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Author Topic: The 2017 edition of Todd's ongoing Yard Adventure . . .  (Read 241 times)
Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 11:34:59 PM »

Doing some pruning .  .  .
April 15, 2017





I've been saying that my rose bushes seem to hate me.  But they bloom every spring.  So I think they want to cooperate, but can't because I'm not maintaining them properly.  I'll have to do some research.





I've got roses !





The Reeves Spireas are growing nicely.  I am hoping they will be as big and as beautiful as the Bridal Wreath Spirea at the mailbox.





Four of the five Goldmound Spireas look fine.  The sad looking plant in the back had an encounter with fire ants.  It's still green, just not really healthy looking.  I'm hoping it will recover.





The Coronation Gold Yarrows are starting to develop blooms that will turn bright yellow soon.





The one remaining Super Blue Lavender continues to turn green.  It looks like it will recover.





The Husker Red Beardtongues are growing rapidly right now.  They will soon be covered with small white blooms.





The plan for today was to do some pruning.  The loropetalums have a tendency to grow wild.  With their blooming season over, I'll cut them way back.  The Mr. Goldstrike and Chinese Snowball could both use a trim as well.  The gardenias haven't bloomed yet.  So I'll leave them alone.





After some pruning.





The Sky Pencil Holly on the right is still dead.  I pulled it out of the ground with very little effort.  The plant on the left is still green.  I'll move it later on to see if I can save it.





I also pruned the Bridal Wreath Spirea.  I haven't touched it since I planted it, and it was getting pretty wild looking.





Hacking the azalea cluster next to the street way back last year, although scary looking at first, proved to be a good idea.  My goal was to encourage new growth at the base of the plants, which is exactly what happened.  This year, I tried to shape the plants so they weren't so wild looking.





The second and third azaleas from the street have both done very well.  I started trying to shape them after I moved in.  The results have been encouraging.  Instead of hacking, I concentrated on shaping both of these plants as well.





The fourth azalea from the street has been a mess since I moved in.  It looked like something fell on top of it in the past which caused it to grow in a goofy shape.  Since hacking the other azaleas way back worked, I decided to try the same thing with this one.  This plant is now half the size it was before pruning.





The Delaware Valley White Azalea (L) and Korean Azalea (R) look fine.  So I left them alone.  But the plant in the center is a mess !  So I hacked this one way back as well.  Time will tell if this was a good decision or not .  .  .


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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 11:54:31 PM »

I've got more flowers !
April 20 - 21, 2017





The Yellow Flag Irises in the center of my front yard were given to me by my friend, Heather, in 2012.  Idiot me, not knowing what to do with these unknown "mystery bulbs," planted them in the back yard next to my new patio thinking that having some flowers in that space would look great.  The problem was that I failed to take into account the fact that these bulbs need sunlight.  I moved them into the front yard in the summer of 2014.  They finally bloomed in the spring of 2015, three years after I first planted them.  Now that I've figured this whole "sunlight" process out, I look forward to seeing them bloom each spring.





And this year was no different.





It doesn't seem like I have as many flowers this year.  But I have flowers !





As everything continues to turn green, the red and black mulch combination makes everything looks great !





The Coronation Gold Yarrows will soon be covered with yellow blooms.





Four of the five Goldmound Spireas are doing very well and are showing a bunch of small purple flowers.  The fifth plant is trying to recover from an encounter with fire ants.  But at least it's still green.





My rose bushes continue to surprise me in a good way. 





Despite me having no idea how to properly care for them, they continue to bloom.





I'm very happy with everything in the front yard !





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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2017, 12:07:42 AM »

Some progress over the week .  .  .
April 24 - 27, 2017





Since this is the time of year when the Yellow Flag Irises bloom, I took a few pics of the progress on several days during this week as I was leaving for work.  I've got a few more flowers on this Monday afternoon.


April 24



Tuesday looked to be about the same as Monday.


April 25



By Thursday, there seemed to be a few more.  I don't think there are as many flowers as last year.  But I've got quite a few, which is great.


April 27
 


The Coronation Gold Yarrows were starting to show some yellow blooms on Monday.


April 24



By Thursday afternoon, the color was much more evident.


April 27



It's hard to tell from the photo below.  But there are still a few purple flowers on the Goldmound Spirea bushes.


April 27



Now this is interesting !  I've got a bunch of flowers on the Bridal Wreath Spirea.  I thought it had finished blooming two weeks ago, so I pruned it.  Now I've got a bunch of new flowers.  I need to do some research to see if maybe I'm supposed to be doing this each spring .  .  .


April 27
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 12:19:34 AM »

A few changes .  .  .
April 30, 2017





For some reason, I've still got flowers on the rose bushes even though I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing with them.





I don't know how or why.  But the rose bushes continue to bloom.  I need to look into how to properly maintain them.





The Yellow Flag Irises continue to do their thing and look great !





The number of blooms seems to be increasing as the days progress.  I've actually got quite a few blooms this year.





More color is appearing on the Coronation Gold Yarrows.





I had a couple of changes planned for today.  The first involved the Pampas Grass plant on the far left of the photo below, (the one closest to the street).  Looking at the size difference between each of the plants, it's easy to determine the order in which they were transplanted to this location.  First was the plant on the far right in July 2013, followed by the two in the center in August 2014, and then the plant on the far left in March 2015.  All are growing very well and will probably get quite large if the plant on the right is any indication.  Three of them will be fine.  But the plant on the far left is too close to the street and the plant next to it.  So it has to be moved.  And I better do it now while it's still small.





I happen to have this already-prepared area a few feet away.  Thanks to the local deer population, the four Indian Hawthorn shrubs I planted in this spot last year all died.  This area should be well suited to a Pampas Grass plant that will eventually be quite large.





I removed the dead Indian Hawthorn shrubs, which required no effort whatsoever, and cleared a spot in the center of the area.





After some effort with the shovel, I had the Pampas Grass plant moved.





The mulch in place is actually what was there from last year.  So I'll add some fresh mulch later.





Looking at the area from this angle, the now vacant spot on the left was definitely too close to the street.  The other three plants should be fine where they are.





The second change for today involved the remaining Sky Pencil Holly shrub.  I planted one on each side of my front steps.  One of them died over the winter.  I decided to move the remaining plant out into the yard in an attempt to save it.  Since this plant isn't supposed to get very wide, it should fit nicely in this spot, even as the other plants around it grow.





Now that the area beside the steps is vacant, I decided to move the Tiny Dessert Asiatic Lilies planters off of the front porch.  This may make a difference as far as sunlight availability is concerned.





I think this will work fine .  .  .


« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 12:28:51 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 12:32:35 AM »

The Yellow Flag Irises have peaked .  .  .
May 2, 2017





Based on what I see here, it looks like the Yellow Flag Irises have peaked.  I see roughly the same amount of flowers as I did the week before.





I may not have had as many total flowers as last year.  But they did very well.





As the irises peak, the Coronation Gold Yarrow are just getting started.  I'll have a bunch of color here very soon .  .  .


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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 01:08:06 AM »

Several surprises .  .  .
May 13, 2017





Well now !





I planted this Woodlanders Hardy Bottlebrush in April 2014, and I wonder if this is the first time it has bloomed.  If it has bloomed before, it wasn't significant enough for me to remember it.





I've wondered about this shrub for a while simply because, while green and still alive, it looks exactly the same since the day I planted it.  So seeing beautiful red blooms all over it this morning was a great surprise.





I've learned during this adventure that not all surprises are good.  Seeing the Pampas Grass plant I just moved two weeks ago all brown had me thinking the worst.  All the green foliage that was present began to turn brown almost immediately after I moved this plant two weeks ago.  I'm hoping that the move "shocked" it, and that it will recover now that I've cut it back.  I've got two things in my favor:  Pampas Grass is pretty indestructible, and I do see some green in the center of the plant.  I've watered it every day since the move.  But this is me we're talking about.  Failure is always an option.





The Husker Red Beardtongues are showing a bunch of white blooms.  I have to wonder what the deal is with three of them being quite a bit taller than the other two.  





I've been hoping the one remaining Super Blue Lavender would recover.  Judging by the abundance of blooms, all seems to be well.





The Coronation Gold Yarrows were preparing to bloom two weeks ago (while the Yellow Flag Irises were blooming).  With the irises done, the abundance of yellow in the center of the yard now shifts to the yarrows.  These plants have cooperated nicely since I planted them.  





I still see a lot of purple flowers on the Goldmound Spirea.    





Four of the five plants look great !  I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for the plant in the back that is trying to recover from a fire ant encounter.





I've got one Tiny Dessert Asiatic Lily blooming.





I think I see a bloom in waiting on the other Asiatic Lily.





And finally, my rose bushes continue to surprise me in a good way.  The flowers are a bit scruffy looking.  But I've got flowers, and I'm not complaining .  .  .





« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 09:25:33 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2017, 09:24:36 PM »

More progress .  .  .
May 21, 2017





I was relieved to see some activity on the Vitex Shoal Creek in Late March.  The last photo I took of the Vitex on April 2 saw it just beginning to turn green.  Six weeks later, it's now fully awake and is showing a bunch of blooms in waiting.  I should be seeing a lot of blue flowers very soon.





This is a relief !  I moved this Pampas Grass plant three weeks ago, after which all the foliage turned brown.  I cut it back hoping it was temporarily traumatized because of the move.  Seeing new green growth makes me feel much better.





On the low end of the drama scale, the Husker Red Beardtongues are doing very well.  And they have done so without any input from me.





Even though it's bent over because of all the rain we've had here lately, the remaining Super Blue Lavender has definitely recovered and is doing very well. 





The drama-free Coronation Gold Yarrows also do their thing with no input from me.  The combination of green foliage, yellow blooms, and fresh black mulch looks great !





I still have blooms on the Goldmound Spirea.  I've been trying to kill the fire ants in hopes that the sad looking plant in the back will recover.  I first spotted the small purple flowers at the end of April, meaning these bushes have now been flowering for one month.





I've got a couple of flowers on the Happy Returns Daylilies.  The local deer population has a tendency to snack on these plants.  I should be ok as long as I keep them sprayed with repellent.





The Blue Dart Rush Grass plants around the pear tree have done well since I planted them in 2014.  They continue to grow consistently and are now showing small leaves.





I haven't had a lot of luck with the Tiny Dessert Asiatic Lilies in the planters at the front porch.  I think the local animal population likes to snack on them.  But I still have one Asiatic Lily flower, which is fine.





And I definitely have one more Asiatic Lily flower in waiting.  Maybe it will bloom before the deer get to it .  .  .





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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2017, 09:39:59 PM »

Implementing another idea .  .  .
May 28, 2017
Part 1 of 2





We've had quite a bit of rain around here lately.  The more Mother Nature waters my plants, the less I have to pay Athens-Clarke County to do it.  The Mexican Pony Tails Feather Grass and Pink Muhly Grass plants all look great.





The Husker Red Beardtongues, Super Blue Lavender, and Coronation Gold Yarrows are all doing very well.





Another week has passed since I moved the Pampas Grass plant to this spot.  Seeing more green is definitely a good thing !  It looks like it will be fine.





It looks like the Vitex Shoal Creek is preparing to bloom.  I should see a lot of blue flowers in the upcoming weeks.





The Frostproof Gardenia has grown tremendously since I planted it back in 2014.  It has bloomed each spring with about the same level of intensity.  This is typically what I have seen, which is fine.





I have another Asiatic Lily flower !





I was hoping it would bloom before the deer got to it.  So seeing this made me smile .  .  .





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« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2017, 09:49:43 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





I planted this Persian Lilac in the back yard in May 2015.  The tag on the plant said "Part Sun," which is why I put it in the back yard.   But evidence suggests that the back yard may be more "Part" than "Sun."  After half of it died over the winter, I decided to move it out front to see if I could save it.





I chose the area by the rose bushes for no reason other than that area is somewhat of a mess.  Adding one more plant to it can't really hurt at this point.





I found this ornamental grass cluster originally growing in the back yard.  The shape and symmetry caught my eye and made me think it would look good in this corner where my driveway and front walk meet.  So I moved it to this location last year.  That simple decision has become one of my favorite aspects of the front yard. 

That got me thinking.  I have a few more smaller clusters of ornamental grass in the back yard.  I wonder how it would look if I scattered more clusters like this one around the front yard.  There's only one way to find out.





I've got several areas where something small could go given the right opportunity.  So I moved one of the smaller ornamental grass clusters to this area in between the recently relocated Pampas Grass plant and the existing flowering Dogwood tree.





I put two more smaller clusters in between the pear tree and the three Crape Myrtles.





This area is large enough to accommodate two small ornamental grass clusters.





I put another small ornamental grass cluster in between the palm tree and Star Magnolia.  I originally had two palm trees here.  The Silver European Fan Palm tree still looks ok, but hasn't done any "growing" since planted it.  I also moved the remains of a large Green European Fan Palm tree to this location in an attempt to save it.  What was an actual small tree years ago had devolved into a twig that stayed green until this spring when it finally died.  That spot seemed like a good location for another ornamental grass cluster.  So the one large area filled with black mulch has now become two smaller areas.





I keep saying that I need to figure out how to properly maintain my rose bushes, and I think this may be the first step.  The roses bloom each spring, but don't really look healthy.  Everything I read says that I need to use some kind of insecticide to control the pests.  Cross your fingers .  .  .


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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2017, 09:55:27 PM »

Another pleasant surprise .  .  .
May 31, 2017





I was leaving for work today and made a wonderful discovery !  I've got A LOT of flowers on the Frostproof Gardenia this year.





The picture I posted earlier the previous weekend showed a few white blooms here and there which was what I was used to seeing.  This plant has grown very well since I planted it in 2014, and has bloomed sparingly with the same low level of intensity each year.  But this is a first !





it's never bloomed with this much intensity before.  I hope this is the start of a trend .  .  .


« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 11:59:42 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2017, 11:56:56 PM »

Time for the summer bloomers to get started .  .  .
June 18, 2017





With the spring blooming season finished for this year, it's now time for the summer bloomers to do their thing.  The cluster of ornamental grass by the front walk is showing a few blooms.  I believe this is some kind of Liriope, but I'm not sure.  Whatever it is, it looks great, and has become one of my favorite aspects of the yard.  This somewhat simple idea has produced what I see as great visual results.





The Vitex Shoal Creek is blooming in blue and looks great !





This plant has grown like wildfire since I planted it last year.  I did some research and discovered that this plant is considered "invasive" across some areas of the southern US.  "Invasive" means that it can grow in just about any soil, take care of itself and spread rapidly, and isn't affected by pests or diseases.  In other words, it's perfect for me and my yard.





The Purple Magic Crape Myrtle is usually the first of the four in my yard, (three in this location and one next to the garage), to begin blooming in the summer.  The three Crape Myrtles I planted in 2015 have all grown significantly.





The Happy Returns Daylilies are starting to bloom.  For whatever reason, they seem to bloom less and less with each passing year.  I'm not sure why.  But I suspect the local deer population has something to do with it.  I've got a few flowers, which is nice.





The Frostproof Gardenia began blooming last month and exploded three weeks ago with more blooms that I had seen in previous years.  A few flowers remain.





While the Frostproof Gardenia is winding down, the other Gardenia is just getting started.  This plant was in place when I moved in.  I wasn't sure what it was until I planted the Frostproof Gardenia a few spaces to the right and noticed the similarity between the flowers.  My neighbor confirmed my suspicions that it was some kind of Gardenia.





Once I started paying attention, I realized that the plants in the back yard by the porch are the same as the large Gardenia in front of the house.  There are actually three plants in this location.  The somewhat restricted amount of sunlight means that the plant furthest from the house blooms the most.  But flowers can be seen on all three.





I'm guessing this is some kind of Gardenia because it looks the same as the other plant in front of the house which is believed to be a Gardenia.  The leaves and flowers are identical.





The large amount of rain we've had this year means everything is growing and doing quite well .  .  .


« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 11:24:33 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2017, 11:04:54 PM »

A week of storms creates a mess .  .  .
July 8 - 9, 2017
Part 1 of 2





The week of July 2 was particularly stormy in this part of the country.  While not a complete wash out by any means, a series of fast moving storms rolled through the region all throughout the week.  Some of them were quite intense featuring winds strong enough to cause some damage.  Limbs and whole trees were reported down across the city.  





As the week progressed, my yard began to slowly fill with branches.  Most of what fell was pretty small.





I did have a few significantly sized limbs come down.  I'm probably lucky the limb seen below fell where it did instead of going through my living room window.





A few branches fell on this side of the yard as well.  





The limb seen below fell from the pine tree by the driveway and landed on the edge of the Yellow Flag Irises in the middle of the yard.





It seems like most of the debris came from the driveway side of the yard.





A lot of what is seen above and below landed in my driveway.  I had to move stuff out of the way several times during the week.  All of it will get moved to the curb when the next Leaf & Limb collection in my neighborhood arrives during the week of July 24th.





Another limb down in the side yard by the driveway.





Trees were reported down all over the city, (including one about 2 blocks from my house).  I appear to have a tree that is now leaning heavily.





It's hard to tell from the photos above and below.  But a small tree in between me and my next door neighbor is now leaning in my direction.





It's a small tree, (only about 4 inches in diameter).  But you can tell from the photos above and below that it's somewhat tall.  No worries though.  It's leaning over top of my Nandina Domestica "Heavenly Bamboo" garden in front of my driveway.  Those plants are indestructible, (I've run small Heavenly Bamboo plants over with the mower and they still grow back.  So if it falls, it can't really hurt anything.


 


I've got a few small branches down in the back yard.





Nothing significant.  Branches that fall back here can't really hurt anything .  .  .


« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 11:30:51 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2017, 11:22:55 PM »

continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 2





This is good news !  The Purple Magic Crape Myrtle Looks great !





The Purple Magic Crape Myrtle was just starting to bloom three weeks ago, and is now covered with large flower clusters.





More good news !  Some of the ornamental grass plants I moved at the end of May from the backyard are now flowering.





This looks like a type of Variegated Liriope, (not 100% sure).





I've got a few more flowers on the Happy Returns Daylilies.





The Pampas Grass plant I moved at the end of April has completely recovered.  I was initially concerned when the whole plant turned brown right after I moved it.  So I cut most of the dead foliage away.  Now around 10 weeks after the fact, it looks pretty close to the size it was originally when I moved it.





Now that the gardenias have finished blooming, I decided to give them a much needed trim, "hacking" actually.





The two gardenias next to the Crape Myrtle were both in place when I moved in.  I've pruned them a few times over the years, but hadn't done so in a while.  Both had become quite large and unruly.





Since we've had a bunch of rain this season, the loropetalums were also starting to get pretty wild again.  These plants grow fast and, if left unattended, quite large.  So they got a trim as well.





I'm reading where loropetalums should be pruned in the spring, which I already did after they finished blooming.  These plants set their buds during the summer.  Pruning them too late in the season can curtail next spring's blooming.  Hopefully, I'm not doing this too late.





Since I was in a hacking mood, I gave the gardenias by the back porch a trim as well.  I haven't touched them in several years.





This has been a drama-free season to this point.  I'm quite happy with everything so far .  .  .
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