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June 11, 2018

Finalizing a Foundation Landscape Project

I'll start with my ferns since it's a nicer picture!  They've grown so fast and are looking wonderful.  This was always an area I didn't know what to do with.  When we bought the house the original deck went from one end to the other.  When we had a new one built we shortened it.  Then that area where the old deck had been was very drab and shady.  Eventually I thought I'd try some ferns and as you can see over the years they've expanded and filled out rapidly.  They put off runners and each spring new ones show up in the yard but they're easy enough to remove.

Back to late last summer.  We cleared what I call the "ugly" utility side of the house which had some old shrubs and plants that were completely ignored.

These old viburnums didn't get enough sun and languished on this side.  I shared a bit about this last year in this "post".

The weather has cooled off so I felt it would be smart to get going on this project since it's much easier to work in 70º weather than 95º!  
There was some black landscape fabric that was put down in 1996 that we pulled off and then some old roots to remove.  Probably spent an hour on that alone.

Now it's cleaned up and we're ready to start with the plants.

 I prepped the work area and lined up the plants by the edge of the woods along with some bags of organic supplement for the soil.

I ordered these "Blue Ivory" hostas from a website because I couldn't find them locally.

I lucked out and found these astilbe plants at a local garden center and they'll be flowering red soon.

On the other side of the air conditioning unit I'm planting this big hosta and two red cardinal plants.

This is composted manure and peat which will will blend with the soil as we plant.  

We fussed around- measured and set the spot for the astilbe which will be the background for the hostas.  The landscaping edging is not evenly spaced.  It's much wider at one end than the other so we measured from the house to the spot we wanted to put the plants.  I chose to plant them in straight rows since this is a foundation planting.  In time they will fill in and make a nice presentation.

At first we used scrap wood pieces to mark each spot then I got the idea that we could mark each one with a paint that you spray upside down.


Using the paint made it easier to keep track of the spot where we needed to dig.  There are 11 Astilbe plants and 10 hostas being planted.



When the holes were dug we put the soil into my garden card and blended a 50/50 mix with the composted manure.  The holes are larger than the plant so when we add the mixed soil in they'll have a good healthy start.

Eventually we did the same with the hostas.  They are pretty small but eventually they'll fill out nicely.  They come planted in a coco liner that you just put in the ground and it will decompose.  

Now to add some mulch!

The hosta got planted on the side hill as the property works down to the front yard and the two red Cardinal flower plants (Lobelia "Fan" Scarlet). Those will get taller and fill in as a little bit of a visual wall next to the air conditioner.

We selected some shredded pine bark for our mulch.  It smells wonderful!  As it breaks down through the years (and we'll add more) it will enrich the soil.  Hostas love rich organic soil.


You have to use your imagination and think of these hostas as being a lot larger along with the astilbe.

Hosta "Blue Ivory"

These will get to be about 30" wide.  I'm hoping that the striking leaves will show up nicely and bring some attractiveness to this "ugly" utility side of the house.  No-one carried these locally so I ordered from a website called Bluestone Perennials.

To the left side of the air conditioner the land slopes down quickly.  I found these hostas called "Curly Fries" and added them to the slope area.  

To the left is the front of the house under the bedroom end which is the another foundation landscape project.  We just had gutters put on late last year and Dan still has to shorten the downspout.  

So there you have it my finally finished Foundation Landscape project!

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24 comments:

  1. It is looking so great Liz. Your yard is so pretty for summer. I bet you smile everytime you are outdoors with your pretty yard. Have a good start to the new week.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. I do smile- makes me happy inside and out! It’s such a grand experience especially after the long brutal winters!

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  2. The ferns are amazing, and the hostas will be stunning. Wow, great job.

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    1. Thank you Marty- it’s been a lot of work but from now on it should just be maintenance to keep them all happy!

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  3. Liz, this looks amazing! Your ferns are very happy. :)

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  4. WOW. I love what you did. Looks so pretty.

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  5. I envy you those stunning hostas! The deer would eat them overnight in my yard ☹️

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    1. They can be relentless! I am fortunate they haven’t given me much trouble but they are around.

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  6. I love it, Liz, and you get an A+ for design. That was no "flying by the seat of your pants." It will be fun to watch it fill in. Happy gardening!

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    1. Thank you Joanna! Yes I actually planned this out! ��

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  7. Wonderful new look for that area. You two have been working hard. I love the hostas. It's a shame we don't have a lot of shade to plant them here.

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    1. Thank you Linda. I do love my hostas but then I can’t grow roses like you do!

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  8. Quite a project, Liz! It's going to be fantastic sooner than you expect! To do all this I'm betting you don't have dense clay soils like we have here. That would take me several weekends to accomplish.

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    1. You are right we don’t have the dense clay soils. Plenty of sand mixed in here. Our little garden tractor has helped us with so many projects. We couldn’t have done a lot of what we have without it.

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  9. What a great job, Liz! I imagine you will be visiting this side of your home more often. I really like your plant choices. I'm sure with your great preparation, this area will flourish into a beautiful garden soon. ♥
    Oh I love your ferns in the first photo! They are amazing.

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen. You are right I will and am already going to that side of the house much more often. Other than dragging a hose along that side of the house in the past I basically never went over there! I really hope the prep we did will help make the difference!

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  10. Beautifully done, Liz! The red blooms and interesting hosta colors should look lovely together. I had some cardinal flowers at our old home and loved them, I know you will, too! They like lots of moisture so being by your downspout should be a good placement.

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    1. Thank you- I’m glad you see my vision too! I hope the cardinal plants come back. A few people have remarked that they had trouble with them.

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  11. Looks like the newly landscaped area will be great. Love the ferns and hosta. I tried cardinal flowers last year but noticed they didn't come back this year. I'll have to try them again later. It's a lot of work to get a new bed planted. Glad you have your husband to help you.

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    1. Thank you Judy. I am lucky Dan helps with these projects. I was told by another person her cardinal plants didn’t come back. I was reading up on them and I guess they like to be kept evenly moist so I hope I can keep them happy!

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  12. What a well manicured yard. I gasped when I saw those lovely ferns however. I live in FL and a couple of years ago, those ferns appeared all over my yard and my neighbor's yards. They spread like weeds and I can't get rid of them. You are so right-they come back next year !
    Myrna

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    1. Ahh yes I imagine in a warmer climate the ferns could be a total runaway! I think I started growing them in that area about 15 years ago. I just have to be careful to make sure they don’t get too dry otherwise they’ll starting browning. Otherwise they’re easy to grow!

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