Monday, February 23, 2009

Four New Front Yard Plants

Alta Southern Magnolia leaves

This last weekend I put in a few plants that we purchased at Swanson's during the second day of their late winter sale. The bare root deals (up to 40% off) are killer and the trees and shrubs are 25% off as well. Plus, it's much safer to transplant a dormant (or nearly dormant) plant than a root-bound potted flowering plant.

We have four new arrivals. We purchased both Blizzard Mockorange (philadelphus lewisii 'blizzard') and Blue Bird Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'blue bird') bare root, so I don't have any photos of those. I soaked them for 30 minutes in a bucket of water. Then they were put in decent sized holes with a mound of packed dirt supporting the root ball in the middle, back-filled with the same dark, rich soil. While I was soaking them I dug the holes and (finally) buried the low voltage line for the lights. I also installed a 20 watt spot for our new tree.

We've been looking for a tree for the southwest corner of the yard. Something tall and evergreen, flowering, and eye-catching. Those criteria create a short list. High on that was a Magnolia. We almost bought a dwarf last year, but the price seemed high. We scored a $70 8' Alta Southern Magnolia (magnolia grandiflora 'TMGH'). This is a beautiful tree that will gracefully drop a few leaves at a time, staying green and textured through the dark months of winter. Also, the huge white flower are both fragrant and beautiful. Quincy's first home in the UD had a huge mature magnolia tree.

Alta Southern Magnolia bud
Alta Southern Magnolia

Last but not least, we replaced a fallen favorite. Over the winter, during either the snow storm or the ice storm or the deep freeze, our Pittosporum engenioides lost all its leaves. I think it's dead, but I'm not positive -- there were signs of life in the roots. I moved the poor thing to the front of the fence (pictured) and hope for the best. Its replacement is a Pittosporum tennifolium; I thought it was exactly the same, but apparently they're slightly different. Still, the end result is a plant that looks like our old plant, just one year's less growth. I'll cover it this winter during any freezing or icy or snowy times.

Victim of the cold

Twice is a charm?

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