A Truck Bed o’ Plants

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Yard crash progress as of 3/28

It was a back-breaking, sore-all-over labor to work the north-side shade bed and start the task of planting groundcovers and creepers in the stone pathway. But we accomplished a lot over the weekend, including our final tree selections @ Chambersville: a shantung maple and a Viridis japanese maple, both 30 gallon specimens. Due to the wet weather so far, Chambersville won’t be able to deliver our new trees until sometime mid-April.

Before pictures:

20150627_North Bed Pre-fence 20150702_North Bed Pre-sod 20160220_Yard Crash Groundbreaking

After pictures:

20160314_North Bed and Path Development 20160322_North Bed and Path 20160330_North Bed 6p 20160331_North Bed 9a

We mulled over the idea of adding blue glass to the marble rock river winding down to the path from the gutter. The man also wanted to add a marble rock feature to the front bed, but I’m not as open to the idea.

Plantings in the north bed: Carex Everillo, Hosta Fire and Ice, Astilbe (x5), Lime Marmalade heuchera, Foxtail fern, Cedar Sage, White Star caladiums (x3), White Splash geranium, green oxalis (white-flowered), Hort Couture Glitterati Ice Queen, wild red columbine, Sugar Plum heuchera, Japanese painted fern, Hort Couture Plum Crazy oxalis, Contessa Burgundy geranium, black mondo grass.

Plantings in the north path: Platt’s Black brass buttons, scotch moss, irish moss, variegated oregano, roman chamomile, Grace Ward lithiodora, Archer’s gold lemon thyme.

Yard Crash Progress Report

We accomplished a great deal over this weekend despite the cooling weather.  I took advantage of an early release on Friday afternoon to check out North Haven Gardens for tree and shade plant prospects. Takeaways included Picasso calla lily and White Star caladium bulbs, cat grass seed and a variegated milkweed by Hout Couture. I came very close to picking up a variegated hellebore (Snow Fever), cool literally and figuratively speaking, but refrained due to lack of experience.

Hellebore Snow Fever @ NHG Chicken house @ NHG Yellow barked Bihou Japanese Maple @ NHG

 

Saturday included trips to several area nurseries and feed stores looking for unusual or uncommon plants. Farm-and-feed stores differ in that they rarely carry ornamentals and focus on vegetable/crop seeds and of course farm operations. I did find it fascinating to find 3 healthy Moruga Scorpion specimens at Dennis’ Farm Store in Denton that I was half-tempted to snap up (found variegated oregano and a Golden Girl salvia instead). And who could resist the adorably cute farm babies at D&L Farm and Home Store in Aubrey? I did finally add to my cat-friendly herb planter, discovering lemon balm at Texas Seasons in Celina.

Golden Girl Salvia, Variegated Oregano and Starbucks Farm Babies @ D & L Farm and Home, Aubrey Variegated Sedum from Four Seasons NurseryAlmost complete - the cat friendly herb planter

 

After hitting up Four Seasons and Laguna Madre for variegated sedum and a pot of lemongrass, it was off to work digging up more clay to add depth to the path nearest the fence. Then, Sunday and Monday we spent the day setting the flagstone, removing the builder-installed plants, and installing our bird-and-butterfly friendly (mostly) perennial garden.

IMG_20160322_090025284 IMG_20160322_090044697

 

The end of March is coming fast, and we have yet to finish our yard crash. It doesn’t help that we are coming up with new ideas along the way…

Yard plan and whirlwind weekend buys

We covered a lot of ground in the first weekend of March, literally speaking. From Chambersville Tree Farms to Covington’s Nursery, we amassed a truck-bed full of plants. So many in fact, that one resourceful canine thought we could do without one. I’ll tag them for now and call out some of our plant selections in future posts.

First Haul, Mostly Bedding and Container Plants Closeup - 2nd Haul 2nd Haul

After determining that he needed to set the flagstone differently, (in sand as I had originally argued) the man began the arduous task of digging up/destroying all the topsoil and weed mat we had already laid down the previous weekend, breaking a few of the stone in the process. A frustrating outcome to be sure as we had initially paid for the labor to remove the sod the first time around. To redo that work seems such a waste!

A Mudpit While It Rains - Flagstone Path 2nd Pass North Wall Bed

Unfortunately, all our plans were stymied by week-long rain. It’s evident that we probably won’t be able to return to the yard crash until the following Sunday or Monday at the earliest. This also disrupts any plans to visit more nurseries in search of our focal tree (Metro Maples in Ft Worth is at the top of our list).

I invested in a garden planning app to get my fix in the mean time. Garden Puzzle is a decent enough desktop application with a solid database of flora. I found it by way of Better Homes and Gardens’ online design app. Interestingly enough, I can also import plant designs that I worked over with Photoshop to fill out what is missing from the GP desktop database.

2016 Proposed Front Bed Summer Layout

First plant purchases of 2016

…and also the first plant purchases for the new house.

We’ve begun to landscape our front yard. The plan is to wind a flagstone path up to the front door, around the front beds and landing at the yard fence door.

Part of the yard plan includes extending the flower beds about 2 feet deeper as well as the larger north east corner bed, and finally creating a new bed against the north wall of the house.

First purchase of the year found us at Shades of Green in Frisco. We had gone there to check out the nursery and hunt down ideas for a feature tree. My first impulse at any garden center is to look at their salvia selection. I was pleasantly surprised to find a good number of autumn sages, i.e. salvia greggii, especially the Teresa cultivar, in stock. At Calloway’s in North Dallas, the stunning variegated lavender Meerlo caught my eye.