Friday, October 17, 2008

Do-It-Yourself Success In Wilmington Park

Dave and Susan Sherman, of Wilmington Park, came to H & Z a few weeks back with ink jet photos of their yard in hand. They were like a lot of homeowners. They had a landscape that was completely outdated, and they needed some help reworking it.

The Shermans picked the perfect time of year to update their front bed, because the cool weather of Fall allows plants to get established with ease. There is also a wide variety of shrubs available now, so it's not hard to put together really attractive combinations.

First things first, however. The Sherman's front bed needed some changes before one plant was purchased. A glance at the photo above reveals a narrow bed that would situate plants right beneath the roof's drip line. Suicide for any shrub. Dave was not to be discouraged though, and he sure wasn't going to be lazy about his project.

David and Susan returned with ink jet proof that they had followed my advice and expanded their bed to a suitable depth. They earned another star from me by amending their soil with organic matter like Mushroom Compost and Cow Manure! Oh...and check out the nice edging! Notice how the color brings out the brick in their house! A++

With the bed prepared, it was then time to choose plants. The Shermans wanted a low maintenance bed that had interest. They wanted to get away from the Loaf of Shrubs Chic behind which so many houses of that neighborhood still hide. The bed also receives a good deal of sun, so we chose plants that were ready for it!

Drought-tolerant selections like Dwarf New Zealand Flax, Autumn Joy Stonecrop, and Yucca
were used with the rich-colored Lorapetalum "pom-pom" topiary, Firepower Nandina, Purple Fountain Grass, and Ice Blue Yews (seen below).

There is still plenty of room for things to grow. By showing a little restraint now, the Shermans will eliminate the need for constant pruning later. The significant air circulation will also help prevent fungus from attacking their new plants. Finally, the attractive cypress mulch that they've added will help conserve water. Well done, guys!

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