It turns out that having new landscaping is a lot like having 50 more mouths to feed and each mouth has a craving for something different. To add to that, I don’t know what I’m doing and have been attempting to figure it out as I go – faking it until I make it in the green thumb department. We are a month in with our new plants, and I’d be lying if I said it was easy sailing. I’m barely keeping my head above water (no pun intended) with trying to figure out exactly what I should be doing.
We were religiously watering everyday in the evening. Then we found out that plants prefered to be watered in the morning. So, we started making time for watering in the morning. Some plants seemed to not be getting enough water. Some seemed to be getting too much. According to Google, the signs of over watering and under watering are eerily similar. We then found out that we should only be watering every few days if it hasn’t rained. Lately, we’ve been holding back a bit with the ol’ watering hose.
Fertilizing has also been another thorn in my side. Again, no pun intended. When we planted everything, we used a garden soil that had fertilizer mixed in. We also added rose food to our miniature roses when they were planted. I was also told, by an ‘expert’ at Lowe’s, to use Miracle Grow once a week for a while. I did it twice before I realized that my poor plants were being over fertilized. My roses started growing yellow leaves from too much fertilization. The weeping cherry tree also has some yellow leaves. I’m assuming it’s from being over fertilized. I’m dialing it back and putting a hold on the Miracle Grow until further notice.
The biggest issue is that I’m not familiar with how the plant should look at different times of its life cycle. I don’t know what’s normal and what isn’t. I’ve been doing my best to ask anyone who will listen and Google everything. Thank God I don’t have to worry about pruning for a bit. My head might explode (different plants need to be pruned at different times of the year and in different ways – I need to make a spreadsheet).
My azaleas were amazingly beautiful with huge blooms for about two weeks. Then I noticed the blooms turning brown and wilting away. I was worried, but have since been reassured that they are fine. The blooms die away, shouldn’t be cut off (deadheading), and next years blooms are set. The brown is fine, we have new leaf growth, and the bushes look hearty. For now, I think the azaleas are doing well.
The creeping phlox seemed to be wilting away and the flowers all fell off. From what I can tell it was time for the flowers to go, but the phlox are looking better after a really good watering session. I’ve also been told it’s hard to kill phlox, so I’m hanging onto that as a good omen. Our daylilies are growing like crazy, but are looking a little yellow at the base. I thought they were getting enough water, but I was told to water them more. They get more sun than the other plants, so that makes sense. We are working on bringing those back. We did lose one of our clematis vines by our mailbox. Honestly, I have no idea what happened to him. Shortly after being planted, it was completely gone. May he rest in peace.
Overall, everything is growing. It’s actually quite surprising to look at pictures from when they were planted to now. (see below) After trimming the yellow leaves from the roses and deadheading spent blooms, they have taken off. We have a TON of blooms and newly forming buds. My roses might be my favorite at this point. They are making me look good in the gardening front. The weeping cheery seems to be growing well with new branches and lots of leaves. The hydrangeas (dwarf bush, bush, and tree) have doubled in size and really filled in. I’m anxiously awaiting the day they bloom. The butterfly bushes are also looking good – filling in with lots of leaves and growth. The abelia and astilbe are also holding their own. The abelia has new growth, but no visible signs of blooms at this point. The astilbe has sprouted stalks for the buds to grow from. I’m excited to see those in bloom. The lamium that lines our sidewalk has quadrupled in size and has the prettiest purple flowers peeking out. You almost can’t see any mulch between the plants. We’ll have to trim it back in the next month or so. The dianthus ground cover that we put in has spread a bit and is budding with breathtaking pink starburst flowers.
When I was growing up, I constantly made fun of my mother when she would make comments about how her plants looked or how pretty some flower she saw was. We have an inside joke about looking at begonias. Sadly, traveling down this landscaping road has made me realize that I’m doing the same things that I always made fun of her for. It’s was a ‘you’re turning into your mother’ moment. And you know what? I’m cool with it. Because, I’m growing shit. And, that’s pretty badass.