The (not so) Great Outdoors

22 Jul

Thanks to the nasty bushes being pulled out (as documented here), I have a pretty blank slate to work with on the landscaping front.  And yet, I have found myself at a loss of knowing what to do.  (Landscaping expert anyone?)

Because I’ve been a little discouraged by the bad grass growth in the front and the stupid earwigs which have been munching on a number of my plants, I haven’t planted anything in the place of the bushes we ripped out.  I am in need of a bit of inspiration!  Here’s what I discovered in my search for inspiration, and what I’m scheming to pull off for next spring…

I like the look of foundation planters packed full of Hostas, and the couple of Hostas that I have are doing just fine in my planters that frame my front door…

Maybe next year I can try to replicate this a bit instead of the sparse and symmetry-lacking look I have going on right now?

gorgeous, right?!!

Some white Endless Summer Hydrangea with Hostas and Ferns in front, or it could be that the Hostas pack out the planters and I just place the Hydrangea on the corners of the porch.  Either way,  I think that could work!

Moving on to the tree planter, the grasses (Sedge Evergold) seemed to grow well in the part-sun side (the right side is part-sun and the left side is full shade) and the sweet woodruff did okay on the shaded side.  We planted a vine by the base of the tree in hopes that it would wrap around it… while it is not dead, it also appears to have not grown at all. We’ll see next year if that guy has just been getting nice and rooted and ready to take off.  If not, we’ll have to develop a new game plan with that too.  Basically everything else in the tree planter is getting the boot.  I’m thinking I’ll incorporate the Hostas in here too (for consistency/continuity) and then for flowers and color, daylilies might be my best bet.  The one I have seems to be doing well, so I will plan on using those in the tree planter as well.  Pop some annuals in the bare spots left between perennials and we might be in business!

Now we are at the large planters on the south side of my house that are sunny, and ugly as sin…

I want evergreens, and lots of them, as this is a very visible side of our house and winter really consumes our year.  However, I am not a fan of anything pine-tree-looking.

I’m definitely a broadleaf evergreen person!  Upon deep internet investigation, here’s what I found…

Viburnum plicatum tomentosumNewzam‘. What a mouthful!!  But, I think this *could* be my plant!

Here is an article all about this variety.  Basically, they should be an evergreen in my zone (Zone 6), this particular variety gets those beautiful flowers around May, and the foliage turns burgundy in fall.  They grow 4-5 feet tall (perfect for under our windows!) and look good as a hedge or used in mass plantings.  This website says they are hardy and resistant to serious pests.  And that could solve my dilemma of worrying about earwigs eating them!  I’ll do a serious happy dance if/when I find these plants, preferably within a 100 mile radius of here.

Here are a couple more picts of them doing their thing…

Foliage changes color in the fall…

And here is a (bad) picture of it used as a foundation hedge of sorts…

I’m pretty happy with this idea.  It will also enable me to just kinda enjoy their different seasons and we’ll be getting lots of tulips in the spring to enjoy too.  I’ll also have dahlias and the poppies I love along the edge too.  Possibly add some grassy variety of plants at the base of these shrubs for some texture, but really I don’t think I’ll need much else.

Anyone out there have any experience with these guys?  Please share your experience if you do!  Anyone have an evergreen they’ve been loving you’d like to recommend?


6 Responses to “The (not so) Great Outdoors”

  1. Rayia July 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh, I love the inspiration for the porch planter!!!

  2. Bobbinoggin July 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Gotta love hastas!

  3. Bethany July 26, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Thanks! I’m pretty excited/hopeful I can pull this off next spring. We’ll see!

  4. Elise Crapuchettes July 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Bethany, I don’t know how I happened upon your blog (but it’s a great one)…we have a lot of viburnums at our house because they’re very hardy. We don’t have this variety, but the ones we have lose their leaves in the winter. We have a holly bush and some laurel bushes that don’t lose their leaves (and are really pretty) and even our rhododendron didn’t lose its leaves (although they start to look a little wilty with all the wind up here). Anyway, that’s my two cents!

  5. Bethany July 31, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Elise – Thanks so much for sharing your experience with viburnums! I would have been so upset if I planted a bunch intending for them to be evergreens only for them to loose their leaves! I love rhododendrons, and had been considering them too, so maybe that’s the way I should go. Thanks again, glad you found my blog!


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