macfish
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:19 am

new gardner

Hello everyone,
I am a very new gardner or gardner to be. I have grown up in philadelphia most of my life with only a very small patch of grass to call a garden, now I am moving to a new house in the suburbs. It is new construction... which means that I have brown/redish mud surrounding the entire house. The property is basicly rectangular with the house as a rectangle in the middle and a rectangle of a driveway on the left side. I have aprox 27 ft to the street and 64ft wide along the house (the lot is 100x100) I have made the mistake of buying some plants on ebay and I now have some bare root plants that will probably be dead before I can ever plant them since I have no idea what I am doing. The following is a list of the plants that I purchased. ( common lilac bush(2), double bridal wreath (2), blue nikko hydrangea (2), japanese spindle tree (4), varigated green white hosta (3), gold hosta (2), blue cadet hosta (2), blue liarope (2), elderberry black beauty (1), lambs ears (2), black knight buddleia (1), davidII opera buddleia(2), hazel nut shrub(1), skyrocket juniper(2), and finally sarah bernhardt peony(1). Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

My first advice is to never buy a plant that you don't already know where it is going... :lol:

Okay, you've bought a lot of plants with extremely different needs. You need to do some homework on who needs what (the big dividing line here is shade and sun. The majority of plants you have here lioke a good woodland soil and you have that bathtub clay that's endemic down there (I used to be a salesman in that neck of the woods and know a lot of the garden centers down there, so I know what works and what doesn't) Don't think there are any deal breakers there, but it does mean you have a HUGE job of preparing soil for all those plants as they won't like what you've got. You should find out how big these things will get, figure out the plan to give them appropriate room and then dif oversize holes amending each one with more suitable soil. LOTS of work, LOTS and LOTS...

In the meantime, in partial shade dig a twenty foot long trench two feet wide and deep. Six inches of gravel in the bottom, a layer of landscape cloth, then fill with good garden soil (even mulch would do if you think you will get the rest of the job ready before May) Plant the kids in there and get busy. Soon you will see why landscape designers and landscapers get paid "SO MUCH" (a pittance for the knowledge we possess and the work we do).

MacFish I wish you much luck and while this will be a huge undertaking you will come out of this a true dirt gardener hardened by the lessons you have learned and with the deep satisfaction of having done it yourself (been there; done that) Or you'll hire a landscaper to come in and do it for you, either way best of luck...

HG

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