Baby Plants Make Me Cautiously Optimistic

October 24, 2011   //  Posted in: Curb Appeal, Gardening   //  By: Emily   //  2 responses

The front yard landscaping should be done by year 2020. It makes me a little sad to show it to you in its immature state.

In my mind, by 2020 it’ll have a lush, leafy, layered appearance, just like every other mature landscape I admire. Even a neighbor who hasn’t trimmed her hedges in as long as I’ve lived here can at least attest to having nice, mature foliage. Shucks.

Mine are mere babies in comparison, especially the inkberries. Scale to me. They’re Babykin plantaloons.

Inkberries. I wish they were bigger.

I spent late last week and the weekend plotting my front yard landscape with some of the plants I brought home from Plantasia Nursery. Not only did I buy an assortment that was primarily leafy (non-evergreen) and unique from what was already on my property, but because all of the plants were 40% off, I felt A-OK spending more moolah buying the larger, more established-looking varieties.

I already wrote about our experience browsing Plantasia. It was thoroughly overwhelming, but I made my picks pretty easily. Choice #1 was a Cardinal Dogwood Bush for our front yard; it happily found a place beside the porch, but keep on reading to see it in action. We love this plant for many reasons, but mostly because unlike a more commonly seen dogwood tree, the bush has stunningly bright red branches. Coming in at $34, it felt like a worthwhile purchase, considering that during the spring/summer its leafy, and in the fall/winter it displays that radical pop of color. We saw one that had long-lived on-site at the nursery, and it stood easily 10-feet tall and 6-feet wide, so here’s to hoping this one has a growth spurt fast. It’s big, as shown still in the pot scaled next to Codeman, but not that big.

Cody and the cardinal dogwood.

When we came across the Winter Red Winterberries, it was love again. Choice #2, locked in. Swayed by the opportunity to have a pop of color all fall and winter (that’s 6-months of our year in NY), it looked wonderful beside the Cardinal Dogwood and complemented the eggplant purple front door. I brought home two of the larger, berry-coated ones they were selling, plus, their man-friend…

Winterberries! Pretty.

What I didn’t know until I was placing my order was that Winterberry, the ones shown with the berries, is a female plant. This is where it becomes very obvious that I recall nothing from 10th grade biology. In order to have plants that produce those pretty berries, I actually needed a male counterpart in the vicinity to pollinate the females every year, hence the reason I bought a male Winterberry too. That dude will never produce berries. I didn’t ask many questions, and I can’t speak to how this works, but props to the nursery experts for letting me know that he was required. I bought the two ladies and their man for a sweet $43. In any case, if the male helps to make my ladies produce these lovelies, I’m cool with doing what I have to do.

Winterberry Berries.

The male is not as handsome without the berries, and will never even be lush and pretty like the females. I’ve been advised to tuck him in the back out of plain sight to let him do his thaaang, so you won’t be seeing much more of him beyond this stunning close-up:

Mr. Male Winterberry. Less stunning.

Choice #3: We liked the look and leafiness of the Inkberry, the plants you saw me photographed with at the top of this post; while the size we bought was more established than some, it still has a ways to grow over the years. Nursery folk likened Inkberry to Boxwood, as both stay leafy all year round, and can be sculpted and pruned to my little heart’s desire.

When it came time to plant, we decided to balance out the new winter shades of reds on either side of the garden, and popped the Inkberries in the center; a thriving Azalea was left between the Winterberries on the left, and a happy Hydrangea was left to be on the right. The yard it ended up looking like this (from afar, and seemingly at an angle):

Planting lay-down.

Side note: The new grass is a-growin’. Hot!

Even though I left the happy Azalea and Hydrangea, you might have noticed that some of the previous landscaping efforts were adjusted; one of the azaleas (one that dying-or-rejuvenating, unsure) was transferred to the backyard, as was the bushy thing that was under the sunroom window. We still don’t know what exactly it is, but it’s nice and leafy and I’m too proud of it’s growth over the last year to toss it.

That bushy bush was bigger than I thought.

It does a great job filling in most of the space directly behind the garage, where it’ll still get plenty of sun but will be out of direct line-of-sight. It seems much bigger?

Larger-than-expected bush, and other assorted land-fillers. Also shown there are the dying-or-rejuvenating azalea (which I realize you can’t actually see because in it’s almost-dead state, it’s the same color as the soil) and a mum that has been on used for fall-color on the back deck for the last month. To their new home, I also dropped in the three Mountain Laurel plants that I bought for $36 (easy Choice #4), and am eager for them to fill in the new space.

Mountain Laurel, with its leafy greens will really liven up that back corner of the yard.

Let’s see how it all holds up to frost. Last year at this time, we had already had the first snowfall, yeesh.

I realize many of my fab readers are in warmer climates, but is anyone else scrambling to get their last minute landscaping and yard work wrapped this week?

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie
    6 years ago - Reply

    We tried to finish up some landscaping this weekend, but got distracted by building a new mantle for our fireplace. Hopefully the weather is alright until next weekend!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      A mantle! That totally needs to be checked off the list before winter so you can relax in front of the fireplace!

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