Danger, Danger!

Yesterday wifey and I made a pilgrimage to several of our favorite garden centers, which is a dangerous thing for two plant-loving gardeners to do! A couple of hours and a few hundred dollars later, we headed for home with the truck full of plants.

The main reason we went plant shopping is that we are planning two new island beds out back of the house. We have several large trees there that have hostas planted right around the trunks, where they are competing with the tree roots and losing the battle.

I fought the tree, and the tree won

Lynda has been busy digging up hostas ever since we moved here in 2007. It seems the previous owners had planted tons of them, but only two varieties: Hosta undulata ‘Albo Marginata’ and H. ‘Royal Standard’. While both are nice enough Hostas, we decided we wanted more variety. So we have gradually been adding different hostas to the mix. We figure one plant of a variety is plenty, since in a few years they will need splitting and then we will have all the plants we need.

Yesterday we picked up about a half dozen different ones, including ‘Frances Williams’, ‘Sum & Substance’, ‘Guacamole’ and the red-stemmed ‘Red October’. Our plan is to get the beds planted with the larger anchor plants and hostas this year, and fill in with other plants next year.

One of the bigger plants we wanted was an Oak Leaf Hydrangea. We found a nice variety called ‘Snowflake’ that gets 6-7ft tall and should fill in the area nicely.

Something else we wanted was azaleas, which would give some nice color to the area in spring. We found six that suited us. They were on sale for 20% off. If there’s one thing we love even more than plants it’s a S-A-L-E!

azaleas near their new home

We also plan to move a large Japanese maple to one of the new beds. Like most of the other foundation plants, it was planted way too close to the house. It is crowded and needs to be in a spot where it can be seen and admired. This is an older tree that is 5 feet tall and over 7 feet wide.

specimen maple, too close to the house

I’m not comfortable moving a tree this big, so we will get a pro to do it. Our neighbors had a similar sized maple moved last year, and it is looking good in its new location. We are going to get the same people to move ours. Hopefully by this time next year it will be in a new location and thriving too!

We are excited about this project, and we’re hoping the new beds will give us something to look at and enjoy for many years to come. Maybe someday we will have this place whipped into shape!

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8 Responses to Danger, Danger!

  1. Meredith says:

    That is a beautiful maple, villager, and I hope it survives the move and thrives in the new spot, with space to spread its roots. 🙂 I can understand the danger lurking in nurseries — only in your case it’s multiplied by two. Ack! At least I have F. to keep me sane and on budget, LOL.

    I just saw Hosta Guacamole this morning on a trip to the Botanical Gardens with my sister, who is a hosta fan and requested that we photograph every cultivar she wants in her garden, with labels. Guacamole is the first one in the file. 😉

  2. Ohhhh…. You love hostas. Next time you are in Indy, you should drop by Soules gardens. They specialize in hostas. They have hundreds of different hostas in their display gardens and for sale. They open for the season later this month, and I already have my wish list ready to take there so that I can buy more hostas. They aren’t cheap, so I would only buy unusual hostas from them.

    BTW, I LOVE your Japanese maple. I hope that you are able to relocate it.

  3. I’ve tried to grow Hostas here, but sadly our climate, and ravenous slugs, are not quite conducive to their growth. Japanese maples though love it here, and I love them. We haven’t planted any yet, but I was just eye-balling a beautiful specimen yesterday at a garden center, and can’t wait until we’re ready to plant them here. Your maple is stunning, and a wonderful, classic, spreading specimen. You just can’t buy them like that. You’re very smart to hire a pro to relocate it, it will be worth it. It would be such a shame to lose it now. I can’t wait to see it in its new home!

  4. I, too, inherited only one variety of hosta but do not know the type – only that they all flower at the same time! It is great that you will plant a variety – I aspire to do that one day myself. I LOVE LOVE oak leaf hydrangeas – excellent choice! Would love to see pictures. Your maple is truly magnificent and deserves a spot of honor! I am glad you decided to go plant shopping! I am afraid to myself – ha.

  5. Momma_S says:

    I’m drooling over your Japanese Maple, and hope it survives the move! I long for one in my yard… Maybe some day…

  6. What a beautiful maple. I hope it moves safely. If I had one that big I think I would use pros too.

    Gardening centers are definitely dangerous. I can’t afford plants this year so I am staying away. I certainly do understand the need for variety in hostas, the Hosta Dell at the Havens is a prime example of how wonderful they are. I’m sure you have seen some photos of it in my blog, but there will be more this year as it has gotten quite wonderful.

    • Villager says:

      The weight alone of the maple will make it difficult to move. I’d have to rent a Bobcat or something to transport to it’s new location.

      I look forward to seeing more photos of the Hostas at the Havens! I get such good ideas looking at other peoples’ gardens, especially ones as well tended as yours. It gives me hope that someday we can get this place where we want it!

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