Finally Getting Things Planted-Part III

This post, “Finally Getting Things Planted-Part III” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


Today was the third day that I worked on putting the plants I have purchased in the ground.  I thought I would finish today, but instead of a trilogy this is turning out to be a series.

I decided that the winter honeysuckle and sweet almond shrub should go in by the property line on the southeast side of our lot.  The only problem with that was the amount of overgrown material that needed to be pulled out.  When we moved in, there was a row of large gardenia bushes.  These gradually died because of a lack of sun from growing trees (at least that is my hypothesis).  About seven years ago, I put in sword fern to fill in bare areas and give the area a more woodland look.  It did very well, but by two years ago it was doing too well.  It was taking over something awful.  Well, fast forward to this year and the cold weather we had really helped get rid of the excess.  As you can see from the picture below, there is a great deal of dead fern fronds.  (At least the leaves added to the soil.)  So I decided today was the day to start pulling it out to plant the shrubs.


2008-324-se-garden-before-reduc-v2-008.jpg  Before


I started pulling out the dead fern clumps, and most came up easily.  I also had to cut out some oak, maple, and cherry tree seedlings, blackberry vines, and briars.  It is amazing how much unwanted plants can grow in a year or two.  I cleared out about a fifteen foot area. 

Next came the digging of the planting holes.  We have hard clay that is filled with tree roots.  I have learned from planting shrubs before that a shovel just won’t make it.  I use a post hole digger.  That way I can cut through tree roots and can make a big enough hole with less effort. I did hit tree roots for every hole I dug.  This makes slow going.  I planted the Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) first, and then about four feet down I placed the Sweet Almond Bush (Aloysia virgata).  Finally, I dug up a white lacecap hydrangea that had rooted when a branch had been bent to the ground.  It had rooted last summer and now was too big to do well next to the mother plant.  I placed this about four feet down from the sweet almond shrub. 

 Already things are starting to look better.  I want the area to have a semi-wild, woodsy look.  The next door neighbor has some azaleas on her side which makes a nice backdrop for my side. There are some Beautyberry bushes here, and I am thinking of adding some more hydrangeas and maybe some holly ferns.  Parts of this  area do not get a great deal of sun, so I am going to have to figure out what should go into the rest of the area.


2008-324-se-garden-after-reduc-v2-026.jpg After


Even  thought I did not get to plant everything today, I do feel that I have accomplished a lot.  An overgrown area has started to be cleared out, plants are in the ground, and I have a better vision of what to do with the overgrown area on the property line.  So all that’s left is a soak in a warm Epsom salts bath to soothe my aching muscles.


1 Comment

  1. Patricia Louque said,

    March 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    The new area looks great. It looks like more than one days work. I am sure it will look beautiful soon.

    Thanks, Patricia. I was just thinking I hadn’t done very much for all the work I put in to it. It has spurred me into thinking about the rest of the area and how I want to renovate this border.

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