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Swimpy's Landscaping Thread

 
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 11:38 am
I think that's the going rate around here. This guy's been in business for quite a while and worked for another landscaper for a long time before that. I think he knows what he's doing.

I didn't like the dry creek bed idea. I could just imagine trying to sell this place with a couple tons of rock in the yard. I also don't think we have that much water to deal with that we need a trench. We don't have a wet basement. I think a little regrading will do the trick.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 11:53 am
Excellent. Just so long as the soil surface slopes down toward the sideyard swale...
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 12:25 pm
I don't know much about the land part of lanscaping...... but, I can help you with some plant choices when you're ready.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 03:45 pm
To be honest, K, I'm looking forward to less vegetation in my yard. I'm sure that once everything is ripped out, I'll be asking for your help, though.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2007 11:32 pm
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
I have just had a long telephone conversation with Green Witch, and during the course of the conversation I brought up the subject of Swimpy's gardening thread.

I gave her all the details and she paused for a second and then said, "Gus, you tell her that I said she simply can not go wrong with hostas. Tell her there really is nothing else she needs to know. I would stop over but I am concentrating on another thread dealing with the life and times of our current president, who I am enamored with, and I just can't tear myself away. God, how I love that man. Anyway, Gus, just remember..... hosta. H o s t a is the spelling. Okie dokie then, goodbye."


Sorry Gus, I've been away and you were speaking with our dog sitter, Shirley Bialystok. Shirley owns the local gas station/bait shop that is landscaped exclusively with hostas and bright red mulch. I also think you misunderstood her politics, she had a little stroke last year and is convinced that FDR is still the president, we don't want to shock her, so we just let her go on believing it.

Hey Swimpy, I admit I haven't read the whole thread, and with my dinosaur dial up it will take awhile for me to see the pics., until I do so I will leave you in the capable hands of littlek and Osso.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 06:36 am
I suspect gus was raking some muck, Green Witch. I'm glad you stopped in though. People were starting to worry about you.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 05:11 pm
The plan is ready for review. I'll meet with the landscaper next Wed to go over it and talk about materials. I'll try to post the plan is I can get it scanned or if I can get him to give me an electronic file.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 05:36 pm
cool!
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 07:08 pm
Well I saw the plan and we talked about materials and plants some, but he hasn't even done the elevations at the house yet. Iamb a little disappointed, I expected a more finished product. I don't have anything to show you, but I can try to describe what it will be like.

The backyard will have a patio that will be fairly good sized. The maple tree will come up through it. There will be retaining walls on two sides. One on the uphill side will also serve as a seating area. The walking surface will be kind of a flagstone effect using quartzite (I think that's what he called it.) It will allow water to penetrate between the slabs and control some of the storm water runoff from the property above us. You might remeber that the backyard slopes toward the house.

The front yard will also have a retaining all where our property meets the green house's property (refer to the photos.) There will be a couple of new walkways, one in the front and one in the back. And of course the fence between us and the green house's yards.

His choices for plantings is leaving me a bit cold, though. They're Ok, but nothing special. He originally had three dwarf lilacs, but hubby's allergic so they had to go right away. He's got some viburnum, some ornamental grasses and lots of azaleas. We already have lots of azaleas that will be staying.

I asked him for more plants that would attract birds, so he's going to work that in. He'd left the two blue spruces in the front and I don't want them to stay. He's going to find some smaller shade trees for the front.

Do you have any suggestions for shrubs the have berries and such?
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 07:20 pm
Viburnum are great food sources for birds. What kind of viburnum did he suggest planting? Were the azaleas more of the same? Did he plant anything with a good scent - beside the ousted lilacs (goes back to the viburnum and azalea questions - both species have some fragrant varieties)?

Smallish shade trees in the front - crab apples (or other small fruit trees) would attract birds and can be very pretty all season. Kusa dogwoods are a nice change from the standard type and have very fleshy strawberry looking like fruit that birds and squirrels like (you can eat them too).

Will keep thinking.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 07:32 pm
(psst, swimpy, i loved the video you have up there on your side. the granpas playing harmonicas in a pub... is that in austria or germany somewhere? This is my clandestine bookmark.)
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 07:54 pm
I found this - most of the plants in this list are wild-looking. I mean shrubby, suckering, messy. Some are not. I imagine you want something more refined than a messy suckering shrub. I know you want it low maintenance. This is a finite list. You can look them up and see if any appeal to you. If you find any you like, you should search online to see how hardy they are both climate wise and in their ability to resists disease and pests.

Quote:
Be sure to plant both the summer-fruiting plants, those that produce food in autumn, and plants that retain their fruit throughout the winter. Summer bearing shrubs include blackberries, serviceberry, mulberry, and blueberries. The fall-fruiting plants are desperately needed by migratory birds as well as for your backyard birds. Examples of the fall-fruiting plants include dogwoods, mountain ash, and winterberries. Finally, include some bushes that retain their fruit throughout the winter (or until it is hungrily eaten!) These plants include hollies, firethorn, snowberries, and sumacs.

Attract orioles and hummingbirds plus butterflies with shrubs that produce nectar. People normally think of flowers for nectar but azaleas, butterfly bushes, crabapples, and flowering quince are among the bushes and trees that also produce nectar for these creatures.

And don't forget the trees that produce the acorns, pinecones, and nuts. Plant oaks, pines, hickories, walnuts and many others to add color, beauty and birds to your backyard.
link
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 08:40 pm
dag, my son sent me that video. I love it.

Littlek, He's proposing flowering pear for the shade trees in he front yard. He didn't say what variety of viburnum. Do you have a favorite? What do you think of hydrangeas instead of lilacs. Are there dwarf varieties of hydrangea? I love them, but I need them to be smallish.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 08:58 pm
There are small hydrangeas. He put the lilacs near the patio because of their scent - otherwise, lilacs are sort of lame. If you plant hydrangea, you might not like their looks in the off-season (of which you have many months).

There are dozens (at least) of varieties of viburnum. I like the double-file and the korean spice varieites, but my landlady has a great variety in the yard that I don't know the name of (probably very common type). Some are upwards of 20 feet, some are just a couple. Some have heavenly scents.

The double-file is probably to wild and large for you property, here's a link to a page at my favorite plant website: UCONN plant database
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/v/vibpli/vibpli09.jpg


The korean spice viburnum is a little viburnum, usually - has a heavenly scent: UCONNhttp://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/v/vibcar/vibcar21.jpg
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:07 pm
So white flowers and red fruits? Sounds interesting. I like wild ones, too. You might be right about their size, though.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:11 pm
A for hydrangea..... they're almost as diverse as viburnum. I like lacecap hydrangeas - they aren't the more common ball-flower type. Hydrangeas can be 2 foot tall to 20 feet tall.

There are some dwarf varieties with nicely variegated leaves (I don't really know anything about these, found them at the UCONN site. 'Pia', 'Forever Pink' and 'Tovelit' - varieties of the "bigleaf hydrangea" (or Macrophylla)
UCONN

and a variety of pictures of the lacecaps:
lacecaps
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:22 pm
Winterberry is a holly. It doesn't have the standard dark, shiny, pointed leaves one might associate with hollies. The berries persist into winter, unless the birds get them. The form isn't wonderful, but it can be pruned.

UCONN

and from another site, a photo:

http://www.hort.net/images/gallery/split2/aqu/ilevewr/ilevewr00-35619daeac2b32a3275d6d0cff980b35.jpg
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:23 pm
The doublefile would be too big, the korean spice might not be.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:24 pm
I love hydrangeas!! Unfortunately I can't plant them outside as the spot
I have available is too sunny, but I constantly buy hydrangeas plants and
place them in front of the entrance door.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 09:29 pm
CJ - they're good planter plants - can you keep them year round in that spot?

Swimpy - what would you say to metalic purple (like no other color in nature) berries?
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