Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Pretty Much Stuck to the List (Sort of)

I am in full bore reconstruction mode.  I really am trying to focus on one area at a time, but I'm not being very successful at that.  I have taken out two huge 20 years+ old hibiscus bushes and am planning to replace with some Old Garden Roses.  I usually plant zinnias, cosmos, blanket flowers from seed in the area in front of the hibiscus.  I still plan to do that this year as well.  But the roses will be my backbone for this area.  Since they are cold hardy I will have something beautiful to look at even when the full effect of all the other flowers is gone.  I haven't purchased the roses yet.....

Still digging up the stump for the largest of the hibiscus bushes.

I have a very shady corner which is  planted with gingers, caladiums, alocasias, a red shrimp plant, forsythia sage and persian shield.  All but the red shrimp has gone dormant from the cold weather.  These plants always have come back but until about April that corner looks very bare.  It is under my twin grandfather oak  so oakleaf mulch is all you see from January until Aprilish.

Purchases for this area include: 2 Chamaedorea Cataractarum and  2 Shefflera Arboricola.  Also purchased were some Flax Lily I found on the half-price rack at Lowe's and a beautiful Camellia Sasanqua that I plan to put under my bedroom window which is dappled shade.  The Cat Palms will take the place of the Microspadix in my wishlist. They are not as cold hardy but are good to 20 degrees. And they were only $10 each. If I ever find a Microspadix I can still buy one. One.  Here's some info on my beautiful camellia.  Camellia Sasanqua Shishi Gashira

See how my one at a time plan is disintegrating?

A third area I have been working on is against my neighbors chainlink fence.  I planted some Bamboo last spring that is filling in nicely  and held up during the cold snap.  My banana trees however are toast.  I think they will come back from the corms but until then there is a gaping hole.  So, I bought a (Feijoa sellowiana) to put in that space.  Also purchased 2 Bulbine and 2 more Lorapetalum to plant in front of the sunny fence area.

I really got some good plant deals at my local nursery.  Really.  I did.

As I plant each area I will post updates.  My goal is to provide some more cold hardy "bones" for my garden while still keeping all the tropical and more cold sensitive perennials for spring and summer color.  That's the plan!


  1. I know where you're at. I am questioning my overuse of hibiscus right now. They get burned every year and leave an ugly brown row against the south side of my house until about April. I have probably 10 hibiscus total. While I don't want winter to be my garden's primetime, I would like to have a little more green that what I have now.

  2. I,too,am at the same place as you.I keep promising my self,No more tropicals! But I still do it.And I've started hacking away at the dead stuff,and trying to figure out what should be removed forever as it's not worth the work.
    Love your blog!

  3. Floridagirl - I love hibiscus and may plant one again, but for now, I think my 4 old guys have got to go. They do look beautiful in bloom and I'm sure yours must be stunning 9 months of the year. They just get so gnarly when they get old.

    Wall - It is nice to hear from other gardeners who can relate to my gardening angst. And I see you are in my same gardening zone. I'll be visiting your blog to see how your garden grows and blooms this spring.

  4. It looks like you're off to a good start. It's best to yank those tropicals out while the painful memories are still fresh in our minds. Lots of great choices.

  5. Oh, this is so exciting, Nana K. Just love to follow new planting beds and creative ideas. Sounds like you have a good plan and don't worry ... gardeners NEVER stick to the list no matter how hard we try.

    I'm curious... where did you find your Feijoa? I'm on the lookout for that variegated cast iron Susan showed us a couple of days ago... if you find it anywhere please let me know, too. You probably already know this but you can divide that flax lily right from the pot and the bulbine as well. Take cuttings from your arbicola to make more plants easily and before you know it you have made the most of your one at a time methods.

    I've never been a big fan of hibiscus and these past couple of winters I'm reminded why. I only have one (a gift) insignificantly placed so I'll cut it down to the ground one more time. But if it were prominent I'd get rid of it all together.

    Can't wait to see your final projects.

  6. Susan - Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me in my yanking. I'm having to wait for my husband to help with that really big Hibiscus. I'm hoping we can get it yanked this week-end between rainstorms.

    Meems - I got the Feijoa at Brandon Garden Center on Bloomingdale. He is a small enterprise but he had a lot of this plant. Good sized 1 gal. plants for $8.75. Thanks for letting me know about dividing the Bulbine, I didn't know I could do that. I did plan to divide up the Flax Lily and was hoping the Arboricola would root easily. I'll let you know if I find that cast-iron, I think Susan started a lot of us to wanting that one.

  7. Kay, It looks like you are off to a great start with all the new plants, will check back often for updates. The bulbine has been a great plant for me and know you will really enjoy them. Janis

  8. NanaK and Meems...I'm willing to mail you both some of the var. cast iron. They multiply nicely, so a small bunch will get you started. Email me (see link on my profile) and let me know if you want some.

  9. Ooooh, thanks for the feijoa link! I'd not heard of it before and it looks like the perfect complement to my blue butterfly and thryallis.
    I also like your oak leaf mulch, Kay. I use pine nuggets, which look nice and natural but don't decompose too quickly and are a pain when you want to amend the soil. I have no oaks, but the way the leaves are falling, I'm sure I can soon swipe the neighbors' bags set out for recycling.


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