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GardenSMART Episode

Show #50/5011. Landscape Installation - Annuals, Perennials & Trees

Summary of Show

Ground Cover
Darren and crew are presently busy installing some GROUND COVER. They're putting it in pretty tight, placing them apart about 12-inches on center. That's going to help keep the weeds down and minimize the amount of mulch required. There is a lot of ground cover which is going to be great for the homeowners.

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Maple Trees
Eric would like to talk about some of the selections. The selections Kit likes the best are the RED MAPLES. One is Redpointe October Glory, another Red Sunset. Redpointe is the one Kit likes the best, the reason being it will tolerate any ph which is very rare in a tree and that is something to consider.

For More Information Click Here

Native Trees
There are also several NATIVES that we don't oftentimes see. Carpinus caroliniana, and otrya virginiana, are both great selections. Both are very, very tough trees. Kit isn't sure one can even kill the Carpinus caroliniana it's such a good, tough tree. Beautiful fall color. The otrya is hard to find but if you can find it, again, it's a very, very tough tree.

For More Information Click Here

Oak Trees
Last but not least there are also three different native OAK selections. These are the noble trees. As they mature one day they will be the big old trees that are going to be a big part of this grove. The Shingle oak is native to Kentucky, there's actually a grove of them right down the road. White Oak is the one everyone sees.

For More Information Click Here

Smaller vs. Larger Trees
The decision here was to go with SMALLER TREES mainly because there are so many trees that were needed for this installation. There are times where the homeowner wants to, or should, go in with a larger tree. We have used some large ball in burlap, field dug trees in this installation. What would Kit's recommendation be if one is deciding between small trees and large trees? Well, we were on a fixed budget at this location. It really just depends on the budget.

For More Information Click Here

Coneflowers
Echinacea or CONEFLOWERS have a lot of new varieties that have come out on the market. One is called the Sombrero series, it's a new echinacea that was bred for really compact growth, very sturdy stems, just a wonderful, wonderful plant for butterflies, bees, it's pollinator friendly. James shows us three different Sombrero colors - the Sombrero series Hot Coral, the Somebrero series Salsa Red and then Lemon Yellow.

For More Information Click Here

Boxwoods
Accordingly this design relies heavily on boxwoods. Eric thinks for many gardeners when they think of BOXWOODS they think of these round green things that we just trim into hedges, but there's some really exciting work that's going on in that field. James shows us two boxwoods that are complete polar opposites of what one might think is a typical hedge boxwood. One is a vertical boxwood called Green Tower.

For More Information Click Here

Hydrangea
James also shows us several HYDRANGEA paniculatas. These are some of Eric's favorite woody ornamentals. Over the last decade incredible strides have been made with this plant. It is also one of James favorite new categories of woody ornamentals. James shows us two selections. Strawberry Shake which is a great, four foot tall, really sturdy stemmed new panicle hydrangea, and what's great about those sturdy stems is the blooms get so big that oftentimes they're pretty heavy and they open the plants up.

For More Information Click Here

Plants For Shade
Many sites will have a shady part of the garden or the yard and many folks when they think of SHADE GARDENING it sounds like a challenge to try to grow something in the dark. But it is rarely the case that a garden is that dark. Even so, it is oftentimes hard to come up with exciting plants can be used in a shade environment that will provide pops of color.

For More Information Click Here

Heuchera
James doesn't want to leave out one of the most impactful shade foliage plants, which also has a nice bloom and that is HEUCHERA. As a category it has so many amazing, vibrant colors. And, it has a very long season to it.

For More Information Click Here

Annuals
The icing on the cake for Eric is the exciting color plantings that often times are ANNUALS. Whether or not they are planted in drifts or in containers they have a way of really bringing a design to life. Wes King is a passionate plantsman who works with some of the most exciting new selections available. He's brought some great plants that are going to make this landscape really pop.

For More Information Click Here

Coral Bells
Wes has brought three different CORAL BELLS. One is called Primo 'Black Pearl' its leaves will get bigger and bigger in the landscape as it comes out. It has a true deep purple, almost black color. The Primo Wild Rose has a little bit of variegation inside the leaf, the lighter color really stands out. And one of Wes' favorites has a chartreuse color. With 'Pretty Pistachio' the color really shows up, it's a lighter color that really shows up in the landscape.

For More Information Click Here

Petunia
One of Eric's favorite annuals, especially for summer time is the PETUNIA. But this is not any ordinary petunia. Correct, this is a Supertunia series and there are several colors in the series. Wes shows us one called Bubblegum which was the annual of the year last year.

For More Information Click Here

Ornamental Grasses
Last but not least, we look at a couple of ORNAMENTAL GRASSES. Eric says that with air quotes because the Juncus is actually a rush, then a beautiful Carex Toffee Twist. We have a warm season grass with the Juncus which really takes off here mid-June or once it gets warm, then the plant really grows. Don't be concerned if it doesn't grow a ton early in the season because once it gets hot it's a really good performer. Then on the flip side we have a cool season grass, the Carex, Toffee Twist.

For More Information Click Here

Entryway Trees
We're standing at the grand entry way to this home and we've got four of these beautiful Chionanthus that were field dug at Pat's nursery and they look outstanding. Eric would like for Pat to talk a little about the importance of these TREES and their positioning in this design. Chionanthus virginicus or American White Fringe Tree is a great native tree to our area and it works perfectly in this situation because it's not to big and not to small.

For More Information Click Here

LINKS:

Show #50/5011. Landscape Installation - Annuals, Perennials & Trees

Transcript of Show

This episode is another installment in the GardenSMART landscape design and installation series in Louisville, Kentucky. In this show we break out our shovels and dive into plants and trees.

As we march ahead on this project we're really seeing things come together. Much of the hardscape is in place and the bones of this garden are providing the much needed structure for Eric's favorite part - the selection and planting of trees and plants. This is when we really start to see the vision of the designer come to life and get a sense of the finished portrait plus take a look at what went into making the right selections and what we will need to know to make sure they will thrive in this landscape.

Eric's is always excited when we get to talk plants. We spent days, if not weeks, working on the grading and site preparation getting everything just right. This is the time when we see those beautiful plants go from a thought on paper to reality. We have a ton of wonderful plants on site meaning we've got hundreds to install.

Eric first talks with Darren, the landscape contractor. Darren tells Eric, we're working with very moist conditions, however he was fortunate to have prepped the site several weeks ago while it was dry. At that time they tilled in the soil amendments and graded it nice and smooth just to get it ready for planting. Right now they're working around the masons and irrigation people so they can keep moving and keep getting plants in the ground. There are a lot of moving parts and we are on the tail end of a hurricane so everything's sticky but they're making it
happen.

Darren and crew are presently busy installing some GROUND COVER. They're putting it in pretty tight, placing them apart about 12-inches on center. That's going to help keep the weeds down and minimize the amount of mulch required. There is a lot of ground cover which is going to be great for the homeowners. They don't want too much maintenance. This is a pretty big installation, so a lot of things like the ornamental grasses and the vinca are going to minimize some of the maintenance pressure. Darren would much rather look at plants than mulch.

After the ground cover is in they will start putting some annual color around the existing landscape. Some of the color is going to go into the beautiful containers. That will provide a really nice pop of color in these wonderful hardscape elements. But as well Darren and crew have carved out some great annual beds so with all the evergreen shrubs and all of the evergreen ground cover the annuals will provide beautiful pops of color. The homeowners will be able to change that out seasonally, keeping everything interesting. Eric thinks that's an important element of this design to have these areas carved out that can change and also compliment all of the dark green evergreen foliage. He thinks it's going to look great.

Eric also believes that trees are an important part of any good design and finding the correct tree to complement and enhance the broader landscape is key. Kit Shaughnessy from J. Frank Schmidt and Son has been in the tree industry for years and is working to make sure that everything is perfect. Eric welcomes Kit to GardenSMART. Kit is glad to be here, he lives right down the street and is happy to be a part of this installation. We're standing in the middle of a brand new grove of small trees. They are a very important component of this landscape. This house is positioned between two other homes and there's not a whole lot of screening, not a whole lot of privacy, so the intent of this design is to mirror some of what's going on with the larger hardwood groves around us. The trees we've planted are all native trees. There's a wonderful selection of trees here, they're going to grow together nicely in this wonderful symbiotic grove.

Eric would like to talk about some of the selections. The selections Kit likes the best are the RED MAPLES. One is Redpointe October Glory, another Red Sunset. Redpointe is the one Kit likes the best, the reason being it will tolerate any ph which is very rare in a tree and that is something to consider. Red Sunset and October Glory both are great varieties - nice summer foliage and beautiful fall color. All are native to the area so all are a good selections for the area.

There are also several NATIVES that we don't oftentimes see. Carpinus caroliniana, and otrya virginiana, are both great selections. Both are very, very tough trees. Kit isn't sure one can even kill the Carpinus caroliniana it's such a good, tough tree. Beautiful fall color. The otrya is hard to find but if you can find it, again, it's a very, very tough tree. The native red bud works as a wonderful understory tree that has beautiful flowers in late winter. Although an under-story tree it will take full sun and with its spring flowers has a lot to offer the landscape.

Last but not least there are also three different native OAK selections. These are the noble trees. As they mature one day they will be the big old trees that are going to be a big part of this grove. The Shingle oak is native to Kentucky, there's actually a grove of them right down the road. White Oak is the one everyone sees. When fully grown, it's a very large, majestic tree. The third is a Bur Oak the winter bark is just gorgeous on that tree. The three native selections will do very well in this location.

The decision here was to go with SMALLER TREES mainly because there are so many trees that were needed for this installation. There are times where the homeowner wants to, or should, go in with a larger tree. We have used some large ball in burlap, field dug trees in this installation. What would Kit's recommendation be if one is deciding between small trees and large trees? Well, we were on a fixed budget at this location. It really just depends on the budget. With a smaller trees one can get more trees for the dollar. If you get something like a 7-gallon, a 10-gallon, even 15-gallon you'll get some success and you'll have to do some maintenance or you can use a 2-inch and up ball & burlap tree where it's been pruned, it has a central leader that's been maintained, that is an instant landscape. So, there is a reason and a time to use both.

Flowering shrubs and perennials are the muscle in the garden, they fill in the spaces and add visual interest. It's where much of the most dynamic seasonal color comes from. Our good friend James Szadeck from Monrovia Nursery has stopped by to walk us through the selections that we are about to plant.

In landscape design there are so many different amazing colors that we can put on the canvas. Oftentimes the things that we use to make the landscape pop are these incredible new high color perennial plants. There are so many advantages to those and there are some amazing new selections. Coneflowers are one of those. People are loving perennials right now, they come back year after year, they're great investment, a great value plant. Echinacea or CONEFLOWERS have a lot of new varieties that have come out on the market. One is called the Sombrero series, it's a new echinacea that was bred for really compact growth, very sturdy stems, just a wonderful, wonderful plant for butterflies, bees, it's pollinator friendly. James shows us three different Sombrero colors - the Sombrero series Hot Coral, the Somebrero series Salsa Red and then Lemon Yellow. They are all compact, sturdy plants. These colors are relatively new to echinacea, Eric remembers when the very first oranges and reds came out, even the really intense yellows. It was a completely new thing and it really opened up what we could do with echinaceas. It was already one Eric's favorites, in fact coneflowers have been one of his favorite perennials since he had any recollection of perennial plants. But these new colors have really opened up the palette of what we can do in the landscape. They're so bright and vigorous and vibrant and as well these coneflowers naturalize wonderfully. It's a drought tolerant perennial too. Coneflowers were one of James' favorites too when he really started getting into gardening because he liked a more natural look. Oranges and purples are the standard now but look at the hot coral, look how vibrant it is, it's almost coral to purple, you almost have three colors on that one plant. It's unbelievable.

Talking about the direction of breeding programs, Eric thinks it's oftentimes something we don't see but breeders are breeding for compactness or sturdiness of stems. A lot of heirloom perennials were selected because we liked the size of the flower, or the color, but breeding for something that's more garden worthy, guess we could say, something that has more blooms on it yet it doesn't flop, that's part of the breeding intent behind this whole series. And, Eric thinks it makes these new varieties particularly well suited for garden design.

The next plants that James would like to talk about is the PowWow series which kind of goes along with Eric's thought process. It was bred utilizing high quality seeds, so it is really great for garden adaptability. What's really neat about this series is they do not need to be dead headed and they bloom and rebloom and rebloom. With these plants you can see mature flowers, finishing flowers and buds coming on. James shows us two varieties. One the PowWow Wild Berry which is pink and then the beautiful PowWow White which also is a really nice plant.

James mentioned that these are bred from high quality seed and Eric would imagine that being the case the naturalizing echinacea is great, the birds will get in there, start eating the seeds, they'll spread them out all over the place and then you end up with a nice broader planting of echinacea. But these plants bred from high quality seed would tend to get more uniformity as they're more naturalizing than some of the others. Absolutely, that's the beauty of true seed, high-quality seed production, f-one hybrids if you want to get really detailed, but uniformity is key and these are great plants.

We talked about some of these really vibrant colors that we can add with perennials and annuals. But one thing we need to think about regarding good garden design is the bones of the design. Accordingly this design relies heavily on boxwoods. Eric thinks for many gardeners when they think of BOXWOODS they think of these round green things that we just trim into hedges, but there's some really exciting work that's going on in that field. James shows us two boxwoods that are complete polar opposites of what one might think is a typical hedge boxwood. One is a vertical boxwood called Green Tower. It will grow to 10-feet tall and 2 to 3-feet wide. They are very unique columnar boxwood, a selection on a grand old classic, glamdi ascent, an American boxwood or common boxwood type. Fairly easy to grow, completely different usage than just your standard boxwood.

James also shows us a recubent boxwood. Eric has never seen a weeping boxwood. It's a wonderful adaptation. This one is called Unraveled and it's really, really neat, you can grow it and let it just cascade on the ground, it can be used for erosion control, or over a stacked stone wall. But you could also train it up to a leader and let it weep and make it more of a focal point for a formal English garden with a lot of boxwoods, providing another boxwood element.

James also shows us several HYDRANGEA paniculatas. These are some of Eric's favorite woody ornamentals. Over the last decade incredible strides have been made with this plant. It is also one of James favorite new categories of woody ornamentals. James shows us two selections. Strawberry Shake which is a great, four foot tall, really sturdy stemmed new panicle hydrangea, and what's great about those sturdy stems is the blooms get so big that oftentimes they're pretty heavy and they open the plants up. So this one has been bred for very sturdy stems. Also, with these panicle hydrangeas they are not soil chemistry determinate for the color of the bloom, instead they are temperature determinate, so when you have a bigger nighttime temperature to daytime temperature you'll go from a white bloom to a pink bloom. The Strawberry Shake doesn't need as much temperature change so it's great for southern gardens because you can still get that pink color in the blossom. Other advantages with the paniculata are the red stems that are really nice against the backdrop of the green foliage. And with the paniclulatas one doesn't have to worry so much about what is the right time of year to prune them. They bloom on new wood, so if you've ever had issues blooming your old type mop head, macrophila types, and you don't get them to bloom the next year because you pruned them too late in the season, after their bloom and took the bud away, with these you don't have to worry about that.

James next selection is Baby Lace Royal. It's a little smaller, 3 to 4 feet, it was actually breed by Eric's old professor at the University of Georgia, Dr. Michael Durr. He's the man, a great horticulturist, and a great breeder. He breed this one for easy growth, it's also powdery mildew resistant, a great plant. Eric loves these, they are going to look wonderful in our design.

Many sites will have a shady part of the garden or the yard and many folks when they think of SHADE GARDENING it sounds like a challenge to try to grow something in the dark. But it is rarely the case that a garden is that dark. Even so, it is oftentimes hard to come up with exciting plants can be used in a shade environment that will provide pops of color. James has chosen some great selections. He believes one can do great things in the shade, it doesn't have to be dark, it can be bright and vibrant but not necessarily with flowers, instead think foliage and texture. He has two hostas. One is called Patriot Hosta. It's the hosta of the year from 1997, it's a compact growing hosta, wonderful variegation, true and true plant, you can't beat it. It has stood the test of time, it's still great today. But in that regard, we have the hosta of the year from 2017, Brother Stefan. It is a bigger leaf hosta with chartreuse sear sucker leaves, a really nice, pretty hosta.

James also has a Brunnera. Eric loves what's going on in breeding brunnea. The enormous heart shape silver leaves really add a sense of brightness and light to a shade garden. It's almost a perfect plant to add to your white garden.

James doesn't want to leave out one of the most impactful shade foliage plants, which also has a nice bloom and that is HEUCHERA. As a category it has so many amazing, vibrant colors. And, it has a very long season to it. Caramel is a very versatile plant, it's one of the veloster type hucheras, it can tolerate a little bit of sun, a little bit of heat, something in the dappled shade or even a little bit brighter. Bring it into a little bit more sun, in southern climates. James tries to keep it away from afternoon sun, even if it's afternoon partial sun, instead he likes morning sun, it can tolerate that much better. Eric thinks these are all wonderful shade foliage plants.

The icing on the cake for Eric is the exciting color plantings that often times are ANNUALS. Whether or not they are planted in drifts or in containers they have a way of really bringing a design to life. Wes King is a passionate plantsman who works with some of the most exciting new selections available. He's brought some great plants that are going to make this landscape really pop. There are so many amazing new perennials and annuals that we can use and this landscape is featuring quite a few. Eric is excited by a number of plants Wes has incorporated into this landscape and would like for Wes to talk about several. Wes agrees, he has brought a lot of really cool annuals and perennials for the landscape. Eric has talked about the heuchera veloster, some of the parentage was taken from some hotter sections that can tolerate a little bit more sun.

Wes has brought three different CORAL BELLS. One is called Primo 'Black Pearl' its leaves will get bigger and bigger in the landscape as it comes out. It has a true deep purple, almost black color. The Primo Wild Rose has a little bit of variegation inside the leaf, the lighter color really stands out. And one of Wes' favorites has a chartreuse color. With 'Pretty Pistachio' the color really shows up, it's a lighter color that really shows up in the landscape. There are so many amazing colors that we see now in heuchera and as mentioned that inner veinal coloration, almost looks like a brain coral. Really, really interesting all the different contrasting colors that we can put together make it a great selection. These almost blackish purple leaves that we can put next to the chartreuse provide an amazing contrast. Really high color, super impactful. The veloster is more heat tolerant, they can take a little more sun than traditional coral bells. Great selections, love what's happening in breeding them. There really is an incredible improvement for gardeners especially in the south as you move through some hotter areas, they really do better and perform better in the garden for gardeners.

Eric and Wes next talk about the beautiful Argyranthemum mums. It's like a mum, has that traditional daisy type flower, it's an incredible annual, especially with these cooler nights they have really taken off. Is it a perennial plant? Wes considers it an annual, it depends on the spot and location in the house and in your garden. But here he would treat it as annual especially in mixed containers. It's incredible in pots, a really good performer, a very heavy feeder so it takes a lot of nutrients to keep them fed. But a really good performer in ground and in containers.

Another plant that Wes has included has been around for awhile although there have been tremendous advancements lately. That plant is Lamium maculatum, Pink Chablis. It is a wonderful selection. Wes brought a purple variety as well. Even when it's not flowering, and it will flower most of summer, it's got that lighter center with that green outside, so it really shows up. Wes loves to have a plant that has interest even when it's not flowering and this plant really performs well. Eric also likes the way that lamium spreads out. The almost silver center with a green margin makes it a really really high impact plant. And when in flower you've got the pink and purple flowers against the backdrop of the silver foliage. Absolutely stunning, especially in a big mass planting. It will also spill over the edge of a container and knock your socks off.

One of Eric's favorite annuals, especially for summer time is the PETUNIA. But this is not any ordinary petunia. Correct, this is a Supertunia series and there are several colors in the series. Wes shows us one called Bubblegum which was the annual of the year last year. It's an incredible plant and Wes can make this plant do anything in the garden, it will flower nonstop, it is a very heavy feeder, but you don't need to do a ton of deadheading, feel free to trim it every now and again but you can make this plant do anything - spill over the edge of a container, you can get it to 2-feet tall in landscape, it's a really good performer.

Last but not least, we look at a couple of ORNAMENTAL GRASSES. Eric says that with air quotes because the Juncus is actually a rush, then a beautiful Carex Toffee Twist. We have a warm season grass with the Juncus which really takes off here mid-June or once it gets warm, then the plant really grows. Don't be concerned if it doesn't grow a ton early in the season because once it gets hot it's a really good performer. Then on the flip side we have a cool season grass, the Carex, Toffee Twist. That toffee color really screams fall. They use it a ton in their fall mixed containers, because you get the texture out of it, especially pairing it with the coral bells. The color really shows up and the textures really bounce off each other. It's a really good performer for fall containers. A very unusual color, we don't see that toffee color in the world of plants very often. Eric loves this container design. Also the Juncus loves wet feet, it can grow nearly submerged. So, if you have a wet part in the garden this plant actually does ok. But it will thrive in even drier parts, if we have a wetter spot, perfect, dry too. Wes uses it as much in the ground as in containers, it's hard to beat for that vertical texture. It really has almost a blue color to it which is really hard to find out of a spike type plant where you get that height. Eric is super excited about getting these in the ground. Thanks so much Wes.

Trees are the anchor points in the garden that establish flow, visual lines, and architectural interest. Pat Carey from Riverfarm has been with us from the start. Pat is a veteran large tree farmer and provides a look into a side of horticulture that we don't often get to see up close.

Eric welcomes Pat, it's good to see him again. Pat returns the compliment, it's good to see Eric again. We're standing at the grand entry way to this home and we've got four of these beautiful Chionanthus that were field dug at Pat's nursery and they look outstanding. Eric would like for Pat to talk a little about the importance of these TREES and their positioning in this design. Chionanthus virginicus or American White Fringe Tree is a great native tree to our area and it works perfectly in this situation because it's not to big and not to small. It has a beautiful white bloom, a beautiful bluish to black kind of berry, a very classic tree, it works perfectly for this situation. The designer was looking for these four trees to kind of anchor a little miniature allay, if you will. So as one walks through you almost feel this sense of intimacy even though it's a really, really wide walkway. Chionanthus is a great choice for that, we wouldn't want something that's going to get enormous right here, it would tend to dwarf the landscape and also up against the house we don't want something's going to get too big, so Chionanthus is a great native and the form is going to be really, really nice and the size is going to basically stay in scale with the landscape as it matures. Exactly, these trees will fill in perfectly but they won't take up too much height to distract us from the house but it will fill in nicely here to really accentuate the house. Eric feels Pat has done a great job with these beautiful standard trees, they've already been limbed up, they have a nice straight central leader and a nicely rounded head.

What kind of maintenance tips would Pat have for homeowners to make sure they maintain these trees over the years? First of all, the first year is so important to get enough water on them, we cannot talk about that enough. Water, water, water the first year. After that if something gets out of bounds on the head you might do a little trimming here or there but this tree in particular can also be grown as a multi-stem shrub. So, you will from time to time see a few suckers come up from the base. Clean those out and maintain it the way it was supposed to be and it will do great.

In this episode we've seen many components of our design come together, the garden is really coming to life. But there is more to come. Be sure to check back next week as our landscape installation addresses new challenges.

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