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What to do with all of these specimans??

Posted by karen47401 5b or 6 depending on (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 7, 12 at 22:23

Hello everyone I have been a clearance plant buying fool the past few weeks. I now have the following and don't know what to do with them:

(1) Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood
(1) Spartan Juniper
(1) Moon Glow Juniper
(2) Wine and Roses Weigela
(2) Mugo Pines (accidentally bought the big ones - didn't realize they didn't all stay little)
(1) Dwarf Burning Bush
(2) Golden Globe Arborvitae - may plant these on either side of the air conditioner unit.
(2) Japanese Red Maple

Any ideas would be great...we need something to put on the south side of the house along the foundation. We have about 21 feet to work with and currently just have a lilac bush on either end.

I'm open to a couple of beds as well just don't know how to work with all of these.

Thanks!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

Any plants you have are ugly,if they do not match the yard;every are beautiful when they have a nice combination.
You really need to post some pics that show the context and situated and conditions(if have,include drainage/ irrigation)and the property and the perimeter line (They are not too close up.a panoramic shot is good).
first upload photo to any photo-hosting site.Photobucket and Flickr are examples . While at that photo on the site,
look for a link to "share." Then look for a way of obtaining "html code" (don't select the thumbnail version.)
Copy that code and paste it directly into your message here.
You should tell me that sun light time(or where face?) and climate and soil PH.zone,or local name.


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

I think you will find that if you do your research on what these plants will grow into (as you are obviously beginning to do), the answers will be clear enough as to which ones can and cannot go along the foundation. You will also find that in order to do that research, you will need to be more specific than "Japanese Red Maple." Other than that, move them around next to each other to find combinations that please you, and plant the combinations where you have room. Posting a photo is not going to alter the fact that you have to go through that process. Read other threads on this forum to see what can happen when you post a photo...

I never consider it a bad thing to buy plants, but for these plants, I would urge you to consider the following:
a) there are areas of the yard besides the foundation where plants can look good, and usually better than they do at the foundation, especially if they are programmed to grow big,
b) just because you bought it does not mean you have to plant it (been there, done that). The garden centre is happy that you made your purchase, but no one will know if you now just cut up the plant and put it in the compost....
c) even if you do plant the wrong thing/wrong place, it is fine if it serves for a few years and then you pull it out and replace it... having anything in the ground can help you identify what you do and don't like about it and help to make a better choice for that space next time,
d) plants that are planted late (and June is getting late in most areas) rarely survive anyway, which is probably one reason why they are on sale at the garden centre. Especially south-facing. If you plant now those plants have little hope anyway - they will have so much sun without an established root system to keep them hydrated (and if you overwater, they may poach) (voice of experience here). When you buy plants on sale they may not be the healthiest stock (maybe a little pot-bound) so the risk of losing them if you plant late in the sun is pretty high. It is likely best to keep them in pots in a shady spot for the rest of this year and plant in fall.
e) the selection of plants available on sale is not likely to be the sum total of the best plant selection for a given project, so when you do get to your planting, you may need to buy a few more things to make the planting come together.

Karin L


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

No credentials other than long time gardener. I tend to learn by experience and just go ahead and try things despite the horror (not by Karin L) that might be expressed by others. Climate, rainfall, etc. here is such, though, that planting/transplanting most things throughout the summer isn't terribly problematic and an impulse buy or good sale has provided me with some of my best things.

The weigela and dwarf burning bush would do for a south facing foundation - and won't need and kind of shaping or pruning for quite a long time. That exposure is fine for the junipers too - but those will grow both wide and tall so would think twice with only a length of 21'. The red twig dogwood does expand in all directions, but can be kept in check with pruning out - as popular a shrub as it is, I don't see it used much here as a foundation plant... more often in the back of a garden or in a mixed shrub border.

Mugo's are "adorable" when small. If you're judicious about candle cutting every spring you can keep them in check for years. Wouldn't use at the foundation.

Cannot grow Japanese Maples here.

I've got a couple of globe arborvitaes beside my air conditioning unit. I might give them a shearing with an electric trimmer every five years or so since they're approaching 40 years old now. They've definitely expanded, but have kept their globe shape without fuss.

Any space elsewhere in the yard to start a conifer garden? The upright yews and mugos could be a start... incorporating the Japanese Maple with those could be very attractive.



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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

Yeah I agree, I wouldn't stick much in the ground right now, if it were me I would probably put all the pots really close together in nearly full shade, maybe like 6 hours full sun a day max, and would manually water once a week minimum for 3 months and then put everything in the ground, it works for me when buying summer trees all the time. Last year I got 20 bloodgood and have had 8 of them dye, but at 1$ when they looked nearly dead "2-3ft" it was so worth it.


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

If you are around here (you don't say) plant them. One of two things is going to happen. It will either keep raining, and they will be fine. Or it will finally stop raining, and I can get the grass mowed.

In general, foundation plants around here are fairly small evergreens. Keep in mind that any deciduous shrub is going to have two different appearances. For noticable foundation plantings, both of the appearances have to be at least reasonable. I'd try to arrange these away from the house in some way.

Start by looking up sizes. Evergreens never really stop growing, but these are upright types that are going to do more growing up than out. Figure out how much space needs to be between them. You may want to bunch them together to see how they look together, then spread them out to plant them. There should be a lot of bare ground between them to give them room to grow.


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

The higher zones tend to say don't plant; lower zones say go for it. I'm still planting new peonies; I've done this periodically thru June and haven't lost one yet.

Truth be told, I'd have a harder time keeping shrub and tree purchases healthy in their pots, moving them in and out of shade, making sure they're watered deep into the pot and not merely the surface inch for a whole summer season than I would digging a proper sized hole, adding any needed amendments and getting them into the ground. Giving them the whole growing season to establish making survival over the winter more likely.

Nothing in the above list - save maybe the Japanese Maple - is terrifically fussy. It's the 21' length along the foundation that gives me pause. Not an altogether large area, but the OP hinted there were other garden areas that could possibly be used.

As usual, I'd like to see a photo - possibly one that escapes the fantasy land makeovers to which we're often treated.


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

Thanks all. I am learning to stop buying plants because they are cheap!!! In all fairness though I am new to gardening and am really enjoying it but I have gone a little overboard :)

I am posting a new thread with a picture of the south side of our house. I'd still love any ideas you have for an island or something to use up these plants. just not sure where to go with so many specimans!!!


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RE: What to do with all of these specimans??

Actually duluthin, most of her list is small trees and shrubs. I was not only saying because of the temp, but with summer rolling around its much harder to keep the water on if we run into a summer drought that has been plaguing most of the US over the last 3-4 years. Its also better than running out and planting them, then having to move them.

Draw out a specific plan, design for future plant height, and make it as close to spec as possible. If you can't do that and have the money, hire a professional. If not, take your time and don't rush it.

Don't mass plant your list, it will probably look jumbled.

I would also put that red twig dogwood somewhere really noticeable in the winter, not too far off from the home.


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