Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Laurel Removal Update
As some of you may remember, earlier this year I removed a large Laurel from the Southeast corner of our house. I honestly had no idea, at the time, of what I was going to replace it with.
I can't tell you how good it was to finally remove the monster Laurel...here you can see the large area it occupied. This spot became the favorite place for our neighbor's chickens to take dust baths.
I covered the area in gravel...and then tried to decide what to do with the space. The only thing I knew for certain about this spot is that I wanted a seating area there...but I wasn't 100% positive that it would work. Would it feel too exposed...would it look super-tacky from the street? Unsure of things, I didn't want to invest in expensive chairs. Have you ever looked at garden furniture...it's CRAZY-EXPENSIVE! I bought a cheap pair of plastic Adirondack chairs from a local big box store, to test out the area.
The cats were sure this was a great spot. After a few days, I realized I really like this setup...but now, what to plant around the sitting area?
I knew I wanted a certain degree of screening...but whatever I chose had to be fairly narrow (the space isn't huge) and not TOO dense. Of course, as well knew all along, that meant grasses. Here, I was trialing a few different varieties (I believe Panicum 'Ruby Ribbons' and Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven'.)
In the end, however, I ended up using some plants I already had. In the front parking strips, a trio of Panicum 'Huron Solstice' had been invaded by seedlings of Calamagrostis brachytricha. While pretty right now, the vigorous Calamagrostis was already starting to overtake the Panicum. Since I had to break them up anyway, I decided to move the Panicums up to the new seating area.
It made sense, really, since I already had a few Panicums up here...this just bulked up the planting nicely. Hilariously, however, there are now 3 different Panicum varieties in this area, 'Heavy Metal', 'Ruby Ribbons' and 'Huron Solstice'. The somewhat sad-looking grass on the right is Andropogon 'Red October', which was being crushed under the gargantuan Agastache 'Blue Blazes' in the back garden...so got moved up here where I can actually enjoy its fabulous red fall coloring. It may actually get moved into the front parking strip next spring...I haven't decided yet.
I can't tell you how much I love sitting in this spot now...it's just hidden enough that you don't feel like you're on display as people walk by...and as the grasses mature and fill in and get taller, it will feel even more secluded. Plus...I get to enjoy the garden from a new vantage point.
Is this area perfect...no...and it's not what everyone would want...but I'm loving it. It still looks pretty bare, but that's to be expected, I guess. I was thinking of putting a trellis behind the chairs at some point and growing Jasmine on it...that would improve sitting here even more! Of course, now I have to start saving up money for some real chairs ;-)