Natural Landscaping Part 2

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, August 6, 2020

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By Brenda Peters

Master Naturalist

In my first column, I shared how I had decided to make better use of a natural landscape using a three-prong attack: 1) get rid of the ornamental plants and shrubs in the flowerbeds and replace them with native plants; 2) get rid of the invasive plants in the woods edge and promote more native shrubs and plants; and 3) reduce the amount of lawn by bringing the woods edge closer and doing away with the small grass areas on the sides of the house.

So, what progress have I made?

The flowerbeds have been weeded, and I have pruned and thinned some plants. While doing so, I started to make decisions about what would go or stay. There are some things that have sentimental value. There are two lemon lilies that I got from my husband’s grandmother who passed away many years ago. I have a few variegated liriope and candytuft that I got from my Mom who also passed away. I will be keeping those because of the beautiful memories that flood my mind when I see them. I have two Niko Blue hydrangeas. I will keep those because they remind me of my Aunt Minnie’s house where we would gather for big family events long ago.

The rest of the hydrangeas will go. The leaf buds tend to succumb to the cold spring temperatures and frost too easily, and they require too much pruning for me.

I am going to remove the soft touch holly and the hostas to make room for something else. I am also removing plants that require constant deadheading, like the daylilies and blanket flower. Yes, blanket flower is native, but my goal is less maintenance. It is one of the things I will be mindful of when making decisions on what native flowers and shrubs to plant.

In the meantime, I have been removing saplings from the woods edge around the house. I have gotten rid of a lot of maple and gum that are very prolific around our house. I have kept species of oak, sassafras, cedar, bayberry and all low and high varieties of blueberry. While doing so, I have tried to make sure there is ample room between them so they can reach their full potential.

So, I am slowly making progress and looking forward to updating you in my next article.