Two weeks ago, we (well, really Mr. Official) created new landscaping beds around our deck and along two sides of our garage, plus up and down the fence. I wasn’t sure exactly what I would do with all that space, but I could practically hear Mother Nature’s “biological clock” ticking like a time bomb. I knew it was only a matter of time before weeds sprouted and multiplied to fill all that fresh-turned dirt. So last Saturday morning, Mr. Official and I shuffled off to our local Lowe’s, mainly for soil amendments, but also to see if they had any decent looking shrubbery.
We came home with 6 bags of pine fines, 2 bags of cow manure, 6 azaleas, five hollies and a “hardy” gardenia (we’ll see if it lives up to its billing). And then we spent a few, mostly pleasant hours as follows.
Step 2. We dug each hole, amended it, added fertilizer, and planted everything. The existing hostas were dug up and tucked in between the shrubs. Some straggler daylilies and coral bells were also dug up for transplanting.
Yes, some of the plants in that last picture look a little bedraggled. Thanks for noticing. It’s a lesson I never seem to learn: I had purchased the Leucothoe shrubs a week ago (a reflexive response to Mother Nature’s tick-tock noise), and they really didn’t like being kept waiting. However, they’re fairly sturdy so I’m hoping this one will recover; ditto for the coral bells which I unceremoniously yanked out of their spot and transplanted. They just need to get over it.
All-told we spent about 3 hours of serious work. Sure, we could have done more, but we both had other things we needed/wanted to do that day.
I have learned – the hard way – that it’s better to dabble for a few hours and save something for the next go-round. In this case, the edging is up next, then mulch.
Major landscaping projects take time, and trying to do everything in one fell swoop is probably going to leave you incredibly sore and/or taking shortcuts to finish on some self-imposed deadline. Have you ever watched a landscape crew? Do they take the time to amend each hole, add fertilizer, and gently remove each plant from its pot and firmly backfill? Nope, they use a a dig, drop, done system because they have a schedule to keep. (If you use landscapers to install your plants, it’s probably wise to right come along right behind them, scrape back the mulch and top-dress your soil with amendments and fertilizer, unless you watched them do it with your own two eyes.)