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Dipping My Toe Into The Plant World


Yesterday after eating lunch, rather than sitting and talking for hours, my mom and I decided to go to a local nursery and look at plants. My mom has been working tirelessly in her back yard, doing a major overhaul of a significant portion of her back yard, and she needed a large shrub/tree for a specific area. So off we went, braving the hot and humid Texas afternoon, looking for just the right thing for her yard.

She had wanted to go earlier in the week, but I really wanted to go with her, and Wednesday afternoon was the soonest I could go. I wanted to tag along because, if I’m being really honest, I’m so intimidated by the whole world of plants, landscaping, gardening, etc. Plants are just not my world. Put me in just about any department inside a Home Depot, and I can pretty much thrive. But as soon as I walk outside, into the nursery, among the plants, I’m completely lost. I can probably name five plants, mostly indoor house plants, and beyond that, I’m clueless.

So I wanted to tag along and just dip my toe into this whole plant world and maybe ask a few questions, if I could even think of any intelligent questions to ask beyond, “What is this called?” 😀

We went to a small-ish local nursery called Bonnie’s Greenhouse, which I highly recommend if you’re local to the Waco area. The woman who helped us (who I think was the owner, but I failed to ask) was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. And when I mention the name of the place to other locals who know plants, they say that she really knows about plants that are native to this area and will thrive here.

As I was looking through the selection, I recognized quite a few plant names from our landscape design. In fact, having that huge print of our landscape design in my studio has really helped me to study it more (and more often) and familiarize myself with many of the names that I’ll be looking for in the future. This huge print has made it so much easier to see and locate the different plants on the plan, and when I get ready to purchase plants, it’ll be so easy to decide which section I want to work on, take pictures of that section, find the plants on the plant key, and take pictures of the name. Then I can take those pictures to the nursery with me and find what I need. It’s so much easier than trying to find things with the landscape design pulled up on my phone, or even with a small printed version in hand.

So yesterday, I found a few different plants on our plan. Around the front of the house, the landscape designer put several boxwoods. That’s actually a plant I’m familiar with because when we bought our house, the front bedroom window was covered with boxwood. And we still have a ton of boxwood on the side of the house. But these plants around the front porch are boxwoods.

On the landscape plan, it says Japanese boxwood. Because I don’t know plants, I don’t know if that’s a specific kind of boxwood, or if it’s just the general name of a boxwood.

So I found a couple of different boxwoods at the nursery. The first one is this Sprinter Boxwood.

But according to the tag, this one grows 2 to 4 feet wide, and 2 to 4 feet high, so this probably isn’t the right choice for those areas on the plan.

She showed me something else that I think she called a dwarf boxwood, or something like that. I think a dwarf boxwood would work much better in those areas. So that’s one decision made! 😀 I was starting to feel like this might actually be doable for me! I didn’t actually buy any plants yesterday. I explained to her that I’m just at the very beginning, and I still need to bring in lots of dirt and get my planting beds prepped. So she recommended that I wait until the end of August before buying and planting any of these plants. I hope to have a very definite plan in place by then.

Another plant I recognized was the one that the landscape designer recommended for this area just in front of the front porch.

According to the plant key, that is a Gulf Stream Nandina.

The one that I found is a nandina, but it’s not a Gulf Stream. It sure is pretty, though!

But this one is called a Firepower nandina, and she said the foliage gets red in the fall, which is shown on the tag.

I’m assuming that I can swap out the Gulf Stream for the Firepower, but I’ll need to make sure before I make my purchases.

I came across a few plants that I didn’t find anywhere on my landscape design, but I definitely want to find a place for them. One of them is this Japanese Yew. I just love those long, skinny leaves! What a beautiful plant!

This one is a dwarf, so it could go just about anywhere. I read that if they’re left alone, they can grow up to 3-5 feet high, and 6 feet wide. But they respond well to being trimmed to keep the size under control.

But as I was looking up information about these plants when I got home, I came across this picture that has all kinds of plants that I love.

The description of that picture called that area with the low, round shrubs a “boxwood cloud”, and I’ve never wanted anything more. 😀 It’s made up of three different plants — sunshine ligustrum (which is one of my absolute favorite plants because of the bright green color), boxwood, and dwarf yaupon (which is also all over my landscape design). So now I absolutely must find a place for a “boxwood cloud”. And then the hedge “fence” is created with Japanese yew (clearly not the dwarf type) and N.R. Stevens hollies, which is actually what my mom ended up buying yesterday for her specific area in her yard. I loved the shiny deep green leaves of the N.R. Stevens holly. So now, after seeing that picture above, I’m dreaming about planting a row of alternating Japanese yew and N.R. Stevens hollies along the back fence of our property for a natural privacy “fence”.

Another plant that isn’t on my landscape design, but I want to find a place for, is this Texas sage. It can grow 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and has silvery foliage and purple flowers. It’s absolutely gorgeous when grown as a large hedge. It does require sun, but it’s native to Texas, so it’s drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant. I want to find a place in our back yard to put it.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you for now. I took so many pictures, and by the time we left yesterday, I was actually feeling quite excited (and way less intimidated) about purchasing some plants and getting started on landscaping.

She also gave me names of two different people she recommends for helping me get my planting beds ready for plants at the end of August. So I’ll be contacting them in the next few days, hopefully meeting with them, and see if I “click” with either one of them. And then we can hopefully get started on hauling in dirt, getting the beds prepped, getting an irrigation plan in place, and having everything ready by the end of August when I’ll finally be able to purchase some plants. I’m getting really excited about this! Heck, I just may become a plant person after all!




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Scoop Sky is a blog with all the enjoyable information on many subjects, including fitness and health, technology, fashion, entertainment, dating and relationships, beauty and make-up, sports and many more.

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