Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Semps called debris

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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 1, 2015 2:31 PM CST
I am so bummed ... I met with a landscape designer to just see what I might do to spiff up and resolve some problems with my front entrance area and she pretty much relegated my semps to what she called "debris" .. (stuff that would not fit into a front garden area.) I think she simply thought they added nothing to the garden. She suggested sedum and a bunch of other plants. If I decide to go ahead I could put the semps all back on my patio but since they did not thrive there (well to be honest they have not thrived on the front area either) ..

I am feeling frustrated as I had hoped that they would fit in.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2015 3:46 PM CST
well I'll give you my 2 cents worth, but you might find me too bold.

I understand that meeting with a landscaper means you are shelling out money for this advice. And that is just what it is-advice. An opinion. If you don't like it, move on. I assume at this point that you are only in planning stages and have not paid anything or not much? Have not signed a contract? You have 2 options now. 1. Make it clear to the landscaper what you want to include in your plan. (in this case the semps. 2. Find another landscaper if the two of you are not able to work together. At this point the project has not even broken ground yet and you are already not happy.

The first thing you need to do is decide what your goal is for your area. 1. Are you wanting to impress people who drive by (high traffic area).
2. Do you want to make the neighbors jealous? 3. Are you landscaping to put your home up for sale? 4. Do you want something easy to maintain or do you have time/desire to work to keep something more elaborate? 5. Do you want a water feature? 6. Do you have power available? 7. Do you have a walkway or path that needs lighting? 8. Do you have water easily available to the area? this will determine what kind of plants you choose. 9. do you want winter interest? 10. budget? 11. Long term of the plan-what will it look like 10-15 years from now? 12. do you have any favorite elements that you want included?-favorite color (must match with the house) favorite planter, statue or kind of stone, ect. 13. What kind of weather-sun, wind, rain, ect does your spot get? this will determine what plants you can use there. 14. Are you wanting a small tree/shrub to shade a window or a parking space?

ect ect ect.
You should make sure the area you landscape looks like something YOU want and will enjoy and like. Something that makes YOU feel happy when you see it. What ANYONE else thinks does not matter. YOU are paying for it. You are paying for a service, and if the landscaper thinks what you want is stupid, boring, ugly or downright non-sense---who cares! He should do you a quality job and get paid for his work even if he doesn't like what you chose to pay for!

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2015 3:47 PM CST
Would you be willing to post photos of the area you are wanting done? Maybe someone here can give some ideas you could then present to your landscaper?
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 1, 2015 3:51 PM CST
https://www.pinterest.com/flotard/southwest-gardening/

https://www.google.com/search?q=semps+in+the+garden&biw=1680...
Ireland . (Zone 9a)
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Paddy
Mar 1, 2015 3:52 PM CST
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Marilyn . Pay no heed to your designer and let the garden evolve your way.
Here is Horst Diehm's garden in Germany . I think the key to displaying your semps is to have lots of interesting props . http://semperhorst.de/eigener%20Garten/Ansicht%20Garten%202.... . He has a wonderful garden and a great website too . There's inspiration here for everyone.
Thumb of 2015-03-01/Paddy/6b19ee


Thumb of 2015-03-01/Paddy/f6e157


Thumb of 2015-03-01/Paddy/5a3ee4

Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 1, 2015 5:52 PM CST
Thanks for all the advise and especially the pictures.
I have signed no contracts and just got a brief consult on a deal at the local nursery. I have attended a couple of the landscape designer's workshop and have found she is giving away some very valuable info. I also got a gift cert to the nursey that covers 1/2 the costs. Since I spend more than that usually in the spring it is not a bad deal.

Perhaps I did not strongly give my wish to have the semps included. There were just so many issues I had to cover in a short amount of time.

I will continue to review my areas of concern but since I really do not know yet
1. The HOA in the townhouse complex has a lot to say about what I can/cannot do. I need to check with them to see if I can remove what I have already done.
2. Budget --- I am limited so cannot shop too much for landscapers. The last time I chose a friend's recommendation "chuck with a truck" it is causing me the problems that now exist. Improper seating of the retaining wall, improper drainage, little real dirt etc etc. Also major fear of commitment to anything.
3. Will I like it after I have spent beau coup bucks to have the current area removed and new items placed?

Thanks for being a listening ear. I will let you know if I proceed.

Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Mar 2, 2015 6:59 PM CST
Marilyn,

From what I've seen most landscapers don't know anything about PLANTS! They learn a dozen plants and they use those same boring ones ad nauseum!

My present home was owned previously by an alleged landscaper but I have never seen so many ridiculous things planted. He had planted roses in SHADE and they were these emaciated stringy plants that went out my first week here. He had installed a very ugly water feature connected to a faux stream (both dismantled) and stuck other trees willy nilly through the yard. Most of these are gone too! worse yet he left the irrigation ON FULL when he left in May. when I arrived in September the Douglas firs were in a POND and two of them were dying. I had to get those chopped down. He also planted a ROW of Doug firs along the road, about 4' apart! My neighbors and I still laugh about many of his disasters, including graveling over lovely loam in the former vegetable garden!!

Anyway, I'm betting you have at least as much plant knowledge as the landscaper and probably better taste too! DO YOUR OWN THING GIRL!!

Kevin


Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 2, 2015 9:25 PM CST

Moderator

And maybe you can get some ideas from Timberline Nursery? You already have the materials needed, just redone, and then some soil that would work for the plants you want to grow. Smiling
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 2, 2015 11:46 PM CST
All great information . Just to give you an idea of why this is a problem. The wall scaping bricks are shifting out of allignment due to the roots of the tree. There is a problem with overspraying of the area by the current sprinkler set up. I have some additional issues with downspouts and neighbors. So I wanted to get an idea of an alternative to what I currently have.
Briefly she suggested
1. Check for existing Utilities at City, and HOA architectural committee requirements.
2. Take bids on work to be done – Contractors will pull permits as needed.
1. Phase 1 – reconfigure existing space within same footprint or slightly smaller by removing existing plantings, pots, pavers, and misc. debris (Semps and garden ornaments). Remove all bricks and replace with moss rocks, add new plants, and irrigation system (optional). Consider removing faux rock and replacing with wire or iron tripod and cover it with vine.
2. Phase 2- convert area in front of planting and under the tree (If HOA permits)**
Scrape area which has sgraggly grass and debris and add groundcover and optional irrigation.
3. Add a bench to front planting

Of course she gave me a much more detailed listing of the to-do- items, but that is the gist.
Because of the area and minimal sunlight she suggested using:
Plant List- All Colorado grown and tested for shade, mostly perennials
1- HY - Hydrangea Annabelle- 1 x 2 Gal
2- C - Coral Bells Red- 8 x 1 Gal
3- H- Hosta – Varieties -4 x 1 Gal
4- CV- Creeping Varonica - 15 x 2 ¼ inch pots
5- MO – Gold MoneyWort - 3 x 2 ¼ inch pots
6- SE – Dragon’s Blood Sedum - 9 x 2 ¼ inch pots
7- FE- Ostrich and/or Cinnamon Fern -3 x 1 Gal
8- AJ – existing ajuga reuse from original plants
9- AN- Annual Impatiens and Coleus - X x 2 ¼ inch pots
10- Planter – 1 – Blue – 1 with upright Annuals and fillers and spillers
11- Planter – 1 – Blue – planted similar to Bev’s Blue Pot
** Use only large planters, no small pots.
** note silver maple is suffering from Iron chlorisis and needs mitigation, Grass is pretty much dead around base of the tree.

Thumb of 2015-03-03/CDsSister/d59974 After a storm, Pretty messy and you can see how things are shifting

Thumb of 2015-03-03/CDsSister/0f7494 - tree and drainage a problem

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 3, 2015 8:02 AM CST

Moderator

I can see from the second photo what the tree roots are doing to the little rock wall.
I also think there is not enough sun in that area for sempervivum to do well?

Is the tree problem the HOA responsibility?

I like the idea of minimizing what is growing in that area. Just a few selected plants of different heights. I wonder how epimedium (evergreen type) would do in the root/dirt zone?
Thumb of 2015-03-03/valleylynn/18d4bd

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 3, 2015 8:49 AM CST
Your most pressing problem is the Silver Maple. These have extremely invasive roots-I cannot stress this enough-it is a challenge to grow weeds anywhere near their vicinity and these trees root out a very long ways. It is my opinion that the tree is way too close to your project area and nothing will grow successfully for very long unless it is in a pot. I had one of these trees-was quite large, and finally resorted to cutting it down because I could not keep it from vigorously rooting into my flower bed which was 30 ft away. So many roots that my plants were being choked out, shrubs even were not making it.

You might get buy with putting down some type of underlayment -then soil -then plant, but that will only last a few years I think before the trees roots find their way up into your rich, watered soil and take over.

If removing the tree is not an option (which is very pricey so probably not?) then I would create a plan to use only hardscape items. All plants would be in planters, I would get 2 or 3 very large nice planters. Smaller pots would stay all the same color (which looks like you have done that) and then some neat rocks. I think a bubble water feature would look nice-where the water looks like it is coming out of a rock. This does not splash around so evaporation is minimal and the small pump for those does not cost much to operate. I think that your area lacks a main interest visually, it needs a large focal point that draws the eye.
Getting grass to grow under your tree is going to always be a challenge. If it were me, I would mulch the area around the tree or gravel that area.
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Mar 3, 2015 1:57 PM CST
Frillylily, I like your idea of the hardscape. I have several beds near Douglas firs and my solution was to lay down landscape fabric, build up a wall of pavers, fill it in with fresh soil and then plant in the bed. That gives you drainage and no root problems. WIN WIN!

Kevin
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 3, 2015 6:33 PM CST

Yes, and I have plenty of pavers which could be used. We have shifting clay soil which expands and contracts, would the pavers end up upside down after a while? Would the drainage be impeded by the cloth/paver combination enough to be a concern?


springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 3, 2015 6:37 PM CST
That is something you may ask your landscapers advice about and I would also follow up with some of the neighbors and see what has worked for them as their soil is likely to be like yours.
You may need to lay your pavers on a bed of sand.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 3, 2015 6:59 PM CST

I have been re reading the posts and I am getting excited about doing something again..... Doing the paver thing would create a HUGE planter which might satisfy some of the problems. Must learn more about that sort of planting idea.

Lynn did you say Epimedium ( HORNY GOAT WEED)???? I looked it up and it looks even more invasive than ajuga Hilarious!
Not to mention the name is a bit offputting. Rolling on the floor laughing Did you suggest it because it covers so well, flowers or because of other properties?

and yes the area beyond the circle of bricks is the HOA area. I have already encroached on it somewhat and don't know if I could/should go further, because then it becomes my upkeep problem and other homeowners might object.....

So If I cannot grow my semps undrer the tree and there is no more sunlight on the patio, I may have to give up on my semps........

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 3, 2015 7:36 PM CST

Moderator

I do not find epimedium to be invasive at all. This one is a 10 year old clump started from a very tiny plant. It is one of the clumping forms and is evergreen. Some are deciduous. How could you not love them? Once established they are very tough plants, they like water, but also do beautifully in drought conditions. Mine are not hindered by the root system of a very large Douglas Fir. There is very little I can grow in the area of the tree roots, epimedium, violets, hellebore, cyclamen, and some spring blooming bulbs.


Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Mar 3, 2015 8:22 PM CST

Oh, Thanks. Clumping is good.

I Googled it and saw several instances where it looked like it might be taking over. I will research how it will do in my zone/climate/soil conditions.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 4, 2015 9:26 AM CST

Moderator

There are different forms of epimedium, I really like the clumping form. They are a slow growing plant, so if you decide to go that direction get the largest plant you can find.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 9:31 AM CST
They're very well behaved here.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 4, 2015 11:16 AM CST
https://www.google.com/search?q=large+pot+fountain&biw=1680&...

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