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July 17, 2018

Landscape Projects New and Updated

Update on my Japanese Garden
Early in June we put out some mulch and I took this picture.

This is located at our driveway turnaround area which was cleared last year and I got the idea to create a mini Japanese garden.  The little red Japanese maple in the corner was part of the inspiration.  I did a post about it last year which can be seen "here" that shows the transformation.

Sadly the little red Japanese maple the inspired me didn't come back this year.  I knew it was iffy because I had transplanted it during the summer months when it was leafed out which is a no-no.  

I decided to look for something to go in the same area and came across this Fine Line Fern Leaf Buckthorn shrub which I liked immediately.  I love the leaf texture and overall body shape.  It's a new shrub to me and I'm surprised I was so unfamiliar with it.  It won't get very large (only 5 to 7 ft. tall x 2 to 3 ft. wide) so it will be perfect for this garden.  Hardiness zones are 2 to 7 so it won't have any problems in our Zone 5 area.

I also found this new hosta in the forefront called Yankee Blue.  I liked the color and the leaf shape- it has a lot of fullness.

I also picked up a new red Japanese Maple and centered it in the garden.  Placed behind the Japanese pagoda style lantern I think it's going to look wonderful once it's a lot larger.

On the left side I had transplanted hostas from the back gardens and they all came back nicely including the painted Japanese Painted Ferns which are on the backside of the large rock.

New Project Hydrangeas gone!
This picture is from last year.  I was again so disappointed with the Endless Summer hydrangeas (on the right side) that this year I made a radical decision and removed them.  I planted them in 2010 and have had too many years with little to no blooms.  There's a valid explanation about the blooming issue which is explained in this article if you care to read "here".  

June 2018

This year was particularly bad and that's when I threw in the towel on growing these.
Yes I will miss their beautiful mop heads but as I age I want things that are easy to create for a reliable.
In early June Dan helped me get the hydrangeas pulled out and we removed the path stones so we could adjust where they lay after the new shrubs are planted.

At the same garden center where I got the Japanese Maple shown above I found these Pink Sparkler Spireas.  These will only get to be 3-4 ft. wide and 3-4 ft. tall.  They also get a 2nd bloom in the autumn that follow along the branches and the leaves will turn a purple color in the fall.

As soon as the old hydrangeas were gone I liked how much more open the overall feel was.  I marked and planted these and love how it looks much better now.

I have several varieties of Spireas in the yard and they always do well so that's why I decided to go with these.   As I planted each one I added in a mix of a organic compost and cow manure with the garden soil to enrich it which is in my cart.

After these were placed I also dug and relocated some tulips next to these that were over in the area of the fairy garden.  Praying they'll come back next spring!

On the left side are limelight hydrangeas and before long there will be a profusion of white blossoms!   I like how it's so much more open now too so it was a win win project!

Update on a project from last year...
Late last summer we did another landscape demolition and renewal along the side of the house as seen "here" in this post. 
We gutted everything out and planted Blue Muffin Viburnums

I was so happy to see how well these came back this year.  These pictures were taken in the spring when they bloomed.

Viburnums are another shrub that come back well up here so along with the spireas they are high on my list of favorites!

As you can see the blooms just kept getting larger as the days went by.  Soon there will be little blue berries and the birds love them!
So that's my landscape projects new and updated!

I have two more to show but this has been a long enough post.  I'll share them another day.


  1. Liz, I always enjoy reading your gardening posts! You have quite the green thumb! All of your gardens look beautiful! I love the new Japanese garden. The pagoda statue is perfect!

  2. Beautiful! I apparently have the same luck with hydrangeas. The greenery is there, but little to no blooms. I give up too!

  3. Liz, I like how you change up what doesn't work in your garden. I think a lot of people think it's their fault and just live with problem plants. Or worse give up on gardening. Your new Japanese area is so lovely and peaceful. I'm not familiar with the new shrub. I'm going to check that one out. Your gardens are always a joy to visit. ♥

  4. Liz, spirea and viburnum are good shrub choices around here, too. I love hydrangeas but they can be a bit fussy. You are right, as we get older, we want more reliable plants! Lol! You gardens are gorgeous!!

  5. I love all your garden areas. Always so pretty. Love the Japanese garden. Looking great. Enjoy the beautiful gardens. Summer is so short for us.

  6. Your gardens are so lovely...great inspiration. Thanks for the link for the Endless Summer Hydrangeas...I’ve been having the same problem here in zone 5...and now I know why. Happy gardening! ;)

  7. Liz, you've certainly been busy this year! I like all the changes you made, and I'm particularly fond of Japanese maples. Gardens evolve through time -- which is a good thing! Time to enjoy your efforts!

  8. Everything is looking great! I always think it's so gratifying to look back and see the differences and how plants have filled out in landscape projects. Happy gardening!

  9. Those were some gutsy moves, Liz, but I totally get the mixed feelings of guilt first and then enjoying the fresh, clean look, and the excitement of what's to come with the new blooms. I have removed Endless Summer hydrangeas due to overpowering growth, as well as Snowflake viburnum bushes. I pretty much buzz cut my spireas in late fall to about 2' and they seem to grow twice that size each spring/summer.
    Your Japanese garden is very inspiring. I really love that Asiatic look. Lots and lots of hard work and Advil is what I see in this post. Kudos!


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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