Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Like to Move It, Move It

Moving is a pain! A BIG pain. Mr. JCrew and I were given “advise” when we were house searching to start off small because we could always upgrade later. This idea did not fly with Mr. JCrew or myself. We had criteria in our house search that enabled us to never have to move again! Once is enough.
Now when it comes to things inside the house, they move around a little, until they find a good home. Many items have seen temporary homes in different rooms. You’ve even seen proof of moving around with plants outside. I moved the Lilac tree over two feet. The crepe myrtles inched over a little. The front bushes went to the back and then moved over 20 feet on their second move.
But there was one move that was not by choice. Remember the stone post picture of these purple bushes on the side of the house (here)? That was from 2009. I built a raised flowerbed to accommodate the Loropetalums and cast iron plants I brought from my parents home in Florida.

Original Raised Bed
I loved the raised bed. But the builder did not. We had some issues with that side of the house not being graded properly to allow rain water to drain correctly. The weep holes in the brick on that side of the house are only 3 inches above the ground, so my raised bed covered them. The builder blamed my raised flowerbed for the garage flooding.

Removed Raised Bed
I appeased them and removed my raised bed. I knew this was not the problem. There was no dripline inside the garage to prove the raised bed was flooding the weep holes back into the garage. But I moved the bed anyways. It made its new home on the other side of the house. The weep holes on that side were much higher that the raised bed would not cover them.

New Location for raised bed. East side of house.
Back to the other side of the house, I really didn’t want to have nothing over there. That side of the house was blank and needed something to take attention away from the utility boxes. So, I left one layer or stone to outline the flowerbed. This way it wouldn’t be a raised bed covering the weep holes.

Single Layer Brick for New Bed
We still wanted to draw attention away from the utility boxes, so I picked thin, columnar plants to take up space on the blank brick wall. These trees/bushes are Emerald Arborvitae.  They get 2-3 feet wide and  only around 10-12 feet tall.
There are many different arborvitae and junipers out there that stay thin but some get too tall. Some actually get really wide too. I wanted to make sure these plants stayed narrow and short for 20+ years. We didn’t want to move these suckers again.

Freshly Planted Arborvitae
We spaced the trees 4-5 feet apart. I didn’t want them touching, but wanted to expose the brick wall inbetween. Plus, the utilities department and cable company still needed access to their boxes I was conceiling.

Speaking of utility boxes, did you notice I painted them? It was too hard to find a brick colored paint to match, but some of my brick had a brown tint to it, so I used that brown and spray painted them. It really does hide them even more!
With the arborvitae’s bed, I painted the stone border a dark brown color. I have no other reason than I didn’t like the original color of the stone.  It worked well.
In the Loropetalum’s new bed, I painted that brick also. Call me crazy.  Wanted this brick to pop out just a little. Since it was a raised bed with purple bushes, I went with an off-white color. It really pops against the red house.

Since there is 4-5 feet between the arborvitae and there is not much color on that side of the house, I went with the idea of planting annuals in between the arborvitae.
I usually pot annuals in my container gardens and I monitor how well the plants grows and how easy it is to take care of. Last year I had these White Vinca’s in a pot with an orange Asiatic Lily that did awesome!

So, when it came time to choose an annual for the arborvitae bed, I chose the Coconut Vinca. It just doesn’t have a red center like the Vinca’s I got last year, and that’s okay.

Vinca
I admit annuals are a pain in the behind to plant year-after-year, but if I just have a couple in my yard, I’m okay with that!
In This Post:

Emerald Green Arborvitae
Loropetalum
Cast Iron Plant
Coconut Vinca

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