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Author Topic: Todd's Annual Rite of Spring, 2016 . . .  (Read 2275 times)
Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2016, 01:02:38 AM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





I snapped a few more pics of the great colors before heading off to work.  The blue flowering Creeping Phlox plants seem very happy.  The red flowering plants didn't flower much at all, but are still green and seem to be growing.





I'm going to move the Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn to a sunnier location.  At this moment, I'm thinking about swapping places with the Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel that sits in the mailbox area.  The tag that came with the Hawthorn suggests "full sun."  Right in front of the house has never seemed to be ideal.  The tag for the Cherry Laurel, on the other hand, suggests "part sun."  Why I planted it at the mailbox, one of the sunniest locations in the yard, is a mystery.  Swapping the two seems like a good idea.  But that will be a project for another day.





The Loropetalums look like they are done blooming, which means I can prune them soon before they overtake my front windows.





The new Reeves Spireas look great ! 





I'm hoping that in a few years, they will be as big as the Bridal Wreath Spirea at the mailbox. 





The large Dogwood tree looks like it may have peaked as far as blooming is concerned, and is beginning to turn green.





The red half of the first azalea by the street has peaked and is beginning to turn green.





The white half appears to be at its peak now.





The other azaleas along the driveway look great !








I'm really enjoying this spring especially because everything is doing so well.  And what do you know, Plantapalooza is this coming weekend .  .  .


« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 01:10:44 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2016, 04:06:13 PM »

UGA Horticulture Club Plant Sale # 2 .  .  .
April 9 - 10, 2016
Part 1 of 2





I've got a few items on the agenda for this weekend.  Leaf & Limb collection is scheduled for next week in my neighborhood.  So I've got some cleaning up to do.  I found a cluster of ornamental grass in the back yard that I think may look good out front.  But first and foremost is the annual spring "Plantapalooza" sale.  Plantapalooza is a massive one day spring plant sale held in three separate locations in Athens - The State Botanical Garden of Gerogia, the UGA Trial Gardens, and the UGA Horticulture Club Greenhouses.  So I'll be heading to the sale.  But first, I took my usual walk through the yard to check on this week's progress.





The subject of moving the Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn away from the front of the house has been on my mind as of late.  It likes full sun.  The position of the house relative to the sun coupled with the encroaching loropetalum next to it have proven to be less than ideal.  So I've decided to swap locations with the Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel at the mailbox.





The Cherry Laurel likes part sun which is why I originally planted this shrub in the back yard.  After a couple of years of minimal activity, (and forgetting completely about the part sun suggestion), I moved it to the mailbox thinking it needed more sun, which turned out to be too much sun.  Maybe it will it will be happy in front of the house.





I'm still trying to decide what to do with the Japanese Maple tree I found in the back yard.  I moved it last week away from the privacy hedges near the property line into an area where it can get some more sun until I can figure something out.





I think it's a Japanese Maple.  Not sure really.





The Pieris Snowdrift and both Illicium Pink Frost plants seem to be happy in the back yard.





The driveway azaleas have probably reached their peak as far as blooming is concerned.  The red/white combo next to the street is already turning green.  The others will be following suit.





I can prune and shape once the blooming cycle is finished.





I planted the Delaware Valley Azalea shown below in 2014.  After not flowering last spring, it looks great this year.





The azalea shown below has been somewhat of an oddly-shaped mess since I've lived here.  I've tried to shape and prune with some success.  But it's still a mess.  Not sure what to do about it, though.





The azalea below was also kinda rough looking when I first moved here.  Several years of shaping and pruning have been very beneficial.


« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 04:10:56 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2016, 04:06:27 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





My plan for the plant sale this year was to wander aimlessly for a while and wait until something hits me, (i.e. the same plan I've had for every plant sale).  The difference this time is that I need to keep in mind how to properly utilize the space that I have without turning the yard into a crowded mess.  After much wandering, daydreaming, and chatting with the staff, I came home with 4 Rhaphiolepis Indica shrubs.  





At least, I think they are Rhaphiolepis Indica shrubs.  I forgot to take a photo of the sign where they were sitting.  After I got them home, I discovered that there were no tags on any of the plants.  And checking my email later revealed no detailed description on my receipt.  So this is a complete guess.  I do, however, remember the name "Indicia."  So I'm going to go with until Rhaphiolepis Indica  -  another variety of Indian Hawthorn  -  until I find out differently.





Expanding my "Random Curved Shape" gets challenging at this point.  My objective is to add more colorful stuff without making the space look crowded and unorganized.  The new Indian Hawthorn shrubs call for full sun.  So I decided to add a curve to the area of the shape shown below.





I followed the standard procedure - clear grass/weeds, dig holes, plant, repeat.





Since the Super Blue Lavender plants are mulched in red, I used black mulch for the new Indian Hawthorn plants.  





I really like the idea of using the homemade mulch to separate the groups of plants, and having either black or red mulch around the plants themselves.  Expanding the shape this way allows me to add my homemade mulch in between the Super Blue Lavenders, the Husker Red Beardtongues, and the Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass in keeping with the pattern in the rest of the shape.  





I don't have much of a pile for Leaf & Limb collection this time, which is a good sign, I guess.





The new Vitex Shoal Creek is doing well.





I noticed a large clump of some kind of ornamental grass in the back yard.  Its size got my attention and made me think it would fit quite well in the corner by the front walk.





This was one of those impulse decisions I have a tendency to make on occasion.  But unlike most of them, this decision seems to fit.





I like it !  Life is good .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 04:12:57 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2016, 05:29:49 PM »

Mowing, mulching, moving .  .  .
April 24, 2016





This is a very active time of year.  Everything is awakening for the season and growing very quickly.  Changes occur daily.  The new Vitex Shoal Creek I planted two weeks ago already seems to have added some leaves.





The new Indian Hawthorn shrubs seem to be happy.  





I'm beginning to see some activity with the Coronation Gold Yarrows.  The small white clusters will turn bright yellow pretty soon.





And the time is drawing near when I will hopefully see a bunch of Yellow Flag Irises.





The first order of business for today was to extend the homemade mulch border around the Leyland Cypress.  It had been somewhat isolated from everything else.  I added red mulch to keep the alternating pattern in place, then broke out the mower to make some more homemade mulch for the border.





I haven't ventured a whole lot into this side of the yard, only because the Sweet Gum tree and nearby pine trees shield this area completely from any sunlight.  But since I relocated a small azalea and planted the Reeves Spireas by the Leyland Cypress, extending the mulch border seemed like an idea that could work.





The next item on the agenda was to finally move the Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn away from the front of the house.  I decided to swap locations with the Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel shrub that I moved to the mailbox area back in 2014.  The Indian hawthorn likes full sun, and the cherry laurel likes part shade.  Both should be happy with the move.





The Indian hawthorn is much larger than the cherry laurel which required enlarging the mailbox area.  That expansion coupled with shifting one of the Javelin Rush Grass plants toward the driveway about a foot provided enough room to fully accommodate the hawthorn.  This also required more bricks.  No problem there !  I seem to discover bricks every time I put the shovel in the dirt.





The much smaller cherry laurel fit nicely in between a loropetalum (left), and the Frostproof Gardenia (right) in the photo below.  There was a small and rather unhappy rose bush also in that spot.  I decided to move what is left of it to the area where the other two rose bushes sit, (might as well have all three clusters of sticks in the same location).  This should give everyone enough room to expand.





My "Random Curved Shape" has become much more random and curved so far this season.





I'm extremely happy with everything so far .  .  .


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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2016, 10:02:30 PM »

The flowers have arrived .  .  .
April 27 - May 1, 2016
Part 1 of 2





I was getting ready for work on Wednesday and happened to catch a brief glimpse of yellow out of my front window.  So I grabbed the camera.


April 27



The Yellow Flag Irises were beginning to bloom !





This pattern that would continue through the rest of the week.


April 28



Flowers !    


April 29



April 30



And finally, today.


May 1



The Yellow Flag Irises bloomed for the first time last year much to my delight.  There weren't a whole lot of flowers, which I'm guessing had something to do with when I moved them out front.  But I had flowers, nonetheless.  Now that they have been in this spot for more than a year, I was hoping for great things to happen, and I wasn't disappointed.


April 27



I saw a grand total of three flowers on Wednesday (above).  By Thursday (below), that number had grown to around 15.


April 28



That number doubled by Friday (below).


April 29



More flowers appeared on Saturday (below).


April 30



And even more appeared on Sunday (below) .  .  .


May 1
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2016, 10:02:40 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





The Yellow Flag Irises weren't the only source of activity this past week.  Some new feathery stems could be seen on the Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass.





After cutting the center stems of the Husker Red Beardtongues over the winter, they have now reappeared and are sporting some small white flowers.





One of the Super Blue Lavender plants died last year.  But the remaining four seem to be doing ok.  I'll have to do some research as to whether or not I should divide these plants and when.





One of the Coronation Gold Yarrows looks a little small.  But all are growing.  The white clusters seen in the photo below will be turning bright yellow pretty soon.





The large clump of ornamental grass I moved last week seems to be surviving.  





And I've even got a few roses blooming on my bundles of sticks.








My rose bushes generally seem to hate me.  But when roses do appear, they are quite beautiful.








The time had come to tackle another project.  The large red/white combo azalea cluster next to the street has been overgrown ever since I moved to Athens.  It looks beautiful when it flowers.  But after that, I'm left with a bunch of 4-foot long branches with big clusters of greenery on the ends, but nothing in the center.  I've been trying to prune and shape them since I moved here, and have enjoyed a reasonable amount of success, meaning I was starting to see some new growth at the base of the plants.  With the blooming cycle now over, I broke out the hand saw and clippers.





Some of the shaping I have done over the years seems to have facilitated new growth near the base.  Pruning the outer shell will hopefully allow more of this new growth to develop.





I'm happy to report that all is well !





« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 10:04:32 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2016, 02:51:25 PM »

Thinking about an ambitious project .  .  .
May 13, 2016





I planted four new Indian Hawthorn shrubs I bought at the UGA Hort. Club Plant Sale a few weeks ago.  That area with its fresh new mulch looks great, but was making the other mulched areas in the immediate vicinity look somewhat shabby.  Mulch breaks down over time and will slowly lose its color.  Lowe's is nice enough to put mulch on sale periodically.  When this happens, I'll load the Cirrus up and bring a bunch home, (I can fit 10 bags in the trunk with the rear seat folded down !).





The red mulch I put down around the Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass had faded considerably over the last year.  I added more today.





Since I was renewing faded mulch, the black mulch around the Husker Red Beardtongues was looking pretty old as well. 





The Beardtongues are blooming beautifully this year !  A fresh coat of black mulch makes the colors stand out. 





The red mulch around the Super Blue Lavender plants also needed a good freshening.





Unfortunately, I ran out of mulch before I could get to the Coronation Gold Yarrows and Goldmound Spireas.   





While obviously faded, neither looks what you would call "bad."  And Lowe's should have mulch on sale again for the Memorial Day weekend.





I'm really happy with the alternating red and black design.   





Fresh mulch really makes the colors of the plants stand out.





And that leads me to the "project" mentioned in the title to this entry.  The "grass" on that side of the yard by the Dogwood tree is nothing but weeds.  And these aren't your normal weeds.  I'm talking about the indestructible kind that have the consistency of barbed wire.  If you have one seed, one drop of water, and one grain of dirt, you'll have a field full of this stuff in 3 months.  Someone used the term "Monkey Grass" one time.  I don't know what it's actually called, other than unending, and this side of the yard is full of it. 

I'm considering extending the mulch pattern I've established in the center of the yard all the way over to the pine tree beside the driveway.  This means the Dogwood tree, Japanese Camellia, and large pine tree, itself, would all get surrounded by mulch in that same pattern.  This also means I'll eventually be trying to eliminate all of those weeds.  There are a lot of them, and they don't go quietly or quickly.  I've tried several techniques so far and have found that digging them up with a shovel and putting down a thick layer of mulch seems to work well in the short term.  Today, I carved out an area around the Dogwood tree and put down black mulch. 





The "project" would involve making more homemade mulch to cover the weeds seen in the photos above and below between the Dogwood tree (foreground), Japanese Camellia (far left), and the ornamental grasses. 


 


This is just an idea.  One part of me hates all the weeds and would like nothing more than to see them disappear.  But the other part really likes what looks like a winding path by the Camellia and Dogwood. I'll have to think about this .  .  .


« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 02:56:57 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2016, 09:58:29 PM »

Hot and dry .  .  .
May 28 - July 28, 2016
Part 1 of 3





I find myself not doing a whole lot in the yard this summer, especially compared to last year.  This is mainly out of concern for aesthetics.  Planting too much in the wrong spots would make the yard look like a cluttered mess.  So I'm trying to be cautious. 

But I've also entered into the hot and dry time of the year.  "Hot & humid, chance of thunderstorms" sums up the weather forecast for the entire summer.  Temps consistently in the 90s are always accompanied by lots of humidity from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Every day !  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  Mother Nature providing the water for my plants in the form of a brief, yet intense thunderstorm means I don't have to pay Athens-Clarke County for it.  My plants are happy, and I'm happy.  I see nothing but "win" here.  And so far, Mother Nature has been doing a good job of keeping everything watered consistently.  The yard looks pretty nice as a result.





The Tiny Dessert Asiatic Lilies on the front porch did their thing, although not as much as last year.  I think the local deer population finds these plants tasty.





And I see I have a volunteer growing out of the bricks in my porch.  I buy stuff from Lowe's or UGA, plant it in the dirt in my front yard, water regularly, and I still have to cross my fingers and hope this arrangement is acceptable.  Yet I have a flower that has appeared out of nowhere growing from an area where nothing should be growing.  And it's blooming !  Very strange.





I think the deer also got to the Happy Returns Daylilies around the maple tree.  They bloomed quite well last year, but not as much this year.





The flowers that are blooming look quite nice.





I think the deer like the new Indian Hawthorn shrubs I planted recently. 





Maybe it's me.  But they seem to have shrunk since I planted them in April. 





The Coronation Gold Yarrows have done extremely well since I planted them last year.





Low maintenance is the key with these plants.  Very little input is required on my part.





The Super Blue Lavender surprised me this year.  They didn't look all that healthy at the end of last summer, and one of the five I planted actually died.  But the remaining four rebounded just fine .  .  .


« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 11:34:50 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2016, 10:00:57 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 3





The Frostproof Gardenia in front of the house is blooming better than it has in years past.





I'm not sure what I did differently this year, if anything.  But I've got more flowers this year.





The Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel seems to be happy in its new location next to the Frostproof Gardenia.  I'm seeing new growth which is a good sign.





The large clump of ornamental grass I moved from the back yard to this corner by the driveway looks great !  I believe this is called Big Blue Liriope.





The Vitex Shoal Creek flowered right after I planted it, which is a good sign.  I may have to remove the bottom branch that is against the ground.  It doesn't look right compared to the rest of the plant.





This shrub should look great when it gets to its full size, which is something like 10 feet !





I'm not sure about the Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn I moved to the mailbox area.  It seems to be dropping all of its leaves, which may be a sign of disease (from what I am reading). 





This is also the time of the year for the Crape Myrtles to bloom.  The large Crape Myrtle next to my garage looks great !





It seems to be blooming with much greater intensity than it did last year.  This is probably my imagination at work considering I did nothing differently this year.





Once the large Crape Myrtle starts blooming, the smaller ones follow suit. 





The Plum Magic plant in the background of the photo above is still asleep.  But the Purple Magic plant is doing its thing, as is the Crimson Red.





These plants will also look great once they reach their full size.  I'm just happy they're blooming .  .  .


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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2016, 10:01:27 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 3 of 3





The continuing expansion of my "Random Curved Shape" and its position relative to the front walk has created the narrow area filled with weeds seen in the photo below.  My entire front yard consists of those seemingly indestructible weeds.  But combining them with having the front walk on one side and a bunch of homemade mulch on the other only amplifies the green weeds in the center even further.  I wouldn't mind as much if the weeds were a beautiful lush green.  But they aren't !  They need to go.





I'm not sure what I want to do here, and have been considering several ideas recently.  Some kind of ornamental grass would look nice.  I've also thought about something like lava rock or white marble rocks.  But I'm not sure at this moment.  The plan for today was to get rid of the weeds.  I'll decide what, if anything, should go back in those spots later.





I'm actually working with two areas, one of which is quite small.  Digging down a few inches seems to be the best removal method for whatever these weeds are.





I ended up digging down about 2 - 4 inches across the whole area.  That removed not only the weeds, but a bunch of concrete that I'm guessing was left over when the sidewalk was poured in 1974.





These weeds don't go willingly or quietly.  Landscape fabric seems somewhat necessary.





I laid out the fabric and cut it to match the curved shape.





I decided to try something different in the form of large Pine Bark Nuggets for no reason other than they were cheap.  Lowe's had them on sale.  





The process is pretty straight forward - open bag, dump on the landscape fabric, repeat.





The area was filled a short time later.





I think it looks fine.  It may not be quite right for the surrounding area, like it doesn't match anything else.  But it will make a nice stepping stone for a future project for the time being .  .  .


« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 11:40:26 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2016, 06:56:24 PM »

Looking back on the 2016 Season .  .  .
September 18, 2016
Part 1 of 5





So there it is ! 





And with that, I think it's time to call it a season.





I don't see myself planting anything new this late in the year.  But there is still plenty of maintenance to be done that will keep me perpetually busy.  "Maintenance" basically means weeding, (something that never seems to go away), and mulching. 





This is the time of year when the leaves begin falling from the trees.  So I use the bag attachment on the mower and dump the resulting "homemade mulch" as needed.  I've been able to encase most of my "Random Curved Shape" with the homemade mulch. 





Originally, I used the homemade mulch only in the center of the design.  As I've expanded, surrounding the entire project with mulch seemed like the way to go, and I've been working toward that end this year.  The falling leaves this time of year allow me to expand the border every time I mow.





The goal is to surround the entire shape with homemade mulch.  As of this writing, I'm about 90 % complete.





Only the area beside the ornamental grass remains to be filled in with homemade mulch.  As the leaves continue to drop throughout the fall, I'll have that filled in very soon.





The only other project in the back of my mind is dividing the irises.  I'm reading where this is the time of year to dig up, divide, and replant bulbs.  I'll have to think about that as a project for October. 





The end of this season will conclude my fourth year of playing in the dirt (Georgia red clay in my case).  As strange as this sounds, I managed to make it to my late 40s without ever having done anything other than planting/cutting the grass.  This means everything I've been trying over these last four years has been a complete guess based on the few tidbits of information I managed to retain from my mom and dad coupled with advice from friends and neighbors and my good friend Google.  Some ideas worked and some didn't.  What follows is an executive summary of my adventures .  .  .
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:01:11 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2016, 07:25:56 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 5





The rose bushes 
Success level:  Iffy at best. 





This area was a mess before I first tried to do something with it and only seems to have gotten worse.  I started with a Blushing Knock Out Rose in April 2014.  The Double Knock Out Rose arrived the following month.  I'm guessing that I don't know how to properly maintain them.  Either that or they've decided that they just won't cooperate.  I've made several attempts at getting other plants to play along since then with varying levels of success:
~  Hameln Dwarf Fountain Grass:  All of them died.
~  Crocus, Tulips, and Alliums:  One of the few ideas that has done reasonably well.
~  Relocated Daffodils from the back yard:  Grew, but didn't flower.
~  Relocated Creeping Phlox:  Still alive, but not really thriving.
~  Mystery bulbs from a friend:  Still not sure what they are yet.

But more than anything, I seem to have a bunch of weeds.  Several of whatever this is have mysteriously appeared.





There are several of them in varying sizes, some of which flowered.  I have no idea what they are or how they got there.  But I'm wondering if the large Crape Myrtle that sits about 10 feet to the left out of view in the photo below has something to do with it. 





My friend, Heather, gave me some more mystery bulbs last fall.  They grew, but never flowered.  I have no clue what I'm going to do here other than wait until spring and see what appears.








Moving on to the front of the house .  .  .









Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel
Success level:  Cautiously Optimistic. 





This is the third location for this plant.  I originally put it in the back yard in March 2013.  Seeing "Part Sun" on the tag lead me to think that would be the best place for it.  But it never really grew, (I must have had more "part" than "sun").  Moving it out to the mailbox area in May 2014 thinking more sunlight may be beneficial didn't seem to work either.  I moved it again in April 2016, swapping locations with the Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn.  So far, it seems to be happy.





Frostproof Gardenia
Success level:  Wonderful ! 





It's basically quadrupled in size since I planted it in April 2014.  A few white flowers made an appearance this past spring.





Yucca Color Guard (L) and Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed (R) 
Success level:  Unknown.





I planted the above two plants in September 2015 after moving the Chinese Snowball and Small Anise Tree that originally were in this location.  The Yucca looks exactly the same as it did when first planted.  Some variety of insect appears to find the Joe Pye Weed quite tasty.





Chinese Snowball
Success level:  Negative.





I originally planted this in front of the house in April 2014, immediately after which it flowered quite nicely.  But I had to move it in September 2015 after realizing that this plant can get pretty large.  While green and (I think) still alive, it has done nothing since the move.  Not sure what happened.  The leaves are green, but seem to have something going on around the edges.  I'm wondering if this is some kind of disease.








Leyland Cypress #1
Success level:  Good. 





I originally planted two Leyland Cypress shrubs next to my front steps in March 2012.  I moved them in May 2013 after realizing they have the potential to reach 50 feet tall and 15 feet wide.  While that would be impressive, it would also render my front door and windows basically useless.  One went across the yard next to the driveway, and the one shown above moved about 15 feet into the front yard.  Not too long after the move, the local deer population decided it would make a great scratching post and broke a bunch of it off.  It's been steadily growing since the resulting pruning and shaping.





Small Azalea
Success level:  Moderate. 





I found this single azalea trying to grow in an area covered with English Ivy on one side of my front yard.  I moved it to the opposite side with the rest of the azaleas by the driveway in March 2013, but put it in the dumbest possible spot I could have found.  I moved it again in March of this year to a spot by the pear tree as part of one of my shape expansions.  It blooms beautifully each year, but hasn't grown any bigger .  .  .
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:11:18 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2016, 07:51:18 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 3 of 5





Reeves Spirea  
Success level:  TBD, but very optimistic.





The Bridal Wreath Spirea I planted next to my mailbox has been a wonderful success and inspired me to plant a few more spireas in March 2016.  All three have grown substantially since planting.  Hopefully, I'll have a lot of white blooms next spring.





Cleveland Select Flowering Pear Tree and Blue Dart Rush ornamental grass  
Success level:  Good.





One of the first new residents in the front yard, this tree has grown significantly since going in the ground in April 2013.  Spring blooms, however, have been somewhat sparse.  I added the Blue Dart Rush grass in April 2014 and really like the combination.  With a name like "flowering pear tree," I would think that what I am seeing in the photo below is some kind of pear.  I am reading where birds love them.








Crimson Red Crape Myrtle
Success level:  Good.





I planted three Crape Myrtles in May 2015 to add some flowers to the yard at a time when flowers may not be present, (Crape Myrtles flower in the summer).  The Crimson Red has grown substantially and continues to produce red flowers.





Plum Magic Crape Myrtle  
Success level:  Good.





The Plum Magic has more than doubled in size since going in the ground in May 2015 and has produced beautiful flowers each year.





Purple Magic Crape Myrtle
Success level:  Good.





The last of the three Crape Myrtles I planted in May 2015 is also doing very well and produced beautiful flowers over the summer.





Windmill Palm Tree  
Success level:  Neutral.





This spot was originally occupied by another Windmill Palm Tree that I first planted in the back yard.  Palm trees don't grow well in the shade.  So I transplanted it to this spot in a futile effort to save it.  After it died, I replaced it with the above Windmill Palm Tree in April 2014.  While green and apparently alive, it has done no growing of any kind.  If anything, it seems like it is slowly shrinking.





Small Anise Tree  
Success level:  Good.





In another "what were you thinking" moment, I planted a shrub in April 2014 that has the potential to reach 15 feet tall directly in front of my living room windows.  I relocated it in September 2015 to an area by the driveway better suited for something that large.  It seems to be quite happy even though it hasn't flowered yet.





Japanese Maple Tree  
Success level:  Good.





Originally, this spot was occupied by Leyland Cypress # 2 after it was relocated in May 2013.  But a coworker gave me a Japanese Maple tree in May 2015 that I thought would look great as a "feature tree" in this spot.  So Leyland Cypress # 2 got moved to the back yard, and the Japanese Maple took its place.  So far, it seems to be doing very well and has grown quite a bit.





Vitex Shoal Creek  
Success level:  Good.





I planted this summer flowering shrub in April 2016.  It produced flowers shortly after going in the ground and continues to grow quite enthusiastically.





Mystery Ornamental Grass cluster
Success level:  Good.





I found this large cluster of ornamental grass growing in the back yard that looks like some variety of liriope.  It's perfect symmetry made me think it would look great in the corner by my front walk.  So I relocated it in April 2016, after which it produced a bunch of blue flowers.  This has become one of those very simple ideas that has significantly impacted the overall design.  I think it looks great.





Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass
Success level:  Moderate.





I've always liked ornamental grasses, especially the taller varieties.  I thought planting a bunch of them together would produce a nice effect.  So I planted ten Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass plants in May 2015, all on the same side of the shape.  The above group of four fit nicely in a smaller space, while the remaining six plants shown below filled a slightly larger space a few feet away, (separated by another variety of ornamental grass).





All have grown somewhat since planting.  But they don't look all that healthy or happy .  .  .

« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 08:52:26 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2016, 08:13:32 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 4 of 5





Pink Muhly Grass
Success level:  Wonderful !  





I separated the two groups of Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass with a cluster of six Pink Muhly Grass plants.  All have grown well since planted in April 2015, and continue to produce beautiful pink blooms in the fall.





I think they look great, and have become one of my favorite features of the yard.





Indian Hawthorn  
Success level:  Negative.





At least, I think they are Indian Hawthorn shrubs.  I forgot to take a photo of the sign where they were sitting at the plant sale.  After I got them home, I discovered that there were no tags on any of the plants.  And checking my email later revealed no detailed description on my receipt.  So this is a complete guess.  It's pretty obvious from the photo above that this idea didn't work at all, but not for the reasons you may think.





I planted these shrubs in April 2016, at which time all four were green and flowering.  Then I suspect the local deer population discovered them and mowed them to the ground.  I have no idea what to do with them at this point, other than wait until spring to see if any of them recover.





Husker Red Beardtongue  
Success level:  Good.





I planted these plants in April 2015.  They flowered immediately after planting, and again this past spring.  They may look a little tired now at the end of the season.  But they have done very well.





Super Blue Lavender
Success level:  Roller Coaster.





I originally planted five of these plants in May 2015.  One of them died not too long afterward.  The remaining four produced lots of beautiful flowers in the spring.  But not too long after that, they all turned pretty sad looking.  This same pattern repeated itself this year:  Sad looking - beautiful flowers - sad looking.  Time will tell if they well recover next spring.





Yellow Flag Iris
Success level:  Wonderful !





My friend, Heather, gave me a small cluster of mystery bulbs in March 2012.  I had no idea what to do with them, and planted them by the patio in the back yard until I could figure something out.  They grew, but never flowered.  It took me a while to realize that these bulbs need lots of sunlight which is not plentiful in the back yard.  I also discovered during the dividing/relocation in May 2014 that they have multiplied profusely.  After three years of waiting, I finally saw a few flowers in May 2015, followed by a bunch of flowers in April 2016.





Coronation Gold Yarrow
Success level:  Good.





I planted the yarrows in April 2015.  They have done very well and continue to produce bunches of beautiful yellow flowers.





Star Magnolia  
Success level:  Slow and steady.





This was another of the first group of new residents in the front yard from April 2014.  It has grown since being planted, albeit very slowly, and actually produced a couple of small flowers this past spring.





Silver European Fan Palm tree
Success level:  Neutral.





I originally planted this palm tree in the back yard in April 2013, a particularly dumb idea considering palm trees like sunlight.  I relocated it to the front yard in April 2015.  It seems to be surviving ok, but not doing anything that resembles "growing."





Goldmound Spirea
Success level:  Good.





I planted them in April 2015.  Since then, they have grown a little and produced a few flowers.  The sparse looking shrub in the back had an encounter with fire ants, but seems to be doing ok.





October Glory Maple tree & Happy Returns Daylilies  
Success level:  Good.





This was the first new resident in my blank canvas of a front yard.  I planted this tree all by itself in the center of the front yard in April 2012 and have continued to expand around it ever since.  It's a slow grower, but looks great.  The Happy Returns Daylilies I planted in April 2014 continue to be snacks for the local deer population .  .  .
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:18:18 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2016, 08:46:15 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 5 of 5





Pampas Grass
Success level:  Good.





I originally planted six Pampas Grass plants in the back yard by the patio in March 2013 before I realized that they need full sunlight.  After two of them died, I transplanted the remaining four to the front yard by the mailbox, (the large one on the right in July 2013, and the others in August 2014 and March 2015).  The massive dose of sunlight has done wonders.  I haven't seen any blooms yet, but I'm hoping.





Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorn 
Success level:  Negative.





I originally planted this in front of the house in March 2012.  It did ok in that location, but didn't seem to live up to its full potential.  I relocated it to the mailbox area in April 2016 where it proceeded to drop most of its leaves.  Being an Indian Hawthorn, I wonder if the deer found it as tasty as the other Indian Hawthorns I planted nearby, or if it just isn't happy with my decision-making.





Bridal Wreath Spirea 
Success level:  Wonderful ! 





This was planted in March 2013 and delights every spring with a beautiful bouquet of white flowers.  It's easily my favorite attraction of the whole yard.





Driveway azaleas 
Success level:  Good.





The row of azaleas beside the driveway have produced beautiful flowers each spring, (except for the one year where I pruned them too late in the season).  The cluster shown above sits next to the street and was getting a little too big.  So I pruned it way back after it finished blooming in April 2016.  It will probably take a few seasons of additional pruning and shaping.  But I think it will look fine. 





This house had been vacant for around 18 months before I arrived in May 2009.  With nothing being maintained, the driveway azaleas had become quite wild and overgrown.  Continuous pruning and shaping have done wonders for all but one azalea, (third from left in the photo above), which is still a work in progress.  All flower profusely each spring as long as I keep an eye on the calendar.





Woodlander's Hardy Bottlebrush
Success level:  Neutral.





I planted this shrub in April 2014.  While alive and well, I haven't seen any of the red blooms it's supposed to produce.  I'm thinking that this shrub may prefer more sunlight than is currently available in this location.  I'll have to do some research.





Mr. Goldstrike/Heavenly Bamboo garden
Success level:  Good.





All of these plants were already in place and quite small when I arrived in May 2009.  I prune them occasionally, but mostly let them grow at will since there is plenty of room available.  Heavenly Bamboo is considered "invasive" and is virtually indestructible.  But I think a bunch of them together looks good.





Illicium Pink Frost (L) & (R), and Pieris Snowdrift (C)
Success level:  Drama Queen, but Good.





These plants were late addition in October 2014.  I chose this location because the tags on the plants called for part shade.  The Pink Frost plants are growing well, and the Pieris Snowdrift has actually produced a few flowers in the spring.





The biggest downside is that the Pink Frost plants have a serious drinking problem, something I was not aware of when I planted them.  Davesgarden.com describes them as, "Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings."   I can confirm.  I have to water them every day, (I run a dehumidifier in the house and empty the bucket each morning on them, which works well).





Blue Arrows Rush ornamental grass
Success level:  Good.





I found these plants on the Clearance Rack at Lowe's marked down 50%.  Since they like part shade, I thought the narrow area next to my patio in the back yard would work perfectly.  All six plants have done very well.





Pink Flowering Dogwood
Success level:  Slow and steady.





This was another Lowe's Clearance Rack find from May 2014.  After I relocated the Otto Luyken Cherry Laurel to the front yard, I thought this Dogwood tree would work in this space since the tag on the plant called for part shade.  While not the fastest growing plant I've ever seen, it is consistent.





Persian Lilac
Success level:  Moderate but nervous.





This is another 50% off Lowe's Clearance Rack special from May 2015.  It stayed green for the rest of that season, and even produced one very confused flower during the warm spell of December 2015.  But it didn't flower this past spring, and has actually started to drop leaves.  None of the plants I have had in this spot have survived long term, hence my concern.





Red Buckeye Tree
Success level:  Slow and steady.





This flowering tree came from one of the UGA Horticulture Club Plant Sales that are held each spring and fall.  I originally planted it in the center of the back yard in April 2014.  This tree was described as liking filtered sunlight, hence the back yard location.





I moved it to this spot last fall after removing a long-since dead tree that was covered with Saw Greenbrier and English Ivy, (it was dead when I moved in).  It has yet to flower which may be due to being in an area that had too much shade.  This spot may work out better.





Volunteer Japanese Maple tree
Success level:  TBD, but optimistic.





I found this small Japanese Maple tree growing in the area in between my back yard and that of my next door neighbor among a bunch of privacy hedges.  I had no idea it was there until I stumbled upon it in April 2016.  I moved it out of the privacy hedges to an area in the back yard until I can figure out what to do with it.





Volunteer Magnolia
Success level:  Accidental.





This is another plant that I was unaware of for a long time.  It's growing in the back yard in between a pine tree and a bunch of Heavenly Bamboo plants.  It keeps getting bigger and bigger, which is good.  But its sandwiched location makes me wonder about the future.  I feel like I should move it somewhere, but don't know if I can due to its size.  I need to ask a few questions about this.





Leaning Tower of Pine Tree
Success level:  Concerned.





This tree has been here for many, many years, long before I moved to Athens.  The problem is that it's leaning quite a bit.





The above photo gives a better perspective of the very pronounced lean.  I am somewhat concerned, especially since a period of extended rainfall has a tendency to uproot large pine trees, (a giant pine tree fell over in my next door neighbor's yard in November 2015).  But I'm not too worried because the tree is leaning in a direction where it can't hurt anything if it falls.





Leyland Cypress #2
Success level:  Good.





This is the second of two Leyland Cypress shrubs I planted next to my front steps in March 2012.  I realized later that planting a potentially 50 feet tall shrub right next to my front steps wasn't a particularly good idea.  So I moved both of them in April 2015.  One shrub moved further out into the front yard and the other to the above spot that previously occupied by the Silver European Fan Palm tree which got moved to a much sunnier location in the front yard.  Just like Leyland Cypress #1, the local deer population decided to use this shrub as a scratching post and damaged a bunch of branches.  I cut it back and have tried to shape it since the relocation.  So far, it seems to be happy.





Some variety of Gardenia
Success level:  Good.





These plants were already in place when I arrived in May 2009.  At that time, all three were much smaller, (not reaching the height of the brick wall).  After many years of growing, I got to see a few white flowers this past spring.





The back paito
Success level:  Good.





I know it's not a plant.  But a new back yard patio was my first significant project with this house.  Even though some settling has occurred in the years since its completion in January 2012, it still looks pretty good.  I will probably have to do some maintenance to it in the near future.  The three Japanese Boxwood shrubs I planted in March 2012, (one can be seen in the foreground), are doing very well.





Variegated Liriope ornamental grass
Success level:  50% Good.





I planted two $1 Lowe's Clearance Rack specials in April 2014.  Both looked pretty sad to begin with.  One of them died shortly after planting.  But this one has done quite well and produced a bloom this year.  I encountered good success with the previously mentioned relocation of a similar ornamental grass cluster to the corner of my front walk in April 2016.  Because of this, I'm thinking about doing the same thing with this plant and another Variegated Liriope cluster shown below.








My front yard
Success level:  Wonderful !





You won't see me on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens, or at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  But it's mine, and I'm very happy with the results.





I want to thank everyone for reading along, and hoped you enjoyed the show .  .  .
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:33:26 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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