Hello, and happy Monday! I hope you had a weekend that was the perfect magical combination of restful and productive. Mine was more productive than restful, but I have a vacation coming up starting Friday so there’s some r&r in sight! (We’re going to a close friend’s wedding in NYC — wedding #5 this summer — and then to Colorado for a week to hide in a cabin, hike, and not be on email/phone. I couldn’t be more excited.)
Anyway, today I’m here to share some progress we’re making in our yard. As you know, we have a five year plan to guide us:
This year I wanted to be sure to get some of our new plantings in, since they will take a few years to really start filling in. My goal has been to get in the hydrangea hedge (for along the side of the fence), dogwood tree (for next to the shed), and climbing hydrangeas (in front of the shed), and so last week I pulled the trigger and placed the plant order!
For the dogwood tree we splurged and are having it delivered and installed, since we wanted to start with as big a tree as possible. It will be 10-12′, which means it will be really unwieldy to move and install ourselves. The delivery and install (which includes digging the hole and the soil amendments to help it thrive) is an additional $250 — not cheap, but honestly I don’t know if we could even do it ourselves and it seems worth paying a professional to help make sure our tree has the best shot at thriving.
The hydrangeas, though, were ready for pickup on Friday. I got lucky, though, and my landscape architect friend (who helped me with the plans) brought them over for me, as I’d bought them through her firm and they were at her office. Sam and I were at a concert, and when we got home they were all there! What service!
You might be wondering how the oak leaf hydrangeas (the ones along the fence) already appear to be in holes. That’s because in preparation, Sam dug the holes a few weeks ago. There are eight of them, and the centers are 4 feet apart from one another. This kind of hydrangea will grow to about 5′, so that spacing should work quite well (so that they’re touching, but not too squished).
To plant them, my friend advised that we mix 1/3 compost and 2/3 original soil. The reason not to use all compost or better soil than what’s in our yard is that then the roots won’t want to extend past the original hole and into the rest of the yard. You can’t make their original digs so cushy that they won’t want to venture further afield 🙂
We followed her instructions, mixing dirt and compost in our wheelbarrow.
It took awhile, especially after Sam had to head out and I did the last 6 plants on my own. Also I’d just run 22 miles that morning, and I was tired. But I persevered.
After they were all in, I set up our drip hoses (which Naomi and Brad have generously loaned to us for the last few years). New shrubs need irrigation like drip hoses for the first few years in order to get enough water and thrive. My friend advised that I wrapped the house around the base of each bush one time.
And here they are!
I know there’s still a long way to go, but let’s not forget how that side of the yard has looked in days past:
Once we have the tree in, we’ll put down mulch under all the hydrangeas and the tree so that the whole L portion of the yard (along the fence, back corner by shed, and in front of shed) is mulched, and that’s when our metal lawn edging will start to make more sense. Also if you’re wondering why we just got one climbing hydrangea and not one for in front of each trellis, it’s because the tree roots in the ground in front of the right trellis are too dense to dig a hole. Instead we’ll train the first hydrangea to climb up and over and down the other trellis, and we might also do a morning glory or something else to add balance.
And here’s what oak leaf and climbing hydrangeas look like (respectively) once they’ve taken off:
I’m pretty excited to have such lovely blossoms in the yard!