This month in the yard: January

I’ve abandoned my series “This month in the yard” since late Fall because it’s an ugly time of year here in The Cove. It’s cold and wet and GRAY and all the trees are bare. Bryan teases me because every Winter I talk about moving and every Spring I run around saying, Isn’t it amaaaaaaazing to live here!?! It’s so beauuuuuutiful!!!

The only color in the yard right now is the Nandina that sit in front of the dining room window. They’re small and not really the most beautiful shrubs in terms of shape, but the color compensates.

After the debacle of last year’s Southern Living inspired Kimmy’s Landscaping Plan, I learned valuable lessons, as follows:

  1. It’s way harder than it looks. Estimate the time and expense and then multiply by 3 gazillion.
  2. Those sweeping flowerbeds in Southern Living include more flowers than you could buy if you raided the entire stock of your local garden center. I planted so many flowers and my flowerbeds still looked pawltry – truly pathetic.
  3. It’s alarming how fast Cana Lillies grow and spread. Gardener beware! I have got to move mine this Spring for fear they will eat the front entry!
  4. Simple is good.
  5. The easiest flowers to grow are Lantana.

This Fall, I was driving slowly past a house in the neighborhood with gorgeous landscaping and noticed something: they had very little variety and most of it was evergreen shrubbery. They had layers of Cleyera (common green shrub), Loropetulum (purple shurb) and Nandina (orange/red/green shrub). It looked beautiful. It looks beautiful all year long. No special care required other than occasional pruning. Over-achievers might fertilize. That’s it.

So, if I muster the energy to do anything to our flowerbeds this Spring – and I am sure I will in my exuberance for Spring – I will add Loropetulum and Nandina. I might plant Lantana because the flowers grow quickly and stay colorful all summer. That’s it. We have plenty of regular ol’ green shrubs as background.

‘Purple Diamond®’ Loropetalum - Combining colorful flowers and foliage with controlled growth, Purple Diamond® is a gem. Unlike some other loropetalums that can swallow your house, this one grows 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. Showy pink flowers appear in spring and sometimes summer. Deep, rich purple foliage holds its color all season.  Evergreen.

Firehouse Dwarf Nandina  evergreen, red fall color  This dwarf variety holds that red fire engine color all Winter. It has a compact mounding form with bright green Spring foliage.  prune, selectively cut the stalks and stagger the heights of each cane instead of cutting them all off to the same height.  - resistant to deer, drought, heat & humidity, pollution, rabbits, seashore, slope, and wind

Lantana hot gorgeous orange!



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