A few weeks ago, I took on the re-landscaping project for my town home association. Since about two days after I moved in eight years ago, I’ve wanted to rip out the ugly, scraggly, dying juniper bushes under the kitchen windows and replace them with something more interesting. And yesterday, that dream came true.
Two weeks ago I started intensely researching shrubs, playing around with combinations and placement. There were eight different beds to be planted. I’d made “blueprints” and spent an evening pushing little bushes around on the drawing until I came up with what I hoped was just the right configuration.
Last Thursday I took off early from work and spent a very pleasant afternoon wandering around the garden center, picking out plants, looking at different groupings, talking to plant people, and ordering up a mess o’ shrubs. Totally fun.
On Wednesday the landscapers ripped out the bushes — an immediate improvement of about a 1000%. Yesterday I took the day off to oversee the job. The plants arrived on time, first thing in the morning, and the weather could not have been more perfect, sunny and 75!!! My neighbor and I positioned the plants and I tweaked the placement before the landscapers arrived in the early afternoon.
These guys were awesome. Efficient, fast, thorough and reasonably priced. They had holes dug for the plants in no time. Anyone in my row of townhomes who’s ever tried to dig a hole anywhere within a ten foot perimeter of the building will tell you it’s like digging in concrete. Between the roots, rocky dirt, old nails, screws, pieces of brick and cement, and bits of heavy scrap pipe (a veritable treasure trove left by the builders 15 years ago,) planting even the smallest tulip bulb required major effort.
By four o’clock, the place had been transformed. The plants look great sitting under a fresh layer of mulch. Oakleaf hydrangea, hypericum (St. Johns Wort), itea, fothergilla, and leucothoe will bloom in the spring and summer, have brilliant fall color, and should look interesting even in the wintertime. A couple of burning bushes on each end of the row will add some fall drama as well.
I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Now, I just hope a) everyone else likes it, b) the plants mesh together as well as I hope they will, and c) we don’t kill them in the first two weeks.