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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Front Porch Garden Remodel Part 4

Today I thought I would show you the before and after since yesterday I teased you on the details of the front porch garden remodel. It's current state is still classified in the unfinished category but it is well on its way to becoming a welcoming front porch garden.

First let me show you the before pictures:

The crabapple is front and center in the garden with the hollies along the porch. Two ragged Russian sages that need moved are standing on either side of the crabapple. The 'Powis Castle' artemisia is a bit overgrown but we kind of like it there so it might stay! Please ignore the weeds. I've kind of let this garden go since I was planning on re-doing it eventually!

Here's the other side of the garden with the same plantings as above except for the crape myrtle on the left. Irises and daffodils will brighten up the area in the spring. If our weather had been more cooperative the salvia would be blooming right now, but everything has been way too dry.

The in-progress photos:

Removing the hollies was the toughest part. I tried to save them but eventually gave up and ended up clipping them to the trunk and digging the main parts of the roots. I may end up with hollies again so I'll have to watch for those volunteers from the leftover roots. Digging in clay and gravel is very difficult, but you probably know that!

 From the side sans hollies.

In this picture all the plants are removed that need to be. I still want to move the Russian sage but I need to wait until dormancy or at least when rain is in the forecast. 

The after:

It's a little hard to see what I'm doing here but if you look closely you'll be able to tell. I planted two 'Otto Luyken' Laurels in the middle and left a space for a third. I only bought two since they were on the discount rack for $6 each - and really they looked great! On the left and on the right are my splurges two 'Winter Snowman' camellias. It's a relatively cold hardy camellia rated to a zone 6 hardiness. I couldn't pass up an evergreen planting that blooms in November and December!

Here we are from the side. You'll notice that the plants are spaced a good distance from the porch. I did that so that the plants were out from underneath the roof overhang of the front porch but also to give them space to grow.

Here's the other side. It's hard to see the plants with the Russian sage still present but as foundation plantings grow and the Russian sage is moved you'll be able to see it much better. All the plants are smaller plants which generally means cheaper on the wallet! It's also good because smaller plants tend to adapt quicker to their soil conditions. I did attempt to improve the soil a little by adding two wheelbarrow loads full of compost to the top of the soil. I didn't work it in but eventually it will be buried underneath mulch.

The plants:

'Otto Luyken' Laurel

'Winter Snowman' camellia
It's coming along and I can't wait to see it complete. A little mulch, a little weeding, a little transplanting, and soon it will be good as new!


  1. I like the changes and it sure is fun to redo a bed! I sure wish it would rain so we can feel completely good about transplanting! gail

  2. Good job Dave. Those otto luykens are a much better match than the hollies.

  3. Looking good Dave. Can't wait to see the end results.
    Hope you get the rain you need. We've gotten rain here in Fl.

  4. Looking good Dave, I love how's it coming together. :)

  5. Hard work here. It will pay off though. What an inviting area this will be.

  6. I need to redo our foundation plants. I replaced nandina and overgrown lantana but didn't study hard enough- I put in beautyberry. They're too scrappy and non existent in the winter. I'm thinking camelias right now, but I need to be sure to choose a small one. The 'winter snowman' might be a possibility.


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