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Sunday, July 20, 2003

Time for a change

I took advantage of the cooler temperatures this morning to attack the trimming of the geometric beds of azaleas and juniper in the front garden. This is always a major job and I dread it. It only takes about 2 hours or so, but my arms are like jelly by the time I am done.

Today, I only got about halfway done before my arms gave out. I was also getting frustrated as I noticed that the plantings are steadily deteriorating. Azaleas and juniper are really not designed to be cut with hedge trimmer. It cuts up the leaves of the azaleas and it leads to all sorts of problems with "naked legs". This is a common problem effecting hedges and dense shrub plantings where the lower 1/2 of the plant doesn't get enough light and stops growing leaves. The plants are also overcrowded, so several of them have died back completely.

Since these planting are over 15 years old, I think it is time for a change. I inherited the garden from the previous owners and most of the planting work, but these are getting on my nerves. I am thinking that I will select the strongest azaleas and a few juniper for transplanting elsewhere and then uproot most of the rest of the plantings. I am thinking of converting the geometric beds into something much more freeform. Nice naturalized clumps of azalea to match those in from the of the porch.

I have already started the transformation of a circular bed in the center of the garden. A pine tree once grew in this spot, but when it died I planted it into wildflowers. Recently I added 4 clumps of purple fountain grass and it seems to like the location quite well. Now that it is established, I think I will remove the ring of azalea and juniper to open up the bed and allow the fountain grass to be seen more easily.
Wish me luck and....Keep digging!


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