Saturday, August 31, 2013

Landscaping Along the Driveway

We redid the landscaping along our driveway months ago and I've been lazy about taking pictures.  And guess what?  Now, we've lost some of our plants.  Probably only about 10% of them, but still.  Why didn't I take pictures when it was in its prime?  Lesson learned.

Someone (the builder? the original homeowner? the previous homeowner?) LOVED azaleas.  They are absolutely everywhere in our landscape.  Seth and I do not love them.  Around here they bloom for maybe 1-2 weeks at most and then go back to being ugly.  Their flowers are so delicate and they stick to everything and make a huge mess when it rains.  To all azalea lovers out there: let's just agree to disagree.  My feelings partly stem from the fact that ours haven't been taken care of properly (they are going wild in the backyard), but I still think there are prettier alternatives.  

Shortly after moving in, my dad and Seth severely trimmed back the azalea bushes along the side of the house because they were scraping the sides of our cars as we backed out of the driveway.  Months later, Seth worked up the energy to remove the stumps.

It was not an easy job.  Azaleas like to put down roots.  Everywhere.

For this bed, we decided on hydrangeas.  We found some small ones at the plant sale at our local extension center.  I highly recommend checking into plant sales in your area before shopping at nurseries or big box garden centers.  We definitely saved some moo-lah.

Please excuse the weeds in the first photo.  I'll be getting on that shortly.  It may not look like much now, but in the next few years it should be gorgeous.  One thing to note about purchasing plants from an extension sale is that they are usually cuttings or smaller plants that people propagated from their own gardens.  Therefore, the plants are still pretty immature and may not bloom for a year or so.  Since landscaping can be quite expensive, we were more than happy to save money on some of our plant purchases and use our imaginoscopes for now.  Hopefully our patience will one day be rewarded.

We purchased two oakleaf hydrangeas of the munchkin variety (pictured above), two little honey oakleaf hydrandreas (below), and two 'Lady in Red' hydrangeas (second pic below).

We also added a couple more hostas to complete the ring around our little tree (which are sadly turning brown now) and used some liriope to create a little border along the bed.

I have to say that probably my favorite thing about our new landscaping are the rocks.  Yes, the rocks.  I was the kid who went over the to neighbors pool and searched for pretty rocks among their landscaping while my brother and the other neighborhood kids practiced their cannonballs.  Yes, I'm a weirdo.  Maybe I should have been a geologist.  

The bed on the other side of the driveway runs its full length.  It was an overgrown mess of azaleas, pitiful rose stems (they couldn't even be considered bushes), lots of weeds and grass, and liriope.  Seth cleared all of this out as well so we could start with a clean slate.

Oh - except the daylilies.  They are the little spot of green at the back of the bed about halfway up the drive.

For the first part of the bed (from the top of the driveway down to the daylilies), we purchased twelve stonecrop (Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude'), four baskets-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis), four lithodora (Lithodora diffusa), and four silvermounds (Artemesia schmidtiana).

The stonecrop were spaced evenly along the back of the bed and the other three varieties were alternated in front.

They are all perennials.  (The lithodora have since died, but hopefully the others will come back next year.)  After spacing them out, we laid down weed cloth, and started planting.

Below is after adding a gorgeous purple fountain grass at the top of the driveway and spreading the rocks.  (In the super sunny spot, you may spy an aberrant rose that is growing back from underneath the weed cloth...)

more weeds along the edges since we didn't dig up 
all of the bricks and secure the weed cloth underneath them :(

As we move down the driveway, the bed gets more and more shade.  That's one reason that we couldn't just plant the same things all the way down.  In front of the daylilies, we transplanted some hostas, which seem to have gotten sucked into the ground.  I'm not even kidding.  One day there were there, the next day only one leaf was visible, and the next day they were gone.  I'm blaming the moles.

After the daylily/hosta area, we have a couple of sedum plants with three astilbe.  (The astilbe have since either died or gone away for the season.  I'm really really hoping it was the latter.  They did bloom for us before they did that though.  Maybe the moles ate them, too?)

Next (this area is very shady) are four lenten roses that we scored for super cheap at the plant sale.  They are babies and we were told they might not bloom for two seasons.  Patience.  I hope I can keep them alive that long.  We placed some cheap annuals around them which promptly died.  (We are learning what will grow here people...another reason not to spend a lot of money on plants.)

Next comes about a four foot area of empty bed (we'll figure that out next year) before you reach the fence.  Along the fence, we planted two yellow roses alternating with three decorative grasses.

For reasons unknown to me the grass in the middle is thriving but the two on the ends are just pitiful.

Apparently, we can grow roses.  And one decorative grass.  That's something right?

We also purchased a wisteria vine and trellis for our gas lamp.  Despite the fact that it is probably not very energy efficient (because it is on 24/7), I really love our gas lamp.  I like having a part of history right in my front yard.  

That is all the landscaping that we tackled this season.  Next, we hope to focus on the grass (maybe starting this Fall) and the front of the house.  As you can see in our house tour, the front beds are filled with English Ivy.  It has to be trimmed back regularly because it grows like crazy.  I think it's getting the axe.  Literally, if necessary.  The backyard?  Yikes.  That's a whole other overgrown story.

1 comment:

  1. This is what we traded the fancy fireplace for. I just wish we had made the hammerhead extend all the way to the house... split rail fence


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