need help big time

v1rtu0s1ty(5a)April 16, 2012

Hey folks, finally I'm back in the saddle. I wasn't able to do anything on my yard last year due to operation of osgood schlatters on right knee.

Anyways, my wife and I have decided to get rid of majority of our perennials. We want lesser maintenance now. I would like to hear some suggestions about shrubs/evergreens we should plant. It would be awesome if you can show me some design as well.

Thanks a lot in advance!!!


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You really need to post some pics that show the context and situated conditions.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Will do when I get home early tomorrow. Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 12:36AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The knee situation doesn't sound like fun - I hope the surgery improved things a lot.

I can't remember the specifics on your earlier threads but didn't you have a fairly detailed plan that you made and posted...? If so, posting that again - if it listed the perennials - might help in addition to photos. There are perennials that are easy-care that you might want to still include. If you are trying to limit the work required, you should also think about whether there are alternate ways to do things to reduce the amount of physically stressful work required. I am physically disabled and have set up our garden so I can do as much of the work as possible. DH does any heavy lifting or digging but I try to minimize the required amount of such work. Perhaps some of the approaches we use might be useful for you. You can access the on-line version of the maintenance manual I created for our garden by clicking on the My Page link and following the link there.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:56AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Virtuosity, I well remember your virtuosity with your gardening and pergola building, and I am sorry to hear about your knee.

I am not sure you need step by step instructions so much as general guidelines to figure out yourself how to reduce maintenance. For me, it is not as simple as perennials vs. shrubs.

Main sources of work in your yard are probably weeding and edging. or? maybe also in fall or spring, there is removing dead foliage, fall raking, and lawn mowing of course. What are the tasks you find hardest? Zero in on those and figure out how to reduce them.

For example, if weed growth is a problem, then you need plants that cover the ground effectively. Perennials can do that - hostas, peonies, and many others. This way, you would need to weed once in spring, perhaps, and once the ground is shaded you won't have too much more weed sprouting. Mulching heavily will also help to reduce weed sprouting.

So I would not be looking at type of plant, in short, so much as at type of work, and ways to reduce that.

If you want to keep the garden, you can also hire garden services and/or your children as soon as they are old enough: at 25 cents per buttercup (with roots), they would learn fast :-) At some point perennials often do have to be dug up and divided/reduced in mass, and that is the kind of thing you could hire out - and they are easier to dig up than shrubs!

If you are going to post photos, a photo of the current situation won't hurt.

Karin L

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:23PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ditto what Karin has said - that's the sort of thought process that led to how our garden is arranged and planted and the sort of things I covered in our maintenance manual (prepared to help DH know what to do if I'm not available to tell him :-) or to help guide a maintenance service if we need one in the future.)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 2:37PM
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