Monday, July 05, 2010

A Blank Slate

I don't know which is worse, starting with a worn out garden or beginning with nothing at all.  I have done both, and I think the most difficult is rejuvenating an old garden - what to keep, what to discard is the continual question.  Most likely one is stuck with established shade trees (unless expense is not a problem) and huge evergreens, shrubs and low growing evergreens being easier to take out.

I will use my daughter's home as an example of long past their prime plantings.  Slowly, as her funds allow, I do a plan for each area, replanting the  gardens with plants that are easier to maintain and have great eye appeal. 

In the large perennial garden bed, we removed just about everything except some daylilies and the Sweet Autumn Clematis along the back fence (now being cut to the ground each year - see how large it gets with yearly cutting).  The garden has just begun and constantly changes, many types of daylilies and phlox, pink and red double knockouts, shasta daisies, gaillardia, rozanne geranium, may night salvia, russian sage, and autumn joy sedum.  The four rose bushes are the backbone of this garden and are blooming until the snow flies.  In the spring is is filled with hundreds of daffodils of many varieties - hardest part waiting for the tops to die down without pulling them or cutting them down.

Along her front porch and the front of the home were fifty year old yews that have been removed and replaced with Endless Summer Hydrangeas and Chicagoland Boxwoods, a new magnolia, Blue Dart Myrtle groundcover, Blushing Bride Hydrangeas, hostas, ferns and some saved astilbes that were on another part of the property.  Most of the plants were found at Home Depot at very reasonable prices

A large area along the side of the home has just been cleared of pachysandra, tree roots and overgrown shrubs.  I have done a plan for this area which will take awhile to complete because of the expense.  All that is there now are some new Green Velvet Boxwoods and a Limelight Hydrangea (they may be moved eventually).  I am going to really have to rack my brain to come up with a cover for those heating exhaust pipes!  Plantings have to be four feet away - any ideas?

At my stage, I want everything to be instant but a little bit done each year with planning and using the correct plant materials, becomes a very satisfying accomplishment.


Tootsie said...

it'll come...every garden is a work in progress. I was looking back at my yard a few years ago...things are sure was so young back then...
I know what past prime looks like...been sometimes is harder to get rid of than to create! have fun with it!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I agree Tootsie, it is so hard to pull stuff out and throw it away! Your yard looks wonderful.


Jim Groble said...

Your back yard looks stupendous. Good luck on the front redo. We never seem to be finished, but I guess that's part of the fun in gardening. jim

Roses and Lilacs said...

I agree, replanting a garden is much harder than starting from scratch. Even moving a few well established anchor plants can be back breaking.

I love hydrangea, in July they really come into their own.

rambleonrose said...

The changes look great! I agree that fixing an old garden with issues is very tough; I've been dealing with it since moving to our house, but I am also making new garden spaces from scratch. Either way it is definitely satisfying!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jim,

This is my daughter's home, much larger yard than I have. So when I get frustrated with my lack of space, I can always put the plants I wish for in her garden.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Marnie,

I hope her new plants survive the moving around because of clearning issues.