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Swimpy's Landscaping Thread

 
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 02:50 pm
@Swimpy,
I've let this thread languish. I was so unhappy after the work was done that I didn't want to post pictures or even talk about it any more. This spring I was sure that all my plants were dead. Slowly, but surely they have come to life. Two of the blue azaleas are not 100%, but I think they will be OK. My crabs in the front yard survived the brutal winter and bloomed! Sadly, all of our boxwood died. They were probably 10 years old, but this winter was too much for them. Have to figure out what to plant in their place. I also haven't figured out exactly what to do for plantings in the front yard. We have mainly hostas. I'd like to plant some flowering shrubs that won't get too big. Maybe more azaleas. Can they take full sun?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 03:37 pm
@Swimpy,
Well dang. Sorry that the work was so unsatisfying. And sorry that you lost all of your boxwoods! Yay for azaleas and crabapples.

(Dunno about azaleas and full sun -- will defer. I had some in part-full shade that were unhappy.)
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 03:53 pm
@Swimpy,
Some azaleas - sun azaleas, which are a variety of Belgian Indicas called Southern Indicas - will take full sun, but I don't know about your winters. One I'm considering planting here, for reasons of sentiment, not sanity - will take down to 10 degrees F...
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:37 pm
@ossobuco,
The landscaper that I didn't hire but had to pay for his crappy design anyway had chosen some azaleas for the front yard. He failed to specify the variety. Our winters had bee pretty mild for about 20 years but the last two were hard. The last one was especially brutal. We reached -30F one night. I think the plants could have handled that if it hadn't been for the fact that most of the snow melted in January and we didn't really get much more after that to insulate the plants. The state climatoligist is predicting that this is the beginning of a 20 year cold winter cycle.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 05:48 pm
@Swimpy,
Hey Swimpy. Sorry to hear that the landscaping didn't work out as hoped.

Are there any native dogwoods that you like? It took me two tries to find one that worked in the winters we've had lately - and that one is now spreading along happily - perhaps a tiny bit more horizontally than I'd realized was possible. It looks good in all seasons - red branches, white flowers, gorgeous leaves.

Solomon's Seal and False Solomon's Seal generally grow well in areas that hostas also thrive in - they're plants that grow into small shrub-sized encampments - ferns like to live under them.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 06:04 pm
@Swimpy,
I'm not so sure sun azaleas are right for your place anyway, even if they fit temperature guidelines ... besides, they tend to prefer part shade..
Think it is a good time to look around at other possibilities.
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 06:16 pm
@ehBeth,
I want small shrubs to plant in the hosta bed. I think the dogwoods would be too tall. I had a red twig dogwood in the back yard that got huge. I want the crab apples to be the stars of the front yard. Everything else is the supporting cast.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 06:17 pm
@ossobuco,
I agree. Hydrangeas? Are there dwarf varieties?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 06:33 pm
@Swimpy,
Yes, there are some short ones... They need part shade in hotter climates.. (didn't at my northern california place where it rarely got above 65..)
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 06:43 pm
Adding, I love hydrangeas myself.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:28 pm
viburnum has a few good varieties - korean spicebush is one that stays smallish, is a bit airy in the shade and produces scented flowers in mid spring.

Or small azaelea (like deleware white)
bridle wreath spirea (weeping and twiggy)
kerria japonica (weeping and twiggy)

What about a large herbaceous plant and not a woody shrub?

littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:35 pm
@littlek,
dang it. Took too long to edit.

deleware white rhodo/azaelea didn't get winter damage this winter in Boston
other woody shrubs:
dwarf pieris (andromeda) (can be finicky)
Inkberry (a gentle type of holly)

Another large, herbaceous plant for shady-ish areas are Japanese Anemone
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 09:05 am
@littlek,
I'll see if anyone around here is selling those. Any thoughts on red sedum? I saw some at the framers market this morning and am considering them.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 09:21 am
just a thought, Hardy Blue Geraniums.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 09:48 am
@Swimpy,
I'm used to sedum in California and it behaves differently in Albuquerque - mine drops back to a nub in winter then has beginning green leaves and grows in the spring. The second one here - Sedum Autumn Joy, grows much more vigorously out there than here - so you might ask the person at the nursery how it behaves there.

http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.485.120
http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.485.340
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 01:42 pm
Ok.... so.... we're talking more about the herbaceous plant rather than woody shrub category? Swimpy, can you give me a height range you wouldn't want to exceed?
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:54 pm
@dyslexia,
I'll have to look into that one. I'm not familiar.
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Swimpy
 
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Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 05:58 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't know what variety this guy had. He said they get about 18" tall. I think the second link is pretty close.

K, I'm pretty open to anything right now. I don't want anything too tall. Not more than 2', I'd say. The paln is to mix them in with the hostas. I would like a little more color in the front yard. I have carpet roses that are crimson. They will be blooming throuout the summer. I should take some more pictures.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 06:31 pm
With < 2 feet being your goal, nix the viburnum!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 May, 2009 06:40 pm
@Swimpy,
I'm a little surprised buxus doesn't make it, but I'll have to review it - there are different varieties.
There's also ilex vomitorius, sounds horrible but is "cute" - that I'd want to look up. Euonymous, which I've almost never specified, I'd have to look up.

Swimp, I'm not clear, are you looking for a sidewalk border plant, to make a line.. even a bushy not very pruned line..
or a low shrub that spreads (hmm, thinking one of the whatchacallits, cotoneaster)

Littlek and Green Witch know shrubs in your zone better than I do..

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