Monday, September 8, 2014

Garden Committee At Work

Maybe a few months ago, I posted a random post with pictures I wanted to pin to Pinterest. I gave no explanation other than it was for something I was doing for the neighborhood.

Our neighborhood is about 7-8 years old. The first houses closed in 2007. We moved in around 2008. When a neighborhood first starts, the developer is in charge of all decisions. The responsibility isn't handed over to the residents until the majority of the neighborhood is full. Understood, as you want to have continuity as the neighborhood finishes.

Our neighborhood now has it's first resident Board for the HOA. We get to make our own decisions! I got selected to be the Chairperson of the Garden Committee. I am really enjoying it so far. I get to plan and budget future ideas for current vacant areas.

The first task I was given was to replace diseased roses in a flowerbed by the bathhouse at the pool. I also got to plant the annuals around the clubhouse.

My team of volunteers have AMAZING ideas. I can't take credit. I just listen to them. We kept with a common theme all around the clubhouse. Bright pink Wave petunias and chartreuse sweet potato vine. Once those get bigger, they will be beautiful from afar.

The bathhouse recently had the rose bushes dug up. Just like in my yard, once the roses have the disease, you can't plant roses in that same spot for 7 years! The disease remains in the soil.

This is where I got to be creative. The plan was to reduce the size of the flowerbeds on either side. Kids and adults walk right through the flowerbeds to get to the pool. So, we removed the mulch and would lay down sod plugs soon.

On the West side of the bathhouse, we left the existing bushes there. We were about to enter a hot summer and transplanting them would kill them. We planted around them and will remove them in the Fall.

The new plants are lilac Butterfly Bushes, 'Old Gold' Juniper and Purple d'Oro Daylilies. The Board wanted something colorful and evergreen. They kept mentioning Azaleas, but those aren't my favorite and are hard to make pretty.

Those Butterfly Bushes will get large. So will the Juniper. The Daylilies may have to be relocated in a few years, but that's okay. It is already a full bed. If I were to have bought tiny plants, they may not have survived and they would be trampled on as people saw a space to walk.

As for cost, the Butterfly Bushes were most expensive. I could buy little sticks for $8, but it would take years for it to be the size I bought. I got these for $22 each.

The Juniper was on sale! I get my junipers from Costco. They are normally $11 each. I love the Parsoni Juniper, but they only had two and I needed 3. They had the 'Old Gold' variety that I knew nothing about, so I looked it up. It stays the same size as Parsoni and won't get 4' tall like others. Once I checked out, they rang up to $9 each. For such a big plant, that's awesome!

I was going for Stella d'Oro when I found the purple variety. Hopefully it will live up to its name and rebloom a lot.

Now, for my favorite garden! One of my volunteer's came up with this idea. It's a Children's Garden! It is on the side of the bathhouse that leads to the playground. Kids are always walking over there to use the restroom. I am working on signs that will encourage kids to explore, but in the mean time people will like looking at it not knowing its purpose.

Day of planting - May 2014

My favorite is Lamb's Ear. It is so soft and feels like an ear!

I purchased two varieties, regular and dwarf.

I put in some lavender and Rosemary.

August 2014

There is some Pineapple Sage at the back, as it will get BIG!

August 2014

I also mixed in some flowers as something to "See."

As for taste, I put in some chocolate mint. Oh, does it taste awesome! However, it's invasive. Once you let it grow, it will take over and be HARD to get rid of. So, I planted a larger pot in the ground and set it in there.

Hopefully, this keeps it from spreading. It will only be able to spread in its pot. Covered it up with mulch, and you can't tell.

I loved this project for many reasons. It was done on someone else's dime and I got to work with plants I was unfamiliar with. It will be awesome to see it mature.

As for cost, All three areas cost $370. Not bad for getting so much done.

And my poor team had to work in the rain! I set a time to meet on Saturday and rain came through. It was nothing too bad, but it was still rain. I had some dedicated team members. When we finished, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day!

Now, it's on to planning more things.

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