... And now it looks like a tangly, pointless mess. So we're planning to dig up most of it and impose some organization on it--like a good, old-fashioned, 5-paragraph essay, with a thesis, 3 major supporting points, and evidence to back up all claims.

The 'Tuscarora' crape will be at one end, and a new red crinum will be at the other to match the one on the opposite side of the walkway--like little brackets around the front stoop. And in between will be a bank of Brunfelsia and/or a bank of Mrs. RM Finch (depending on how to comports herself this fall--she had been a bit seedy, but lately she's been doing a lovely job).

We'll keep the lycoris and the two Green Ice miniatures, also flanking the front steps. We'll redistribute the sacred lilies more evenly around the front bed. The blackberry lilies and Crocosmia will have to find a new home. And the miscellaneous crinums will be clustered around the crape's feet, where their writhing, anarchic qualities will be balanced by their somewhat formal placement. I hope. And another small bank of Brunfelsias will buttress the crape from the back, to help give the whole thing definition

2-3 Archduke Charles roses - hedge at end of kitchen patio
Bauhinia mexicana - far side of pond
2 Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow plant) - behind crape myrtle
2 Brunfelsia - by 'Little Gem'
1-2 American Beautyberry - shade garden
1 oak-leaf hydrangea (MAYBE) - shade garden
1 Magnolia soulangiana (maybe) - rose garden
1 baldcypress - to replace moribund baldcypress
1 red-leaf crinum - front porch bed
~15 Chinese Sacred Lilies - front porch bed
Leucojum - rose garden?

The oak-leaf hydrangea has not done a particularly good job since we first plopped it in the ground last fall. It had, admittedly, a rough summer, but it hasn't perked up a great deal since going on irrigation. Still, I like to give a plant a couple of years to get established before I throw the towel in. And I do love, love oak-leaf hydrangeas. So green and cool and woodsy. I love how they straddle the divide between being rustic and being elegantly aristocratic. They are coarse in texture, and they have loose, informal panicles, but the little geometric greeny-white flowers have a cool reticence to them that makes a nice counterpoint to the plant's overall garrulousness. Or something like that, anyway. So I may risk a little more capital on a second bush in the hopes that two or three years will see them established and thriving.

And I'd like to add the Bauhinia to provide a backdrop to the pond and the M. soulangiana to add a little shade and a smidge of privacy to the west side of the house.

New/Extended Beds and Paths:
front walk from drive to front porch
extra rose bed extended from planned walk down the drive toward street
formalization of primrose jasmine hedge on east side
walkway to/around expanded pond
expanded pond
AC unit bed
bed around new pond
extended WTF bed
kitchen patio (needs edging and crushed granite)

I think we need to look into getting some wholesale brown steel edging. Buying the stuff 4 or 5 pieces as a time just isn't going to cut it.

And also, wow, that's a lot of stuff I've got planned there. I wonder how much of it we'll actually get done...

Gotta go. Matt trimmed the big old pecan and now he's burning the trimmings. I love fires in autumn!


Anonymous said...

OK, I'm scared to ask and think I know the answer but what is the WTF garden? Or maybe I really don't want to know!

Also, do not go buy bald cypress. Chuck has 6 bigger ones and about 40 small, all healthy. Come get!


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