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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fall is for Planting

After bringing in a half cubic yard of top soil, I'm now ready to replant the foundation bed next to the garage.

For those who are new around here, this bed was full of English ivy (my fault, I planted it there ten years ago) half-dead Deutzia shrubs (they had been over run by the ivy) and the stumps of some Hypericum shrubs that had succumbed to bag worms last year. I dug all of that out, rebuilt the retaining wall, added some new top soil, and now I'm ready to plant.

It took me three and a half hours to rebuild the retaining wall the other day. This morning it took me 30 minutes round trip to get the half cubic yard of top soil and then one hour to unload it and dump it on the refurbished bed. (Your times may vary depending on the size of your wheelbarrow, how far you have to go with top soil, how motivated you are, etc.)

Now I'm ready to plant. Garden centers and nurseries, did you hear that? Now I'm ready to plant.

Yesterday I went to a local garden center, with a skip in my step and money in my pocket, ready to buy. I found summer weary plants still at full-price, and I could have my pick of any number of boxwood and spirea. There was no sign of anyone who might help me find anything and so after walking around a bit, I left, empty handed.

This morning I went past one local nursery at 10:38 AM and the gate to the parking lot was closed and padlocked. That's no way to welcome customers! I wonder if they have gone out of business, or just don't have enough business to open in the mornings.

So I drove clear to the other side of town, to an old established nursery that was open and offering all container grown trees and shrubs at 40% off (with no guarantees). Many of the plants were in fairly sad shape because of the hot, dry summer, but I managed to find a few shrubs that I thought stilll looked decent and they weren't boxwood or spirea. I also easily found someone who helped me find a few more shrubs still doing well.

Now that's the way to run a nursery. Offer shrubs that are different from the ones you can buy at a big box store, admit when stock is not at its best and mark it down accordingly, and then have employees who are willing to help. It was nice to talk to someone who KNEW about the plants he was selling.

Tomorrow, I plant!

9 comments:

Leslie said...

Can't wait to see the "finished" product!

Curtis said...

It's a new bed of hopes and a blank sheet of paper just waiting for a design.

eleanor said...

good luck on your new space. You should give that nursery some free advertising by naming it, since they were so helpful. (of course I have an idea which one it is. Did you stop by to see your s-i-l to check up on their new construction?

Colleen said...

Planting is the fun part! Can't wait to see what you put in there.

Aren't the big boxes awful? I can't believe nothing has been marked down yet. The only plants at my local big box that have been marked down at all are mums that are already finished blooming, as well as some perennials that look like they died back in the heat of July. Oh, and some really mushy, gross sedums that they overwatered. Lovely.

The only good nursery in my area requires a 45 minute drive, and lots of time to wander around :-) I agree---having staff that actually knows about the plants they are selling is a rare and wonderful thing.

Carol said...

Leslie... I'll post pictures when I'm finished.

Curtis... That it is!

Eleanor... You are thinking of a different nursery. I went to the Eagle Creek Nursery this time!

Colleen... You need to move closer to the nursery or start your own nearby.

Thanks for the kind words and comments!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Mary said...

Can't wait! The hard part is done. Now the fun begins!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I hope we'll get rain soon so you won't have to water and baby your newly planted shrubs.

Looking forward to seeing the finished bed.

Muum said...

I admire your organization - usually I know I have a bed that needs revamped (or five beds), and while I am at the store I see something I've always wanted/never seen before but really want now/ etc, etc... and so I buy it and a few others to bring home for company, and then I start cleaning up an area to put them in... although today I found a half-price cerastostigma plumbago, that I really have been looking for, and bought it. Still have to find a place for it, though. Did get some other perennial 'finds' planted today.

Rosemarie said...

I can totally tell that the wall is fixed, it looks "neater" - well done! And I never thought I could plant this late into the season ... I've decided to leave my beds until the spring.