Thursday, May 19, 2011

My (Backyard) Bobby McGreens

Right before Ty's birthday party in April, we had a landscaping friend come over and gut our flower beds. They needed to be purged of all the excess leafy stuff. And since then, our yard has felt so clean and nice and slightly bare. After a year in the jungle, I didn't mind the bareness. It was liberating! Like my flower beds were skinny dipping. Freedom.

But now, after a time of reflection, I'm ready to plant. The problem is our landscaping friend keeps telling me to pick out what plants I want. And I keep telling him I have no clue and he needs to decide. We're at a standoff.

Here's my criteria:

1. A variation in height to cover the heavy amount of wood fencing.
2. Some color, but mostly low maintenace plants.
3. Did I mention low maintenance? They don't call me Stephanie the Vegetation Vixen for nothin'.

I've been observing and we have the most sunlight in the morning and the yard begins to shade in the early afternoon. I think that fact matters, but I'm not exactly sure.

Here are the things I like, although I don't know if they will work in my yard.

1. I would like another gardenia bush. They're pretty when even when they're not blooming. But when they are blooming is when the real magic happens. The frangrance is intoxicating. We have one already, so I think this would work.
2. I love hydrangeas more than anything else. I would like to plant as many of these as possible, but I'm not really sure what kind of sunlight a hydrangea likes/needs.

Example A: My wedding bouquet. I didn't care what else was in the bouquet, just give me hydrangeas. Yes, give me hydrangeas in September. I knew I'd found my florist when she said "no problem." I could have kissed her.

Example B: My wedding party bouquets. I didn't care what else was in the bouquet, just give me hydrangeas.

3. I also love hibiscus. But I'm still not sure of their habits or desires. Sounds like a tough relationship, huh? Here's the one thing I do know.

I bought this one nearly two months ago and haven't killed it yet. In my opinion, that's a good start.

At more or less a complete loss, I thought it was good to walk around a local nursery and find a few things that I liked that also looked as if they would ask very little of me. Independent plants, if you will.

I liked both of these options because they offer a lot of color, but don't look like you would have to do anything to them. Although, I don't know what you call either of them, and I don't know if my philosophy is true. Thoughts? Anyone?

I've got to get something in the ground soon before all the old stuff starts coming back. Suggestions are welcome. Think Vegetation Vixen-Proof. I'd hate to plant all these beautiful things just to watch them die.


judy pinnix said...

Stephanie, the first plant is a croton, which likes some sun. The second one was not too clear, but it looks like potato vine. I have three varieties of it in a planter. I recommend it because it grows well and takes neglect. Hibiscus requires a good amount of sun, hydrangeas not too much afternoon sun. If you have semishady spots I recommend hostas.

Ashley Netherton said...

I really am no help on the plant situation, but I had no freaking idea that you were referred to as Stephanie, the Vegatation Vixen... This month's Southern Living has some interesting info on calladiums...

Catherine said...

I love sweet potato vine!(the bottom picture) The one we planted last year did require lots of watering, but it may have been the planter. If you plant them in the ground, they will GROW, so be prepared.

Hydrangeas are easy and pretty low maintenance in my experience. Mine need watering three days a week though. Other than that, you just have to prune them back before spring to maximize your blooms! There was a good article in Southern Living this month about them.

Azaleas are low maintenance and nice because they are always green.

I want to plant some gardenias so badly here. I LOVE the smell, and it reminds me of childhood because we had them along the side of our house!

Good Luck!

Stephanie Jordan said...

I just googled calladiums and hostas. Thanks for those suggestions. I may incorporate some of those ... or at least mention them in conversation with the landscaper so he'll think I've done my research.

Ashley, I've never actually been called a Vegetation Vixen, but I image if plants could speak, that's what they would say about me.

I've seen both of those articles in Southern Living, but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. So far, I've decided two things for sure: more hydrangeas, more gardenia!

Catherine said...

Oh, and I forgot...don't plant saga palms! The centers are highly toxic to doggies!