Saturday, December 4, 2010

Current State--December 2010--Year 'Round Beauty

Berries on our Youpon Holly
 Today, I strolled around the garden taking pictures for two reasons:  to keep up with the changing landscape and  in order to begin a series entiled Current State.  At Temple ISD we are learning about lean thinking.  This philosophy of improving systems takes the approach of examining closely what the current state of affairs are.  From there it is possible to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in the system.  So, what does this have to do with a garden?  In this and subsequent posts from this day forward I will document what the current state of the garden is.  This gives that history I was talking about in "Photograph Your Garden".  By keeping a log of the current state of the garden it is possible to see problems and plan for improvements.  It is also an opportunity to examine what is good in the garden.
Youpon Holly--December 2010
Our Youpon Holly trees have been in the yard since we purchased the property in 1997.  These trees are definitely a good thing.  They are evergreen beauties all year round.  They are hearty for this region of the country by resisting hard freezes and tolerating droughts.  But they have a bad side. 

When we first moved in our home, the Youpons were set in a bed with Nandina's (ornamental bushes) in front.  They were pretty, but there is an unsightly problem with Youpon Hollies.  They constantly send up thick, woody shoots.  This is how they reproduce, evidently.  Underneath the top layers of soil, there is a complex system of roots.  The roots send off the shoots, which need to be constantly trimmed.  This isn't a problem if you have time to clip the shoots on a regular basis.  But if you don't, they grow and get thick and hard to clip.  So much so, clipping them gave me extreme arthritis in my in fingers.  Ignoring the shoots isn't an option either. 

Solution:  while driving around town, I started noticing how much Youpons are used in commercial landscaping.  In every instance, at the base of the Youpons was a bed of Asian Jasmine.  This evergreen carpet is dense enough to either keep shoots from growing out of control or is able to blend in with the shoots so they are camoflauged.  So to solve our current state problem we ripped up the Nandinas and planted over 30 Jasmine plants.  It has taken around five years or more for the carpet of Jasmine to cover our front beds, but the journey has been well worth it.  I no longer have arthritis from clippng shoots and all Pat has to do to keep the beds looking nice is weed eat the out-of-control shoots!

No comments:

Post a Comment