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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Planning for a Summer Wedding Landscape

This summer there will be another wedding in the family. My wife's brother will be getting married to his longtime girlfriend on July 12th. What does this have to do with gardening? The ceremony is going to be help at my in-laws house in their backyard and I will need to help plan the landscaping for the area surrounding the ceremony. There is a lot of work ahead! The colors they have in mind are green, yellow, and white. After the wedding the plants will need to be easily adaptable to the surrounding landscape. We are in the initial stages of planning right now and I'm thinking about what kinds of vegetation to plant. I'm considering various shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Later we'll think about annuals for the instant color. Everything that flowers will need to be a repeat bloomer or flower in mid-July.

We are also contemplating a hardscaped area that will eventually become a small patio. The ceremony will take place on the stone patio that will be positioned beneath the three big trees in the picture below. The plan for the hardscape will be to add soil to the area then lay the stone on top of the soil and plant ground cover in between the cracks of the stones. I don't want to dig around the tree roots for two reasons. One I could hurt the tree and two the tree could hurt me, or at least my back! By laying the stone on the soil we will allow for drainage for the trees and won't disturb any roots and it will save me some aches and pains.


We may use some pots and planters here and there but most of the plants will need to go into the ground. The ground in this area of Tennessee is very full of rocks and clay and digging down may not be the best option. Berms may be necessary.

Do you have any suggestions for shrubs and perennials? Good foliage color and good timing for blooming is important. I'll think about the annuals later! (July 12th is the target date and the colors are green, yellow, and white.)

7 comments :

  1. this is going to be hard. you are starting from scratch! how are you going to get an instant garden?!

    for a wedding i am definitely thinking fragrant. you might need to purchase maybe gardenias (be sure to take them in as they are not reliably hardy), maybe some kerria for the yellow and it might bloom in july for you, some roses, probably knock out roses in white, maybe some varigated privet for yellow to enclose the area. hostas might work for some yellows as well and would probably be in bloom in july or close to it. hope it helps. kerria is adaptable and native. you definitely want to think hardscape like an arbor-a nice white one.

    natchez crepe myrtles would also work in the background. how about abelia? that is also fragrant and easily adaptable. can't wait to see the final product.

    this month's perennial plant society meeting is tuesday at 7 pm. the subject is dear deer, please don't eat here. it is not at cheekwood though. some church. let me know if you might make it and i can get the directions.

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  2. I believe our butterfly bushes are blooming by July but dont know if you could get them large enough or established by then....

    Good Luck and do share the progress with us as you go along on the project! Too bad you dont have a year to plan this out...

    Wish i were up there to go to the Dear Deer program Tina! We have a deer problem in our yard and I can always use pointers...

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  3. Wow, that's a tough one for those colors, but that should be the prime daylily season, get the later blooming ones in yellows and whites for great color and something that can be used in the landscape later. Only annuals will do the job you have in mind, though. Daisies are often used in weddings, yellow leaf coleus would be a good combo. Sunshine Hollow Daylily farm by me has a good web site to investigate the names of daylilies that would bloom then, look for the late ones.
    Good luck,
    Frances at Fair Garden

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  4. frances is absolutely right about daylilies. how could i forget? they would look great.

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  5. Yep it's a tough one. The annuals will probably do most of the work, but those will get put in a little later. We need to add shrubbery and perennials fairly soon to get the somewhat established. Fortunately we can go for larger plants. Good suggestions from all of you!

    Here's the list so far then:
    Gardenias
    Kerria
    Privet
    Hostas
    Crepe Myrtles
    Abelia
    Butterfly Bushes
    Daylilies
    Daisies

    I was also thinking of some Oak Leaf Hydrangeas in the shady areas.

    Keep the suggestions coming!

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  6. Another idea for things to plant!

    While you are thinking fragrantyou might want to consider planting some fragrant herbs: lavander, oregano etc.

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  7. i like barberry bushes. Nice variation in color. I've got some and they contrast nicely wtih hostas.

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