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B4 & After Debate

Posted by RosemarieRo z11/24 So Calif (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 14, 05 at 21:38

Hmmm...I'm not sure I should do this...as it can get quite involved (on my part ~because I have 100s
of pix of each project & I'm a terrible editor) & I'm stealing time as it is. Oh well..here goes...

One Before pic (2000) of part of our back yard once we had cleared it of all junk:

One After of that corner of the yard from last year:

I may add more pix...but if it's boring...just say so! :D
Then, of course, I could post pix of the junk we started with! Oh nooooooooo...

~Rosemarie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: B4 & After Debate

  • Posted by klavier z4 Bing, z5 Pou (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 15, 05 at 12:51

Quite a change. You must have done some serious work amending the soil. It looked pretty desolate. Hpow can anyone not love plants?


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RE: B4 & After Debate

I love before and after pix! Keep 'em coming!


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RE: B4 & After Debate

What a transformation! I love how your background is now all green (the fence). I would also love to know how you amended the soil. Great job. Keep em coming!


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Thanks folks! Yes, serious amendments were done. We made good use of our tiller & shovels! We dug out lots of grass (top layer) after trying to let it die. I had a compost heap back then & we used it up (about the time the pool went in--then no place for it or time to turn it). We added compost from the local grocery store & sand, some manure in places & gpysum in spots (parts were like brick). I'm trying to get some pix in some kind of order & select a few good examples. Back asap!

~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

To me, B4 & After shots are some of the most rewarding. It's a true history of our gardening. Be it the site or just a pic on the day we brought the plant home from the garden center and another at some other significant/insignificant time.

Al


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RE: B4 & After Debate

History...yep, Al...that's what this is all about. I have pix of all the things you mentioned above! :) If it gets to be too much, just slap me upside the head, okay?!

Okay, a little background...this is a labor of love...I grew up in this house/played in this yard with my 8 brothers & sisters. This is a view of how that NE corner of the yard looked in the 60's before my Dad added onto the house. I think you can even see the start of the tree on the right side of the bike!

After my parents passed away, my sister was given the house. For various reasons, she was going to lose the house. My husband & I moved back home ('96) to fix up the house to sell it.

This is part of what we started with...this is the same view as the previous pic (maybe you can use the telephone pole in the corner of the yard for comparison). Lots of junk to get rid of! We (my hubby & I) moved that shed to the other corner of the yard (behind me in this pic). An addition was built on the house in the early 70's (1 wall seen in this pic).

You already saw a pic like this (in my first post of the thread), but this shows the same tree & house wall & the area cleared of all the junk!

I'm still sifting through pix...to post in parts that make sense! So more to come! There WILL be nicer pix when I post the After pix...I promise!
~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Wow, Rosemarie, truly a labor of love. You must have an incredible attachment to your property and your home. A lifetime of memories, and the satisfaction of seeing how you've beautified it over the years. I know you must be incredibly proud of it. How did you ever survive 8 siblings!


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Yes, Anna, attached I am! The lifetime of memories is bittersweet. We like seeing how we've beautified it (we remodeled the entire inside of the house, room by room too) & are very proud indeed! Looking back through these pix is a bit overwhelming (& fun) to see our progress.

To answer your last query, how do they say it??..."Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" LOL

Okay, some early pix (while we were working on the inside of the house)...
Click on thumbnails to see larger pix ~
(still trying to figure how to get thumbnails side by side)

North lattice with my compost heap in middle of yard

NE corner of yard (you've seen from another angle):

Early garden near fence in that corner w/ apple tree

Same area the following yr, Apr 01

To right of previous pic, showing Plum tree & E lattice

Further back view from the house to NE corner
Area where pool will be

Moved my compost heap (spot), marking off for pool

Excavation starts for pool

Pool dug out, NE corner behind

Hubby tills area where pool deck will go

North lattice fence alongside pool Before pool

Interim plantings along N lattice, midway

Further on N lattice, interim plantings

More in a bit. Better quit before I confuse myself! :)
~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Back again! Got some help from Terramadre on side by side thumbnails (thanks again!).

The Saga continues...Pool is installed...here showing the Before pic (again) & After, with pool & decking installed & water-filled with cover:














Maybe I should go round up some After garden pix to relieve boredom! :D Back soon!
~R


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More~RE: B4 & After Debate

Okay, now jumping into the future a bit (2004), some After pix of the North lattice & NE corner:




















~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Rosemarie,

This thread is a ton of fun! Please keep the pictures coming!! For a relatively new gardener, watching transformations like these are absolutely thrilling!!! Thanks for taking the time to post these pics.

-Sheri


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Well, Sheri, I'm glad someone is getting something out of it!
I'm happy to do it. You could say it's therapeutic for me.
Papa was a farmer type guy & Mama loved flowers...
so I think we made them BOTH happy! My Dad planted the fruit trees seen in these pix.

I was a NEWBIE gardener when I moved back to this house in '96! I've learned a lot since then!

On with the story...
while the guys were installing the pool, hubby & I worked on prepping
the area where we would be putting sod.
We had to remove top layer of dead grass & weeds (mostly weeds), roots from the Fig tree, rocks & toys found (marbles, cars, shells) from our childhood. I even found a piece from my tea set! :D
Below is the section between the pool & the house.
I think you can figure which direction is which!












We added sand to this soil. I'm not sure anything else to this part...maybe fertilizer (per sod company instruction).











Last of it leveled off, ready for sod & north side of pool beds loading up with plants
to get in the ground.










Maybe digging of the north garden beds next! We shall see!
~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

I love before and after.... they are VERY inspiring. I would love to see a current picture of the tree in the center of your pool slab. What a great idea to keep some shade on your deck, and keep your tree alive.

Your backyard looks wonderful.


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What a beautiful transition. I guess there's hope for the rest of us after seeing what you started with. ;-) You've done a fantastic job with your gardens.

Nancy


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Thanks NikkoBlue! Well, you asked for it...but I'll try to give the SHORT version of the story! LOL

Yes, we wanted to keep the tree & thought shade would be good. But we didn't consider it was deciduous, as well as a flowering tree ~which would drop lots of stuff in the pool!
It is Chitalpa 'Pink Dawn' & has very pretty flowers! We also have 'White Cloud' in the front yard, which we love.

When we bought it, the roots were girdled in the pot. We tried to help it when we planted it, but even so, it wouldn't grow straight (we couldn't get it staked right). It started leaning badly, especially after heavy rains. We'd hit our head on the limbs. We decided to move it elsewhere (see transplant hole we dug) & replace it with an evergreen shade tree. While digging it out in Mar of this year, we broke the tap root. My heart sunk! :( Maybe we'll get another down the road.

A few pix:






















So, I digress!
~R


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Wow, Rosemarie, the pics I posted of my before and after are sad compared to all of your hard work! Although, knowing what it took for us to transform our yard, I can really appreciate what you have accomplished. Aren't you glad you took pictures of all the phases? I took pictures of the yard when it was completely cleared too. All the pictures are important to help remember details of the process.

Your yard is beautiful! It is wonderful that you have ties to the property too. Thank you for sharing!

Sher


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Nancy, you must've posted while I was putting together my last post! Thank you! We think it turned out pretty well too! It does attest to the fact that whatever you're given, you CAN improve upon it! :) If there's a will, there's a way, my Mom always said! I used to be embarrassed of the Before shots & only immediate family ever saw THOSE. Now, it just shows how far we've come...and I don't care anymore what people may think! A few months before these pix were taken, I came down & mowed, weedwhacked & cleaned up a bit. You couldn't SEE what was under the grass piles!
























Yep, Sher, if you've been through it, you know just what is involved for each project you tackle. Your pix were great! I AM glad I took pix of all phases. I inherited my Mom's shutterbug genes for capturing Before, During & After pix of everything! LOL The only ones I've lost so far are the During pix of our driveway being installed. :( I'm not in many pix, because I'm behind the camera, but once in awhile, hubby thinks to snap some of me. Thank you too, for your nice comments!
Let's see, now for pix of digging! Oops! I just realized I haven't uploaded those pix to my photo site yet. I guess a few flora photos will suffice!












Hope this isn't too much!
~R


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Rosemarie, your lot looked so bare before the gardens!
What a superb transformation. The colorful flowers and privacy plantings make all the difference. The pool looks lovely in that setting. You have created paradise!


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RE: B4 & After Debate




Yes, indeed it did, Carol! We were amazed how large the back yard looked without anything in it! Thanks so much for you nice comments! Privacy is a must! The gardens are my sanity (besides these forums) & they are a work in progress...never finished. I usually post close-up shots of all my blooms, but sometimes it's nice to see the "big picture". When does it ever look "good enough" for that?!

Are you ready for some DIGGING? Aug 01 ~not exactly a good month to be doing this!
Tom sifting grass clods, N beds pt dug out looking E~










A long way to go still, Tom makes new compost heap under tree, sifted dirt goes on top sod area~












Sod area almost ready, more sifting grass clods, moving past pool equip on N lattice side, left side amendment finished~












Breaking up of grass clods up to interim beds in NE corner, front of apple tree, looking at all done bk to west, still to do around plum tree~













Me digging, NE corner dug in front of apple tree, tree ring half clear & finished removing grass~












I think I'll show the plantings for this area next!
Thanks for looking!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

  • Posted by denaw z8Conroe (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 18, 05 at 16:41

I am just so impressed!!! What is was..and what you all have accomplished is just gorgeous!!!!
What a Great Job!!!

Dena


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Rosemarie, I have really enjoyed your transformation!

It is hard to believe what you have now when looking at the before pics. What a lot of hard work, but with outstanding results. You and your husband should be so proud and satisfied with it.

I also love the fact that it is the "homeplace". I know that makes it even more special to you.

gld


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Well, Thank You Much, Dena & GLD! It's makes me happy to know you're enjoying this! :) We are very proud & it is a very satisfying feeling to know what we've done. BUT...when I look at it (in sections of 10 ft or so), all I see is what I still need to do~LOL! We have taught ourselves to sit back & GAZE at it once in awhile to really appreciate it!

I've been fretting the past couple of days, trying to be an "editor"! Not easy when I'm a shutterbug & have WAY too many pix! I don't want to overload you nice folks. As it is, this thread is rather long! :P

So, here goes again...the overall look stepping back a bit...and the planting starts on the North lattice fence beds!













A reminder of the Before pic along the N lattice, then the 1st of Oct 01 ~ I put in over 100 plants in one day!












More plants installed on the left & right side of the pool equipment (hoping eventually, some would hide it)~












Looking back West in 1st photo below, NE end of pool planting group












I'd better give you a rest. Meanwhile I can figure out which chapter to post next!
C ya soon!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

All I have to say is "WOW!" What a difference. No offense, but in the before pictures, the place looked like a dump. Now it's a thing of beauty. You definitely increased the value of that property 10-fold. Absolutely gorgeous.


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RE: B4 & After Debate

No offense taken AZ T...that's what our family called it.
My Dad had passed away 5 yrs prior & the sister who inherited it didn't do much except make it worse. Before now, I was embarrassed to show the pix to most people. I like the reminder of how far we've come.

We do believe our Mom & Dad are happy with what we've done & our siblings are glad the house wasn't lost. Some had trouble with changes we made (especially INSIDE the house), but they got over it once they realized it was all for good/better.

My Dad asked me if I thought someone in the family would keep/take care of the house after they were gone. I said, "Of course!"

Thanks for your nice comments!

~R (#6 of 7 girls)


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RE: B4 & After Debate

I'm at a loss for words, and believe me, that's doesn't happen very often. You have worked wonders with your gardens and I don't know when I ever seen as perfect a "Before and After". You should be very proud of your work and I'm sure your Mom and Dad are very proud too. It looks like a real paradise there to me.

Congratulations on a wonderful job!

Ann


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Why, Thank You, Ann! That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me! It feels like a paradise to us, too. And we are proud! :) (We have done the same kind of transformation inside our house...but don't get me started on that!)

I hope to post another group of pix tonight...time permitting.

Thanks for all your compliments!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

I stuffed myself with lasagna last night till I couldn't move, so no photo uploading was going on here. :) So, now to figure where to continue...hmmm.

At the same time we were planting the north lattice beds, we had been digging up the area where the sod would go. We tilled, sifted, broke up clods & dug trenches to lay down the sprinkler system. In the process of doing this, we decided to remove a Tangerine bush & a 2nd Apple tree we had. Of course, we smoked a peace pipe to my Dad first...since he's the one who planted them! :D

We also dug up & tilled an area next to the house for another bed & a triangular section by the patio/deck. Maybe I'll post pix on that part next.

So here is more sod prep, mainly facing the east lattice, where we removed the fruiting plants.

Jumping back to Aug for a minute, we had dug around the plum tree & along the East lattice fence...and then here's a view across to the Xeriscape Lemon Island & the Tangerine bush we'd be taking out.













I think you can figure out the removal of the plants












I just realized the pix are in reverse order, but I don't think you'll mind!












Last shot of trenches & jumping to the future a bit (2 shots from '04 & 1 from '05).












That's all for tonight, folks!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Okay, time to go back to early Sep 01 (around Labor Day), when we tilled up the beds near the house that would be surrounding the sod. There is a trianglular bed situated next to the patio & pool deck as well.
First, a Before pic for comparison. Then me using the tiller (1st time), with our Border Collie, Woody watching from the sliding door. Plant material awaits being P.I.G. (Planted In Ground)!












First PIG in the bed near the house in mid-Sep, then early Oct.












Now the triangular bed with Abutilon & Hemerocallis ready to be PIG, sand amending the soil. Welcome stepstone added; Bed near house a few weeks into Oct.












Now, a couple weeks later on that bed near the house; Then we jump ahead to 05, the beds to the left of the 1st pic in this section (you'll see later in the sod pix segment-also the transformation of the Fig tree to the table you see with the umbrella!); then the 04 bed near the house & another of it in 05.












Enough for now...another segment when I'm able. It'll give you a chance to snore in bed now, instead! :P
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Wait, wait, I'm new to this forum but not to the "name that plant" forum, and I'd assumed that you were a pro, because you know so many plants! And you've been gardening less than 10 years?

I hope those of you admiring this thread check out Rosemarie's more recent one, too.

BTW, is the tall orange creature in your last post a Leonotis? Those always looked small and scraggly in NoCal...I guess (sigh) there's something to be said for a 10 month (year round?) growing season.


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Hee hee, yes, Ana...it has only been 8 yrs or so since I started planting things. I became obsessed & started soaking up info on this forum in '97 (or '96, I can't recall), learning from people ~like Carol23. I woke up at 5 every morning ~withOUT an alarm~ to watch the great garden shows they had on back then on HGTV (Home & Garden TV) & took copious notes...so I would quit KILLing plants! I had to learn EVERYTHING...soil, watering, shade vs. sun, (I had NO idea the difference between annual & perennial), zones, pinching/pruning/fertilizing...well, you get the picture!

I scoured the Internet for photos of plants & all the requirements for anything I bought. There weren't very many pix online back then. Amazing how far it's come in so little time! I started with the Sunset book for California & graduated to the 8# American horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia. I list the lifting of it as one of my daily exercises! LOL

No, not a Pro, although it tickles me to say I've been asked what my horticultural credentials were. Hee hee! I look up everything...all the plants I drool over & interesting things I see. Trouble is, I want almost all plants I see! :D So I have to wear blinders when I go to places that carry them. Okay, sorry...I digress!

Thanks for the very nice things you've said & pointing folks to the other post. :)

Yes, good eye...that IS a Leonotis leonurus! I don't cut mine back as severely as others I know, but this year I may change my mind. They are up to the roof edge now. My son wants some sunlight in his room so his fish can live. :) The Shell Ginger is going to get a haircut too (near the sliding door--that can almost no longer be seen). The jungle persists (especially with our year-round gardening)!

I'll post another installment (segment? chapter?) when my hubby settles in...he gets to come home from the hospital tomorrow! Yay! Off to bed I go.
~Rosemarie


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Okay...I'm back! Hope this isn't TOO boring for you! This segment is The Laying of the Sod! Lots of pix, even though I left out many...so we'll start with chopping the Fig Tree. We later made a table out of it, as you can see in my last pix posting. We lessened the Cotinus population (Green Fig Beetle...a larger version of the Japanese Beetle many of you are plagued with)! Remember to click on the thumbnails for larger views.









In Nov 01, after making the flower beds beside the pool & near the house, we starting laying the sod ~starting near the house. Tom & I took turns wheelbarrowing in the sod from the front of the house. We had to get it all done before the sun went down! Whee!















I hope you can figure out which direction I'm taking all these pix. IF you really want to know, you can right click on the pic & then click Properties & the file name has a bit of info.















*I caught you yawning! :P















We finished up as the sun was setting!















That 2nd to last pic is where the berms would be going & paths around the Xeriscape Lemon Island.
We were tuckered out...just in time for Thanksgiving feast the next week!
Till next~ Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

I'll try not to sound too judgmental or dismayed as I ask: why oh why did you take out the fig? (What I'd do for a fig! I know, I know, there's no accounting for taste.)


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Don't be concerned about me & how it sounds. I get that from family & friends too. We anguished over the removal of any/all trees/shrubs...especially since my Dad planted them. I have a hard time making changes, so I have an argreement now with my hubby that he gives me his ideas about change (house/garden) & I can mull them over a while before accepting & doing.

So, practically speaking, we made up our minds this way...we found I was the only one eating any fruit from any of the trees. Every year I became the Plum Fairy, the Tangerine Fairy (...you get the drift) & delivered fruit to neighbors, family, friends, school, etc. I used to make homemade apple pies (people even offered to PAY me for them~hee hee), but haven't found time to do that in SO long. We had to care for all these trees (water, fertilize, keep pests off, pick up the harvest, distribute it, etc.). It just wasn't worth it anymore & we had other plans for beautifying the yard. Those pesky Green fruit beetles were the last straw! They are dive bombers! We couldn't go our back & enjoy the yard without getting hit in the head by them! So, can I rest my case now, Ana? :P :)

The Fig Tree still LIVES (thanks to my Dad, I think)~




:D
If I could send you some figs, I WOULD!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

What a wonderful documentary of love, dedication and hard work!


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RE: B4 & After Debate

OK, OK. There are a lot of plants I vaguely regret not being able to grow here where the weather blows down from the Arctic, but there are some I sorely regret not being able to grow, and figs are one of them, both because it's so hard to get good ones in stores and because I love their looks. But I know, we all have finite time, energy and space.
The sprout is inspiring!


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Wonderful job, Rosemarie. Thanks for sharing.

It's a good thing you took pictures of it all because no one would have believed the work you did without the pictures to back you up. lol


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Rosemarie, I'm so enjoying these pictures. Please keep them coming. I'm just curious, do you plant anything you want pretty much anywhere you want or do you plan everything out? I tend to just throw stuff wherever, and I was wondering if you do the same. Either way, your gardens are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Thanks you, Katsu! This documentary is very long! :D I suppose you can say we are committed...and we want to see PRETTY stuff!

Well, Ana, when you want something you can't have, that just makes you want it more! LOL Like all the OTHER zone plants I'd like to grow! :) When I was in the mood for a fig, there was nothing like eating a ripe one right off the tree! :)

Thank you, Carol Ann! That is exactly why I took the pix. I figured no one would believe it! Of course, I had NO clue how we were going to do at transforming it! We have been pleased with our results.

DCarpenter, I see you are just starting your obsession (your member page)! Hee hee! I'm happy our sons were 3 & 5 yo when we started. I don't think we could've done it with a baby around. :P Just when I was thinking I should quit posting ~Ha! Okay...more pix will come.

As far as planning...yes, I'd LIKE to have a plan...but reality is not always so organized! In the early days I mapped out the area on paper & tried to get tall plants in back, short in front ~being sure they were full sun plants if that's where they'd be situated. I also tried not to put plants that did not want to be watered much next to thirsty ones. Later I grouped acid-loving ones together, but that plan falls apart quickly!

One thing I know about myself...I could spend DAYS drawing this stuff on paper...but the actual DOING ~planting~ would get put off indefinitely if I spent too much time on paperwork. I buy the plants I like/want. They sit around a long time sometimes until I've figured out where I want them to go. When I'm planting many at once, I try to eyeball the area, (know the flower color of each plant) placing complimentary colors near each other. Knowing how large a plant will grow helps tremendously! I've had many plants get so large, they take the sun/space from surrounding plants.

Many plants we bought told us how tall they'd grow, but don't trust that...look them up! One example: my hubby bought a whole flat of Senecio cineraria (Dusty Miller), which said height would be 10 inches. We planted it all the way around a border. Guess what?! It grew to FOUR FEET! Yikes! Some stuff grew so well...but we think because our soil was amended so well, & it was so rich that they grew like Jack's beanstalk!!

Anyway, if you don't mind moving plants if they're not doing well, then plant them wherever you want! The worst thing for me is not getting them in the ground before they die! I hate killing them! :( Well, gee...I'm sure that was helpful! LOL

Enjoy your eve!
~Rosemarie


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RE: B4 & After Debate

what is the tree in the very first after picture all the way to the left???
Is it a chitalpa??


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RE: B4 & After Debate

Rosemarie will not post here on GW anymore. You can find her at www.thegardenforums.org these days, posting up a storm with even MORE pix!
To answer your question, yes, that is a Chitalpa tree.


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