And I’m back.
So about a year ago I said my next post would be about adding the plants. The truth is, we’ve now been in the house for two years and we've done a lot around the house since it was completed. During that time we've been making the house our home and have never really stopped adding "finishing" touches. However, while I’d like to start posting about current things around the house, I feel like I have to finish the whole construction thing first. Without doing that, I feel like I’d be leaving chapters out. So here we go, back in time, and on to adding the plants…
Ready for the plants
At this point the grading was for the most part completed and we were ready to add the plants. Initially, my better half and I were going to have all the plants added but we decided that we wanted to do a lot of the work ourselves. So we had Brooke and Henry add some of the larger plants like the trees and bushes and we would do the rest.
Next to the side walkway we had small hydrangeas (I need to find the types) added along with an upright holly near the porch. We selected low growing hydrangeas because we did not want a wall of bushes over the driveway. When blooming, they have a deep purple color. The holly is also slow growing and we keep it trimmed so it doesn't overwhelm the entrance.
Red Dragon Maple
At the end of the walkway, we selected a Red Dragon Maple to provide an end of the walkway sort of feel. Since it was planted has bushed out very nicely.
Endless Summer Hydrangeas
Because we wanted an open porch, we didn't have a railing installed. To keep that inviting look and not block any view while at the same time blocking the view of under the porch, we went with Endless Summer hydrangeas. They were planted about 4 feet a part so that they will have room to grow and bush out.
Over near the road, we partially buried the large rock that was discovered during the foundation work. Around it we placed Red Twig Dogwoods, Spirea and Sedge grass. The island provides a nice visual barrier between the house and the road. Since the time, we've added many more plants. But this was a good start.
Columnar Sweet gum
On the northwest corner we wanted some type of tree to soften the corner of the house but didn't want anything that grew wide and caused a problem. Brooke suggested a Columnar Sweet gum. It was planted about 6 feet off of the foundation and the leaves are very condensed and wrap themselves tightly around the tree. I think it was the perfect plant for that type of location.
Near the back patio, we wanted a tree the would provide a pseudo visual barrier while again not wanting something that was overwhelming. We liked Brooke's suggestion for a Columnar Hornbeam. We planted this about 10 feet of the foundation, and true to spec's, it grows tall and narrow. The tree provides just enough of a visual barrier to not be overwhelming.
North side of the Property
Along the north side of the property, we wanted to provide a visual barrier between our house and the neighbor's driveway. While there were a number of bushes remaining, we wanted to add bushes that would eventually grow tall thus providing higher visual blockage. We went with three River Birch with multiple trunks so they would bush out, a number of Northwind Switch grasses and an arborvitae (which my wife tells me it is not an arborvitae but apparently neither of us can remember what it's called).
North side of the Property near the Front
Because the north side of our property runs right along the neighbor's driveway, we wanted to make sure that when snow was plowed, the plants would not be damaged. So, we swept the garden back away from the driveway with a narrowing grass border. This also allowed us to have two sides to the garden. Besides partially burying another rock, we surrounded it with Red Twig Dogwoods.
Ready for Us
Now that the basic gardens were laid out and the major plants added, it was now time for the irrigation to be installed so we could start growing grass. It was amazing how just adding these few plants, after all this construction work, made the house look like it was time to move in. I know we were more than ready. But the inside wasn't quite there just yet.