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!

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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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