Plus, I'm over the cottage garden look. I know some of y'all love that, but ugh. It's a) a lot of work, b) it's easy to get messy looking, c) grasshoppers love them. SO. You should know by now how I feel about that last one. I love love love Japanese gardens and French gardens. The first is a carefully cultivated "natural" look that takes years and years and thoughtful planning (and oodles of patience) the second is a carefully cultivated "forced" look - straight lines, box hedges in specific shapes, etc. Order, ja. (Oui!)
My problem: I'm lazy. (Well, I'm not in comparison to others, but compared to Mr. Miyagi's carefully tended bonsai garden of pines, YES. I am lazy.) So I'm creating a look I'm calling "Texas-French." (Pronounced Texas-Frainch.) :D Drought tolerant natives in specific patterns, seasonal color that is specific (pink, blue, white for spring, primary colors for summer + orange and purple, hot pink, buttery yellow, indigo, coral for fall), and everything gets dead-headed at the same time.
Big plant list (I have some, I want more): Gulf Muhly grasses, my orange day lilies, gayfeathers, Midnight Blue meadow sage, pink creeping phlox, David Fannick Phlox, Texas sundrops, 'Lucifer' crocosmia, Texas blue bells, my unnamed yellow antique day lilies, ajugas, Japanese painted ferns, purple oxalis, Spider lilies, Hurricane/Surprise Lilies (I have 10 bulbs, want more, and they cost $25 bucks each. DAMN), bat-face cupheas, catmint, Spanish lavender, Russian sage, creeping Germander, wooly stemodia.
All are thriving in my garden, all are in the color palate I want, and now I just need to remove everything and put more in. (And I have a special place where it will be nothing but Tiger lilies, Star-gazer lilies, and Easter lilies for a solid month. <3 <3 <3 DREAMY SIGH.
I have a few random trees that popped up in the garden, trees I don't want, so those are going to be a bitch to get out, as they're entangled with my beloved Crimson Queen Japanese maple. And a hackberry tree growing against my Bloodgood Japanese maple, the bastard. Solution: tourniquet on the trees I hate, let them die all winter, then I can extricate them. \o/ (sturdy twine or flexible wire, a pencil and clamp. Give it a twist every week until it dies off. This is why you don't leave braces on trees for longer than a year - you cut off their food/water supply.)
So there are things I'm desperate to get rid of, because they are HIGHLY invasive. Houttuynia cordata, aka Korean ginseng, aka, Hootie Tootie, aka Chameleon Plant, aka bane of my existence. First, it STINKS. Have you ever smelled orange-scented furniture polish? *puke* That's what this plant smells like, from root to leaf. This asshole plant is taking over my shade bed where I have beautiful silver and purple Japanese ferns, ajugas, peonies, my beloved black liriope (monkey grass), etc.
You have to get up EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. of root. It's like Bermuda: you leave a fleck of root in the soil, it regenerates. Bastards. And just like Bermuda, you have to dig (pitchfork, please) it out down to a good foot. Succulent white roots that snap easily. Damn you, evolution for being smart enough to know how to make this jackass survive anything. Oh! And the smell triggers migraines, so seriously: avoid this plant.
Because I have OCD (I just say that, but keep reading; you'll agree.) that means I'm going to dig up my 30 ft. border of ajugas, oxalis, and Japanese painted ferns, gently wash the roots of soil, and check for any straggling Chameleon Plant roots. Because, my friends, that is a LOT OF MONEY to replace all of those plants. So. =|
I measured the flower beds I want to redo so I can start mapping out the new design (and then STICK TO MY DESIGN, no matter how pretty something looks at a nursery <--sternly tells self) and here's the final tally:
5 flower beds with 900 square feet of space to reconfigure. *cries* I mean, yay? Not all of that will be dug up - there are some evergreen junipers, a few roses, some good groundcovers (if you have space and cats, you should be growing catmint. Plus, it's pretty) and 3 Japanese maples. I'm moving the latest one I planted, but it's still only 3ft tall, so that's not a struggle.
I have antique day lilies that will find new homes, and oh, how I love that plant. Nothing kills it, it's mannered and stays put, expanding like me at a Thanksgiving buffet, and easily divided. Anemones that are antique, double blooms in a pretty pink that spread really well (and are being choked out by Jerk-face stink-plant) need to replace a hybrid anemone that's boring and not interesting. I need to find homes for lamb's ear, loads of irises (Dutch blue and white, bearded) rain lilies, French hollyhocks, and then rip out my massive rosemary hedges. They're just cumbersome and NEVER STOP GROWING. I have the perfect place for them, but I spent a lot of money on some amazing boulders that you can't see anymore because the rosemary covered them up. Two rosemary shrubs, 20 feet wide. That's...more rosemary than anyone could ever need.
Plus, I have rosemary and a blue-rug juniper right next to each other, and that's a design no-no. Same texture, it looks like a boring wall of green that cancels out anything pretty.
HEY ISN'T THIS INTERESTING TO READ? I'm mostly collecting my thoughts here, so sorry for the lame-ass post. :)
Aren't you glad I didn't post the grid-layout of existing plants and the new designs? (I don't have the new designs solidified, otherwise I'd slap them up here for posterity.)
...all of this doesn't include the last huge swatch of Bermuda (and Dallis grass, because it's not full-sun) under my Chinese Pistache and Sugar Maple that I want ripped out to be replaced with woodland ground covers and a walking path for people interested in the garden. (lol)
DOES MARTHA STEWART LOAN OUT HER GARDNER?
(And the jerky neighbors that always tut tut my garden - they want me to deadhead plants, when you don't do that until FALL, not to mention they're providing food for birds, dummies! Then again, they just have a hedge of box woods tortured into rectangles, so they are clearly idiots - planted a tree to replace the awful one they had before, a Bradford pear. I told them years before that they're bad for our area, they break, split, fall over. Guess what it did? So they bought a new tree, ignored me when I said not to put tree gators on them - seriously, DO NOT USE THOSE, I can explain why in comments if you're curious - and it died in one week. Big, huge, 20 ft tall oak. How the hell do you kill an OAK TREE? Like that!)
But today I am going to lay around because I have a sore throat and feel dreadful. Bah. To the grid paper! :)