- Author: Betsy Buxton
According to all the garden catalogs that come my way, it’s time to “replant, repot, rejunenate “the front yard. According to those same catalogs, it will cost merely a gazillion dollars for the plants, bulbs, corms, and tubers to accomplish this transformation; and don’t forget about the soil amendments, and fertilizers the folks also want to sell you. Yeah right, I have that kind of money to use as walking round cash! Don’t you?
This year, the front yard lost all the glorious shade that came from the late, great green ash tree that stood for 20 plus years. It’s been interesting to watch the various shrubs and bushes getting acclimated to more sun, less shade. The oleanders made the transition beautifully, but of course, have you ever seen an oleander suffer from the sun? They are now rather happy campers in the hot afternoon sun, bowing gracefully in the Suisun City gale that passes for gentle winds.
The buddleia in the ground near the front door went from full leaf to rather skimpy foliage, but made a roaring comeback – full of blossoms and hummingbirds. The buddleia in the pot, however, is still trying to find a way back from “roasted”, but is managing to hold on until cooler weather when it goes into the ground itself by the side yard gate. It gets water and encouraging words for the efforts!
The other succulents in their cozy pots that are placed around are thriving and growing like weeds, which is why some of their offspring will be at the plant exchange next weekend thanks to new Master Gardener Elizabeth! The new Heucheras that were on the front porch in the shade have taken their temporary places in pots at the edge of the early afternoon semi-shade and the afternoon pure sun. They got set there to find out just how well that spot would suit them. Hurray! They are doing very nicely and I think that area will be their “forever” home.
The only plant that is not really happy with the loss of tree shade is my 17 year-old “star” magnolia which is really missing the shade and the wind break the old tree provided. However, when the new “black tulip” magnolia gets larger than the twig it is, I hope it will provide some relief for its cousin.
There are so many plants I would like to get and put out there, but we are still living with the wreckage from the old tree. Concrete walkway parts are tilted and the driveway badly cracked thanks to the invasive roots of that ash tree; that, along with a (? maybe more?) break in the main lawn irrigation are subjects for many grousings and speculation and just plain hard work. I’ve put it all off till later, but yes, I will do it.
Right now, the “new plant” budget is just big enough for some Dutch Iris (both yellow hybrid and deep blue hybrid) and 8 varieties of Muscari or Grape Hyacinths. Originally planted around the ash tree, the bulbs there “took the hit” when the ash stump was ground out. For over 35 years, wherever I have lived, there have been Dutch iris and Muscari planted around the front yard. The only difference between back then and now are the roots left by darn ash tree that have to be hacked at, ripped out, and planted around. But it will be done! (Right, Bruce? Bruce, can you hear me?)
See you on the 12th at the Master Gardener office for the plant exchange. I KNOW that there is a plant or plants with your name on them for you to take home and enjoy!