Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Turns Out You Can Give Them Away

by Tom Bozzo

One cause of the s l o w blogging has been the call of the outdoors. There's only so much pleasant weather up here, even in too-hot conditions as are presently prevailing, and the Internets tend to lose out in the utilitarian calculus.

Like Tina of Pub Sociology and her family, we've recently had a landscape plan drawn up (click the image above for a high-res version of the front/side plan) and have in fact been working on the installation of the first wave of plants. I can only describe retaining of a good landscape designer as Money Well Spent for anyone dealing with challenging growing conditions, starting from scratch, wanting to have plants that looked interesting throughout the growing season, or all of the above (as was our case).

Our predecessors may have had decent taste in solid-surface countertop material, but they were not gardeners, almost scandalously so if you talk to some of our neighbors. That is, they attacked a well-developed shade garden in the back yard with Round-Up and a weed-whacker to accommodate a play system and trampoline. Their predecessors reportedly told some neighbors that they wouldn't have sold them the house had they known that was what they were going to do with the yard. Meanwhile, the front and side gardens did nearly nothing, with a bunch of overgrown shrubs and a line of hostas in front of the front shrubs — upper Midwestern boring, in short.

A tree service made amazingly quick work of the shrubs earlier in the spring. When the first of the new plants arrived, though, the line of hostas was still there. Our designer asked whether we missed the shrubs. We didn't. He was a little concerned that the hostas weren't going to go. I reassured him that they were soon to be history. He suggested that the basic vareigated green-and-white-leafed hostas lining our beds could no longer be given away.

That turns out not to be true. We dumped a great amount of dug-up plant material at the end of the front walk on Sunday afternoon, with a hand-printed sign reading "FREE HOSTAS" in front of the pile. After work on Monday, I was thinking that most of them would end up as compost. But things picked up Tuesday morning, and the last ones migrated to a garden being planted in the terrace along the street a couple doors up earlier today (alas, the sign with an added "Thanks! :-)" was recycled before it could be assessed for bloggability). There is something to be said for zero price.
That looks great, Tom! Post some photos when it's gets planted, will you?
Thanks! We just need a few more plants for the portion of the front design we're planting now, and I'm optimistic I'll have something to photograph after the weekend's planting.
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