Some Baby Steps

Last  week we planted about 35 trees and over 100 shrubs – a third of the trees and shrubs  And oh my goodness they sure do disappear on the huge site!


Flowering Crabapple in the Orchard

The plants won’t reach anything like their mature size for several years – so when I did the plans I laid everything out at their mature size.  For example, if a Maple tree will have a 50’ canopy, that’s what I showed;  I have them planted about 50′ apart.  But right now that maple has a 6’ canopy.  So most of the space around it is still empty.  If I plant them closer together, sure they’ll look better now –and  then very soon they will be too crowded and I will have to move or remove them.  I don’t want to do that – and I can’t afford it. 

So…Patience Cynthia. 

I’m realizing how difficult it must be to be a client, with little or no ability to visualize the final size of plants.  I’m going to be a much better designer after this…at least much better at managing my clients’ expectations.

I’m remembering one large garden I did – a couple of acres – and I surrounded the house with ferns and Fothergilla, spaced appropriately.  The client kept thinking the plants were dead, or unhealthy, or too small.  For two years I heard this litany of worries.  Until the third year, when everything just exploded.   They had finished growing their roots – and now were spectacular above ground!  The ferns completely covered the ground.  The Fothergillas  set among the ferns were huge, flowering generously, becoming rich red/orange/russet in the fall.

Now I get photographs from them every year, not of tiny, undersized sad little plants, but of lush plants that frame the house luxuriously.

And so mine will be.  Patience Cynthia.

3 thoughts on “Some Baby Steps

    • What an interesting idea. I need to find a place where I can take pics from exactly the same spot; since it is going to be over several years I couldn’t actually do video, but I can do a succession of shots and then put them together. Actually I could do this for more than one location and gradually watch the whole garden grow up. I love it! Thanks.

  1. Annual shots from the same place would be wonderful! What I do while I’m waiting ffor trees and shrubs to grow is plant short-lived perennials and annuals in the spaces. I use castor bean trees for fast shade. In one central Texas growing season they can grow from seed to 15 ft. high trees. The first frost kills them back.

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