Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Quick Landscaping Update

We're making major progress this week on what I've just decided to call Project: Landscape This House For Crying Out Loud Because You've Lived in It for Five Years!

Let's recap what's been going on with PLTHFCOLBYLIIFFY to this point...

Earlier in the year, I enlisted the help of a local and very knowledgeable gardening consultant because I know next to nothing about horticulture.  Based on my longing for a cottage garden, the consultant drew up a landscaping plan that incorporates flowering shrubs like roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and gardenias, as well as evergreen shrubs for year-round color, and space for perennial flowers. 

The next major step was completed in June when the beds were installed.  Here's one of the beds as it was just before being dug.

My husband and I enjoy DIY projects, but decided it was worth it to hire a crew to come in and knock out the beds in a day. It most definitely was.

Then it took about three months for me to finally put down landscaping fabric to keep weeds at bay while we waited to plant in the fall.   Here's the same bed from above, covered in landscape fabric, and waiting for plants.

With fall finally here, my husband and I went to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh last Friday to purchase the majority of the landscaping plants.

A friend had serendipitously told me in August about a wholesale nursery that sells to the public at the State Farmers Market.  I visited the nursery's Web site and it turned out they could supply the great majority of the plants called for in the landscaping plan.  What good fortune!  And the best part?  All of their 3-gallon plants are just $10 each.

So where we are now is that the plants are going in the ground this week!  And yes, we're a bit messy when we work.

Once the beds are mulched, I'll be back with more details on the plants we've used.  But I am already so happy with the this pretty little Ducher rose and the gorgeous-smelling gardenias.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you more experienced gardeners about perennial flowers you like.   I live in zone 7 and have already planted coreopsis, daisies, sedum, and penstemon.  I really like coneflowers and zinnias, but beyond that, I'm all ears for suggestions!


  1. Hi, I live in north Raleigh and we have had lots of luck with black eyed susans, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, forsythia, dogwoods, and roses (both tea and English). We stuck bulbs around the perrenial plants so we'd have flowers in the Spring. We also have had lots of luck with herbs planted in the flower bed. Pretty and functional.

  2. We must be thinking alike. We have been in our home for 3 years now with no landscaping, but Hubby and I have it on our todo list for this Fall. Can't wait to see yours all in bloom next year.

  3. It's looking good Erin! I love how the beds are nice and wide so you'll have plenty of space to let things grow big.

    I second making sure you get some spring flowering bulbs in. They truly are amazing come spring when your craving a little something pretty. I sure hope your planting some shrub roses. I stayed away from roses for a long time since I've always be told they are more more and picky. But then I bought my first shrub rose and was HOOKED. Now all I want are shrub roses, hydrangea's, zinnia and coreopsis.

  4. oooh i love gardenias! we had them in louisiana and they smelled amazing! :) enjoy!

  5. It's going to look fabulous, Erin! You have some beautiful plants picked out, some which we can't grow up here in zone 5. I'm so glad you got a deal on the plants, they can be so expensive. Keep up the good work! :)


  6. Looking good, Erin! Love the rose and the gardenia! If you want another nice easy scented plant, try "Walker's Low" catmint. It a nice, low, full plant with pretty little purple flowers from spring through fall. It's my substitute for lavender since that doesn't do well here. :)

    xoox laurie

  7. Cool Erin! It's alot of work, but it looks like you're doing it right. It's all gonna be soooo worth it, and so pretty. When you put down that beautiful mulch you're gonna be so tickled with it, it's all gonna just pop!


  8. Hooray for progress!! Lookin' gooooood!

  9. It's going to look amazing, Erin! I can't wait to see everything planted and maybe you can teach me a thing or two! I would love to have a cottage garden someday... I know the feeling of letting the landscaping take a back seat, but I'd really like to focus on it this next year.

  10. Looking so good!! I love hydrangeas and definitely gardenias too! Hostas have done really well in our shade.

  11. Erin: Here's a site that might be good:
    Are you familiar with Helen Yoest? Also, I always read Triangle Gardener for great ideas.
    I'm rushing off right now, but will try to get back to you with more!!!
    Good luck: lookin' good!


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