I'm finally almost done with the clearing part of getting my yard ready -- worked for a good 6 hours yesterday, got a bagfull of poison ivy and a whole lotta weeds. Not finished, but the end is in sight (Moapi is well and truly dead and all the t's are crossed and i's dotted in the front yard -- looking good) and I'm starting to think in terms of fall planting for next year.
I always like White Flower Farm for ideas, even if I buy elsewhere. I also have a great local nursery that has good advice, will be asking them as well. But would love any and all input from serious/ knowledgeable gardeners.
We had a little (maybe 5' tall and 3' diameter) pine that didn't survive being pummeled by falling branches during the ice storm last winter. We dug out the corpse this weekend -- there are some roots left but got most of it out, the area is pretty plantable as-is.
In terms of the layout of the garden in front, there is a hole -- something belongs there, of similar prominence if not that big. We've talked to a few people who know about these things who said that it never should have been there in the first place, wrong planting for that area. So don't want to replace it with another tree of the same type.
I also want more flowers/ color, the current perennial plantings are kind of shrub-happy. (I've been putting in colorful annuals which help.)
The area is under a big old tree, about 10 feet from the trunk. The leaves on the tree don't start until quite high up, and that area gets a lot of sun -- there are irises planted around the base of the tree on the south side and they do great (as far as I can tell, they usually require full sun).
Some things I'm thinking of:
- Lavender (my one previous plant purchase from White Flower Farm, grew by leaps and bounds, could make a nice big mound within a few years I think). Although as far as I can tell, it's not something to plant in the fall?
(Collection that includes 12 lilies and 6 ferns.) The square footage and sun exposure both seem right, would love to have a later bloomer (most blooms now are spring/ early summer, this is August/ September), and I think the white would look good there.
- A birdbath with flowers (to be determined) planted around the base.
The backyard is very woodsy/ shady. Right now it has vast swaths of vinca and ivy, with spring bulbs sprinkled around, peonies (? weird, but they do OK), and some spring daylilies. It is very vulnerable to weeds, with lots of gaps in the vinca/ ivy groundcover. Some weeds are fine (virginia bluebells), some are not (poison ivy, ragweed, burrs, garlic mustard). As in, some "weeds" I want and will encourage to naturalize, others I don't. The back yard was delightful for a few weeks in early spring with all the bulbs, but is pretty boring the rest of the time. What I am especially interested in is planting things that will take over bare/ sparse spots and crowd out the weeds, and that won't require much care.
(I love that in that picture they are against the same vinca/ ivy groundcover I have.)
(Another spring bloomer, but the foliage is interesting.)
- Toad lily.
I like that these have summer/ fall bloom and tend to spread.
What do you guys think?