grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gardening Charlie Brown Style

Here's the shrub sale section at my neighborhood garden center. It's wayyyyyyyyyyy in the back so nobody sees the sickly little plants unless they are really looking for them. I could be wrong, but I think I really scored today! I haven't been this excited about a bargain in a while. Here are my 5 new Charlie Brown shrubs. I got them all for 40 bucks! I took Jodi's suggestion and scraped the wood to make sure I saw green. I think all these are alive, but we'll see. Thanks for the tip, Jodi!
Here's the Limelight Hydrangea. This is the only plant I knew for sure I wanted to pick up today. It's another one of the plants that I was seduced into buying after reading Carolyn Gail's post about it's awesomeness. The very nice garden center lady (NGCL) who rode up on her golf cart to help me says this is actually in good shape. She told me to plant it right away but don't prune since it blooms on old wood. It's really nice sized.

Here's the Tardiva Hydrangea. There is definitely some dead parts on this plant but I'm hoping it can be saved.

This is suppose to be a Japanese Kerria. Nice NGCL threw this in for 5 bucks. After seeing a few of them yesterday when I stopped in, I came home and looked up Kerria on the Internet. I love that it grows in shade and the little yellow flowers were cute. I think this goes in the Good Neighbor Garden. I wish I knew if I liked these. They had several more like it.

Nice NGCL talked me into this Viburnum. I was trying to decide between this and a Tinkerbelle Lilac. Actually, I didn't even look at this Viburnum until she said "HEY, HOW ABOUT THIS VIBURNUM? I THINK YOU'LL REALLY LIKE IT!" The label just says "Fragrant Viburnum." Is that an actual variety or just some generic name they slapped on it because they forgot which one this was?

Here's my surprise find. It's a Bailey's Redtwig Dogwood. I was so drawn to the red stems that I had to ask about it. NGCL said it only gets about 6 feet tall so I thought I'd be crazy to pass it up.

Guess what I'll be doing this evening?
So that's it. 5 shrubs for 40 bucks. How'd I do?


  1. Awesome is how you did ! To answer your question on the fragrant viburnum there's only two to my knowledge -Korean Spice and Juddi, both of which are very nice.

    If you plant the shrubs with some good soil amendments and keep them well watered they'll probably be just fine after a season's catch-up next year.

    You're garden is going to look really nice when the shrubs reach their full potential.

  2. You did well! Hydrangeas are always beautiful and I have a Red Twig Dogwood that looks great now in the fall with it's red foliage and branches. Good score!

  3. Way to go, Gina! There are a number of fragrant viburnums, including Mohawk and Burkwoodii, but they're all very lovely and intoxicatingly fragrant. You'll have fun planting them and watching them growing next spring.

  4. Nice haul, Gina. Red-twigs are awesome--and I want to see a photo of them against that Chicago snow. I love viburnums too. You picked out some great plants!

  5. carolyn - "soil amendments?" ugh! I already planted them! thanks for the info on the viburnum. maybe when it blooms you guys can help me name that shrub.

    connie - i was so glad to hear you say you have a red twig dogwood! i had been questioning that one all day. sometimes all it takes is reading one bad thing on the internet to make me question myself. I planted the dogwood against the house since I thought the red would stand out against the yellowish siding more. how big does your red twig get? do you have it planted in full sun?

    jodi - thanks again for the tip on checking for deadness. I passed on a couple of things JUST BECAUSE of that. regarding having fun planting them. I SO DID NOT HAVE FUN! it was 90 today with 89% humidity. i was getting eaten by some freak flies to the point that i actually sprayed myself with this OFF stuff that was in the cabinet when we moved into this house. so hot in fact, the Chicago marathon was cut in half today after 1 person died and 250 people were sent to the hospital. BUT, it is done.

  6. david - i hadnt even thought of how cool the red twig will look in the snow! i'll be sure to take a picture of it.

  7. OOh! I'm so jealous of your finds, especially the red twig dogwood. I've always wanted one of those.

    Don't worry, the hydrangeas will pop back beautifully. My husband tried to kill the ones at our old rental house a long time ago, to no avail. And the one we now have in a pot has been subjected to lots of dog pee and doesn't look too bad either!

    They'll all be fine. Keep us updated with pictures.

  8. Awsome haul Gina. I am totally jealous of the red twig dogwood and the limelight hydrangea. And the viburnum! I see a trip to the orphan section of my Lowe's in my near future.

    If they were mine and I hadn't amended the soil (I could be wrong about this) I would put a thick layer of leaves under the mulch. By spring they will have disintegrated and enriched the soil.

  9. "Charlie Brown Style"

    LOL I love it.

    Congrats on the deal.

  10. Back up, girlfriend. When you plant something, especially "Charlie Brown " shrubs you gotta give them a little extra TLC. For instance, Hydrangeas and Red Twig dogwoods both like acidic soil so you need to add either peat moss or Black Forest soil conditioner.

    All is NOT lost, however. It's not to late to spread some Cotton Burr Compost ( hope you can find it locally ) or some compost and manure on top of the surrounding soil and work it in.

  11. You did a great job! Sometimes its more fun to plant "Charlie Brown" plants than lush and healthy looking ones. You'll have such satisfaction next spring when they leaf out and fill in! I love that hydrangea and dogwood. Can't wait for you to post them next year.

  12. Great fun picking shrubs! All viburnums are on my list! I can't wait to see them in the garden! Red twigs are great in the snow but you have to keep pruning out older wood to keep them really red but you probably know that! You will love it!

  13. Ok, me too, I'm jealous that you found these plants. I stopped going to the nurseries in Sept -- how stupid of me! Can't wait to see how they turn out next year.