20 Starting over

first_imgVolume XXIXNumber 1Page 20 By Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaI’ve been putting off redoing the landscaping at my house for along time now. This may be the year I finally break down and redoit.When we first moved into our house, I tried using the existingplant material around the foundation in a landscape plan. In someplaces I added plants. In others I removed some.But I just couldn’t figure out a way to develop a new landscapeplan using the existing plants and make it look right.So I’m going to start over from scratch — well, at least I thinkI am.If I do, I’ll have several things to consider besides the designof my landscape plan.House overhang. I won’t plantshrubs underneath the eave of my house, because I’m not willingto water the shrubs any more than I have to. I’ll let the rain domost of my watering.Drainage. There’s only one area inmy yard that has poor drainage and where the soil is usually wet.I won’t plant anything there that won’t thrive in wet soil. Idefinitely won’t plant azaleas there.Light requirements. Most plants dowell in either sun or light shade, while others require moreshade. I’ve got sunny areas and shady areas, so I’ll need to knowthe light requirements for the plants I choose.Tree competition. Planting shrubsdirectly underneath shallow-rooted trees, such as elm and maple,will result in water shortage to the shrubs during a great dealof the growing season unless they’re watered. And, as I said, Idon’t want to have to water.Winter protection. I likecold-hardy plants. Period. I don’t want to worry about the plantsin my yard being injured in below-freezing temperatures. I’mgoing to select plants adapted to the plant-hardiness zone whereI live.Mature size. Shrubs come in allshapes and sizes. It’s important to know the mature size ofplants before they’re planted. I don’t want to find out severalyears from now that I planted them too close together. And Idon’t want to discover a plant has turned into a big, green glob,covering up the window.Disease- and insect-resistant. Toheck with having to spray something to keep diseases and insectsat bay. I want a plant that nothing wants to grow on and nothingwants to eat.I know there are many beautiful plants I won’t even considerplanting just because they don’t meet my requirements. But that’sjust me.Now, if I can just get started.(Mike Isbell is the Heard County Extension Coordinator withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img

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