Eric comments that they've moved all the plant material on site and he would like to know how Doug starts with this giant group of plants, then makes sure everything gets in the correct place. Doug goes through the process. First they unload the truck, the crew is very useful in unloading the truck and getting the plants in the back yard.
Doug then works with the crew to position each plant at the spot in the bed where it belongs. They have a few more plants than expected and they have some different species. These plants are all upgraded from what had been planned. Doug had a very basic plan, not knowing what might be available, but ended up with some wonderful shrubs and great ground cover plants. By moving the plants into the beds the crew then takes the plant and digs the hole underneath where the plant goes. Doug then looks at the plant from all angles, from outside as well inside, because that is the way the homeowner will see them. He looks at them from the decks and from the yard and positions them ensuring they provide a nice composition.
Eric notices a different planting scheme between the west deck and the east deck. What were the considerations there? The west deck projects further out from the house than the east deck. The guys are standing on the north side of the house and are in the sun. The west deck gets sun. The east deck rarely gets sun, it's closer to the house, the house shades that deck. Thus Doug has specified that the west deck have a lot of colorful plants, they can grow a lot of flowering plants in the sun. Also the west deck sits higher thus it needs taller plants. Doug doesn't believe the east deck has gotten an hour of sun all morning, and he's been here all day, thus he is using shade loving plants in that area. He will use the Emerald Gaiety which loves to grow in this environment and will hide the space underneath the deck.
He is using plants on the west deck to similarly hide that space, although it's a bigger, taller space.
Eric likes the way Doug has incorporated ground cover plants into the plan. Carpet roses and Euonymous are two. Ground covers are important from a standpoint of water retention. Also, they can cover a tremendous amount of space and that cuts down on the need for mulch.
Doug mentions that the client at the design stage had indicated an interest in cutting down the need for a lot of grass. When you reduce the grass you must replace it with something. Doug is trying to reduce maintenance and replace grass with a more interesting plant. In this case it's going to be ground cover roses.
By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants
Temperatures are rising and high heat can wreak havoc in the vegetable garden. When temps climb to the upper 80's and sometimes soar into the 90's and 100's, plants need some assistance in fending off the Fahrenheit.
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